3 years ago, I stared at a crystal ball until I happened to hallucinate a house on a hill. Over time, that house became my mindscape, a consistent internal visualization that I’ve checked in on over the years.

It’s no place I’ve been before. A log cabin / hewn stone castle is half-buried on a craggy hill studded with lichen-covered rocks. No trees around. Steep stairs. Mist.

In the center of the cabin is a pillaring fireplace, around which the floor is sunken in and filled with sheepskins and pillows. To the left, there’s a staircase that goes up one level and down.. who knows how many levels down. I can’t see much down there. It’s dark.

My mindscape is also a memory palace. I put a strand of rope on the mantel above the fireplace three years ago, and it’s still there. More recently I added a bottle filled with a brightly glowing spark.

I also like to summon models of people I know (“daemons”) and talk with them. It’s a good exercise for empathy. And tiring.

I can only access this place while sitting down. My eyes can be open if not much is going on. I tend to see myself in 3rd person, probably because of how many video games I’ve played. I wonder what that does for my sense of internal cohesion (“self” as one).

Sitting in my mindscape feels peaceful and safe, more safe than I’ve been in a long time. Surprisingly, when I’m there I don’t feel alone.

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