There is beauty all around us. Behind every tree, over every hill, in each blade of grass.
Just walk out your front door and give yourself to the world. Step off the well-trodden path and open your eyes. It’s in those moments that you will find something magical.
I’d heard of the Doll’s Head Trail before, a found-art installation in south Atlanta. It winds through Constitution Lakes Park, presumably named for the time two lakes got together and wrote a constitution.
But the perfect weirdness of it surprised me. I believed I had already found all the worthy strangeness in this city, from Odd’s End to the Three-Eyed Payphone God.
A sign marks the entrance, offering a taste of what lies further in.
This is just some of the meal.
1. I think we can all agree with 100% certainty that these dolls come to life after dark. The moment that final sliver of red dips below the horizon, those little arms and legs twitch with new life.
But to get video proof, I will have to walk the trail at night. First, I’ll need to construct some kind of doll-bite-resistant body armor. What will be strong enough to keep these things from tearing away my flesh? Will PVC piping do it? Wood? Or do I have to go full chain mail? Those with experience in this, please contact me.
2. Bless the local government for allowing this installation to stay undisturbed. This is an official park, founded and sponsored by the county, and governments don’t usually encourage alteration of their property.
3. People made this. Yes, the art installation morphed into a supernatural terror, but it started with people. I thank them for adding something wild and weird to my home, wherever they are. Probably dead now, eaten by their own creations when they failed to get out before sunset.
As if the menagerie wasn’t enough, a large rat snake perched in a tree above the path. It watched from six feet in the air. Totally harmless, but I’m not going to claim that seeing a snake look down at you has a calming effect.
I pride myself on seeking out the strange and unusual. Like Lydia Deetz in Beetlejuice (my first movie crush), I expect ghosts to appear simply by virtue of who I am.
But it bothers me that it took so long to find the Doll’s Head Trail. Am I getting complacent? Do I rely too much on glowing rectangles to provide the uncanny, beamed straight into my eyes from the comfort of an office chair?
It’s a powerful lesson for me: get moving. A lesson for us all, maybe. Go forth, explore, seek out the nightmares.
Or flowers and sunshine, if you like that kind of thing.
Have you ever discovered something “new” that was always right next door? Something that delighted you? Freaked you out (in a good way)?
Tell me! Or I’ll send the Three-Eyed Payphone God.