In the Kingdom of Dreams and Madness: Clark Ashton’s Druid Hill

“Art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.” – Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor & Park

Clark Ashton remembers the first time he saw him. There was a man who wore the three-piece white suit; he would hang out on the street corner, swinging a gold chain. To a young Ashton, this man was fascinating. The man who fearlessly stood out in the small town of Augusta, Georgia. He was unique, inimitable.

For a new generation, Ashton has become a similar figure, “that strange man over on Druid Hills road.” Each year, for the past twenty-four years, he has sat on a throne in his front yard, waving at local school children who are trapped in morning traffic. He is trying to show kids that it is okay to be different, that people can prosper in alternative lifestyles. In his view, independent thought and action are increasingly important in a highly regimented society. Most people react favourably, but a few laugh or yell. It doesn’t bother him. Ashton believes in what he is doing. Continue reading “In the Kingdom of Dreams and Madness: Clark Ashton’s Druid Hill


‘Second-Hand’ Information

“Time in itself, absolutely, does not exist; it is always relative to some observer or some object. Without a clock I say ‘I do not know the time’. Without matter time itself is unknowable. Time is a function of matter; and matter, therefore, is the clock that makes infinity real. – John Fowles, Áristos

Time is one of those things that we never think about. In a way, we take it for granted. Our lives are paced out according to the dictates of the hour, minute and second hand. What are our days other than a collection of hours? Time elapses, and we live in the seconds in-between. Yet, keeping time has not always so easy. Unlike the easy convenience of digital time, our ancestors had to painstaking wind clocks weekly, taking care to reset the time.

Similarly, in the historic DeKalb County Courthouse, the clock is wound without fail on Saturday. Access to the clock is restricted due to the difficulty of reaching the clock. Visitors rarely think about it, but the clock remains as it was when the courthouse was rebuilt in the early 1900’s. The first picture shows the clock as it is wound, while the bottom images depict the clock mechanism. Symbolically, it connects the past to the present. Time is always passing, advancing our lives forward. If you listen closely, you can hear the next tick coming.

Written by Samantha Mooney