Welcome. This is my blog, and you're my most coveted guest. If I seem a bit too intense, it's only because I have so much that I want to share with you, and I can see that you're eager to begin as well. So, please...make yourself at home, sip an East India cocktail (I blended the pomegranate juice myself), and sample some of my domestic and imported Arcana: useless, but fascinating information about Victoriana, Steampunk and other favoured topics; music which evokes that dark, lost Lenore sensibility; and other pleasant or, perhaps, unsettling non sequiters whispered in a darkened room. Linger long or short, leave a comment or refrain, but remember to come back soon to play a (shhhh) parlour game.
Velkommen. Dette er min blog, og du er min mest eftertragtedegæst. Hvis jeg synes en smule for intenst, det er kunfordi jeg har så meget at jeg vil dele med jer, og jeg kanse, at du er ivrig efter at begynde så godt. Så kan du ...føl dig hjemme, sip et East India cocktail (jeg blandetden granatæble juice mig selv), og prøve nogle af mine indenlandske o importerede Arcana: ubrugelig, menfascinerende oplysninger om Victoriana, Steampunkog andre begunstigede emner; musik der fremkalderdenne mørke, mistede Lenore sensibilitet, og andrebehagelige eller måske foruroligende, ikke sequitershviskede i et mørkelagt rum. Linger lang eller kort,efterlade en kommentar eller afstå, men husk at komme tilbage snart til at spille en (Shhhh) selskabsleg.
- I love my grown children, miss all the dogs I ever had, and I cry at the drop of a hat, I believe in true love, destiny, fairness, and compassion. If I could be anywhere right now, it would be the ocean. My favorite city is New York, but I am always longing for London and craving more time in Copenhagen. I'm drawn to desolate places, deserted buildings, and unknown byways. I don't care how society perceives me as long as my gut tells me that what I'm doing is right. I am interested in paranormal things, spiritual things, historical things, and things that glow at night. I like to drink, I smoke when I write, I can't stand small talk, and despite my quick temper, I would rather kiss than fight. I'm selfish with my writing time, a spendthrift with my love. My heart has been broken so many times that it's held together with super glue and duct tape. The upside is that, next time, I won't be tempted to give away what I no longer have to give. But I will let you buy me a Pink Squirrel.
Nocturne in G Flat major
Chopin, darkness, light, sand and wind, starlight tread. Beethoven, love, fear, madness, redemption in the night. Liszt, waltzing widows, desperate bargains, pleasure's secret plight. Now, then, before, always, forever. Promises made on lonely beaches, celestial summer's perfect kiss, passions quenched in salty breezes, the lure of distant mist-draped heights. Bitter interlude. Final, private nocturne. Burned down like a candle. Doomed bleeding beauty. Fated sacrificial night.
We love all things dark and mysterious, macabre and obscure, odd and unfathomable. Nothing is too strange or bizarre for our little blog. And although we would never presume to offer definitive answers to the great questions of life, we shall do our best to enlighten, inform and delight our visitors with our whimsical potpurri of facts, anecdotes, trivia and informational outpourings. We strive not to offend, but to edify those who wish to reach beyond their comfort zone and touch the fabric of another time and place, and of distant, but genuine worlds and lives. As Victorian-themed blogs go, ours may not be the most austere, nor the most comprehensive, but we know what we like, and if our readers like it as well, then all is as it should be in this ramshackle corner of our own personal Victorian empire.
A Musical Note
A Musical Note: We feel that our blog is best viewed when accompanied by one or more of the following musical selections. Then again, we also feel that our blog is best viewed when accompanied by a glass of absinthe, a bite of lemon cake, and a foot massage (preferably by someone you know). So, to paraphrase the otherwise completely irrelevant-to-our-blog Mr. Aleister Crowley, "Do what thou wilt...but be open to Chopin."
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Friday, March 2, 2012
In 1878, Louisa Robbs Dean was 26 years old and had been the loving wife of Dr. Arthur Dean, ten years her senior, for a little over a year. It was his second marriage, and her first, and was, according to Louisa's carefully kept diary, "as blissful a union as was possible between a man and a woman." As though to prove that declaration, Louisa took pains to describe the numerous occasions on which she and her husband felt "complete and utter enjoyment" in one another's company, even when they were doing something as simple as walking together or admiring the rose bush in their backyard. As the only doctor in town, Arthur was called away frequently, Louisa admitted, but instead of resentment, she felt pride in his diligence and gratitude for the opportunity "to support such a wonderful man in his endeavors."
Clearly, Louisa didn't have a hell of a lot going on besides her relationship with her husband. "Everything I did, I did with his happiness and comfort in mind," she wrote. Not that this was necessarily a bad thing, but it does account for her subsequent descent into an emotional black hole when, in March of what would have been their second year of marriage, the good doctor contracted a bad case of pneumonia and died within days, leaving the town of Mercer, Maine without a doctor and poor Louisa without a husband.
"I thought that my tears would never end," Louisa wrote. "I cried so much and with such force that my mother and sisters feared for my very health. I was a full two weeks in bed, too weak to eat, unable to even swallow the broth that was brought to me in place of heartier meals, which my mother and sisters had so lovingly prepared on my behalf. To contemplate a life without Arthur was beyond my ability, the pain of it too great for me to bear."
It was at this painful point in Louisa's life that she experienced, for the first time, what she called "a visitation from beyond." According to Louisa, she was lying awake in bed, her older sister Vera asleep beside her, when she "began to feel a strangeness in the room" around her.
"I felt as though I were being pulled slowly from my body. I knew at once that it was not through any physical means. I felt no pressure from human hands, but, instead, a sensation of light, spiritual force drawing me outward, as though my soul or spirit had suddenly been rendered helpless and was somehow now at the mercy of a superior, unseen being. In my weariness and weakness, I did not even struggle. I wondered, vaguely, if I might be dying, but the thought of that was not frightening. A part of me hoped that it might even be true."
As it turned out, Louisa did not die that night. Instead, she claimed that she found herself suddenly surrounded by a soft, shining, milky light that warmed her "like a blanket" and "seemed in an odd way very familiar." To her surprise, the light slowly began to take form, a vaguely human form, a form that resembled her dead husband. She felt that he was there, with her, and that his arms were wrapped around her...and that he was naked.
"I felt the press of his loins against me," she wrote. "My senses were torn between happiness and fear, but I felt no shame. How could I feel shame if it were truly my husband? And it was, for all the lack of physical form. It was Arthur. He had returned to me, in spirit form, but unquestionably the same man as before his body was laid to rest in the grave."
THat first visit, though short and sweet, gave Louisa the shot in the arm she needed. The next morning, she got out of bed, put on her black mourning dress, and ate breakfast with her mother and sisters. She didn't tell them what had happened, but they noticed a change in her, which they remarked favorably upon. Nor did they seem to take offense when Louisa told them that she no longer required round the clock attention.
"I feared that, if Vera continued to share my bed, Arthur would cease to come," she wrote.
For the next month, Louisa kept almost nightly nocturnal dates with her deceased spouse. He always appeared to her in the nude, variously "pressing his loins against" her, "kissing her in and about the ear", or "touching her as a husband is morally free to touch his wife." Louisa's accounts of her spirit-to-flesh dalliances with her late husband don't include the actual mention of sexual intercourse, but her description of Arthur touching her in a "morally free" manner seems to indicate that there was more than just spirit kissing going on between them.
Louisa's diary accounts of her postmortem relationship with Arthur end rather abruptly in May, following a final entry in which she expresses her "continuing wonder at what has occurred and what it means in terms of hope for a life beyond this one." Did Arthur stop coming to her? Did she just become tired of keeping a diary? Perhaps she just became self-conscious about the situation. Whether it really happened, or she imagined it is a matter of conjecture. The remarkable thing is that she wrote about it at all.