Stairway to Nowhere – Johnathan Nakata

Check out this amazing work by Esquimalt High School Student, Johnathan Nakata. Has the stairway to nowhere in Banfield Park sparked your curiosity?

Stairway to Nowhere

By a parking lot and behind the Victoria West Community Centre, on top of a squat hill, there is a small stone staircase overlooking the waterway. It isn’t clear what this staircase once led to, now a damp slab of concrete not even a metre tall covered by cracks and moss, slowly being overtaken by the bushes and trees. Perhaps its original purpose is unimportant. From this staircase, one can see just about everything within the park. There, beneath the hill is a small playground; to the left, there is a grassy field slightly hidden by a wall of trees, where dogs and their owners play; straight over the hill, one can see a wide mouth of the Gorge waterway, which is followed along its side by the Galloping Goose Trail. There are joggers in bright attire, walkers in warm clothing, and parents with strollers, along with the occasional squirrel clambering through the trees or seagulls searching for scraps. Yet all this urban noise is deafened when the wind is strong, when the sound of swaying leaves overpowers the sounds of passerby and of vehicles roaring past, offering an illusion of isolation and calm far from the confines of Esquimalt.  

There are many urban legends about mysterious “staircases in the woods”, which tell of evil curses and strange accidents happening to those who encounter such stairways in isolated corners of forests and parks. Such staircases, it is said, are found in the most unusual or unlikely places, any remnants of their original destinations long gone. Whether you believe them to be supernatural or merely the most structurally sound parts of a building, these staircases leading to nowhere seem to evoke in us the strangest feelings of uncertainty and excitement, dread and curiosity. A staircase with no destination is like a book with no conclusion, a joke with no punchline. It leaves the brain wondering, “how was it supposed to end?”; it calls upon our fear and our wonder of the unknown in the most innocuous of ways. Perhaps the only curse which plagues the human consciousness is that curiosity itself, which drives us headlong into danger and uncertainty without a second thought. A curse and a blessing, inalienable from human nature.  

Johnathan Nakata

author: Coordinator

Bob Currie

Johnathan you very talented and I love the way how you make a pair of stairs going nowhere so interesting and makes one think. Very good, keep finding new subjects and make them just as interesting.

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