I like this picture, but it is a bit of a misnomer.
Although it shows that Dark Tower that is such a dominant feature of Crimson Fields, there are no Crimson Fields to be seen – this picture was actually taken on Magnificat. And there are two reasons for that.
Firstly the Tower is so hugely dominant that it is actually quite difficult to take a picture of it as it stands at the heart of a field of blood red roses.
But secondly, and perhaps more importantly, I love the contrast between the primitive, almost barbaric Tower in such strong contrast to the elegant stylish beauty of Magnificat.
Fantasy can be rich and elaborate. But it can also be strong and stark and simple. And that to me is the Dark Tower.
There’s a powerful mythos about the Dark Tower. Nowadays, many people would identify it with the novels of Stephen King – but it goes far further back than that. “Childe Roland to the dark tower came” is a line in Shakespeare’s King Lear – a play in which madmen quote old scraps of songs and ballads (whose origins lie further back in history, back in a time when “Childe” was the title for a knight).
And yet the madmen who quotes this line is, in fact, not mad at all. It is Edgar, proclaimed a fugitive, who has disguised himself as one of the poor madmen who roamed the roads of Elizabethan England – the poor Tom-a-Bedlams. But Edgar is sane – and by the end of the play, he will be King.
The line fascinated Robert Browning, who wrote a poem about it, and later Louis McNeice, who wrote a radio play. And then there is Tolkien’s Dark Tower, Barad-dûr, centre of all evil. Wikipedia has more on Child Roland – and you might be interested to see that it is not unconnected with Widdershins …
And there are the rose that surround the Castle, and one thinks of those slightly creepy fairytales where the heroes have to cut their way through briars to the princess imprisoned by a witch. Rapunzel … Sleeping Beauty …
But for now, let’s do a jigsaw!
Catch up with your Prim Perfect jigsaws (showing images of Second Life and other virtual worlds).
If you’d like to submit a photo of your own to feature as a jigsaw, send it to the Prim Perfect Flickr Group. It should be sized 800w x 600h, or else it will need to be re-sized.