Sunday, July 25, 2010

Boldt the hatches

This weekend I visited Boldt Castle in the 1000 Islands near Alexandria Bay, New York. I expected a lame family-vacation-style tour stop: bad souvenirs, bored tour guides, smelly co-vacationers, etcetera. Instead I was thumped in the brains with wow-factor and thoroughly inspired to create fictional things by taking real things and pretending they are not (shut up, you do it, too).

As the story goes, George Boldt--hotel magnate extraordinaire--built the castle for his wife Louise on Hart--come Heart--Island. It was to be the veritable physical extrusion of his love for her. When she died, the castle was only part way finished; work stopped immediately, and Boldt turned all his attention to his businesses in New York City and Philadelphia. The castle was abandoned, to become the home of booze-swilling youths from over the water in both directions. The result is a beautiful exterior not unlike European castles of yesteryear, coupled with unfinished interior walls covered with decades worth of graffiti.

What's that? You're right, it was awesome. I could feel the ghosts in those halls, in between the stacks of Canadian and American tourists; the weight of memories, loneliness, and hopes and dreams carved into aged plaster. I could feel the vague but certain influx of inspirado on which I wait, day and night; year in, year out.

Suffice to say it is time to sequester myself from the world of the living and get some writing done. If only I were the inheritor of Boldt's riches, it would be a lot easier to free up, oh, say, eight and a half hours every day and replace them with writing.

-bn

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