For MamaKat’s Writer’s Workshop
This is a writing exercise I did recently. It just so happens to answer the prompt:
Write about someone who made your childhood bearable.
Becoming One With The Green Fairy
As a wee child I horded bits of broken radios, watches, and lenses (we had many wonderful bits and bobbles around my house with two mechanics in the family who kept everything and loved to tinker) in a little treasure tin that I took with me everywhere. I fancied myself living in a fairy land. I spent my days and night’s dreaming of my fern gully-ese world and searching for fairy circles. I had a tree house filled with shiny treasures. I insisted on wearing pieces out of my overflowing costume box as everyday wear. I kept snails as pets in my grandfathers birdbath, fashioning wee saddles out of scraps so my fae friends and I could ride our snail mounts around the garden. Grandpa fostered my fancies and encouraged me to be creative. He was my prince charming, always listening to my stories and playing along with my games.
When I reached grade school I was told by my teacher that I wasn’t to bring my tin to class with me anymore because it caused me to be too distracted (I kept it in my desk and would fiddle, I know now that I pay much better attention when my hands are busy). That day, some other children who heard the teacher tell me this grabbed my tin away from me during recess and scattered my treasures all over the playground, stomping on them, ripping them, breaking them to pieces. The teacher did not do anything. Rather, she told me that it was better that way and it emphasized her point. I stopped collecting then, stopped telling stories, and stopped trusting people.
In high school I was in theater, working costumes and props and managing the stage. When I finally made it on stage as a senior, my fear got the better of me. However, off stage, I wore clothing inspired by the lovely costumes, or even bits of my costume out and about. I finally felt at home with friends who liked to play dress up as much as I did. The film “Moulin Rouge!” came out that year and fell in love with the idea of Absinthe releasing your true inner creative spirit (funny enough, to this day I have still not tried the stuff because I want my first time to be in Montmartre). I also became re-obsessed with fairies and folklore behind them. Then high school ended. “Real Life” began and it besieged me. I once again lost touch with my creative spirit, my inner green fairy, as I began taking medications prescribed to me to help me focus, to stave off the so-called “disability” of Attention Deficit Disorder. I wanted to be “successful,” so put my fairy in a cage, locked it and hid it deep inside me; protecting her from getting damaged by this cruel world. I spiraled downward. One bad decision after the next: found bad boyfriends, got bad grades, took bad jobs, quit good jobs.
Then I reconnected with an old friend, someone who cherished my creative spirit, who knew me “when I shined.” He knew my fairy was in there someplace, he could see her faint glimmer when he looked deep into my eyes. He coaxed cautiously, reminded me of things I used to love, introduced me slowly to new things that would make that little fairy rattle the cage and fight to be let out. He got a shiny diamond and put it on my finger knowing full well that no fairy could resist! She almost broke free when I said yes. She shook the cage so violently in her glee that I brought the cage to the surface. But I kept her in there, fearful to let her out lest she be crushed. I began to sing to her again as I had not done in years. She was happier now, but she desired to be out, needed to fly free.
I kept her there for another year and a half. I gave her lovelies to fidget with, but they were not all to her liking. Too modern, too assembled. She wanted to take them apart, wanted the bits from inside. I realized she needed tools; she wanted to disassemble so that she could recreate. I began allowing her out on a tiny lead attached to her foot. Oh how she flew! She took off around the room so quickly that she forgot about the lead and… Snap! She zoomed back like a boomerang into my lap. I showed her the tools I bought for her. Pliers, tin snips, scissors, and hooks! She touched them softly and looked at me, displaying the comedic scale of the human sized tools next to her pin prick fingers. I whispered “you tell me what to do and I will do it.” She hummed happily and flitted to sit on my shoulder where I would be able to hear her better. She hummed her instructions like a lullaby. “String the bead, string the pearl, another bead, and wrap the wire, cut the wire, loop it through, wrap, repeat…” Her hum became a little chant that she sang to me for hours, diving down to hand me beads as I got the hang of the pattern. After she decided it was enough, we each held an end and she flew up to show me our work. It was beautiful. She helped me make nine more, one for each girl in the bridal party. My mom wore the first one we made on the day I walked down the aisle.
My fae and I began to work together more and more closely. On days I had to put her away and go to work, she was content to dream in her cage, now filled with bits of pretty pieces, knowing that she would be let out soon enough. One day, I got into a spat with my sales lead at work and my fairy made her way out of the cage. Her fairy rage came through me and I quit on the spot. I went home feeling not upset, but satisfied that my fae was finally free to be part of me. I could finally feel what she felt. Her emotions were tricky, swinging from high to low day to day.
I soon found learned that it was not just my fairy emotions going mad, but also my hormones as I was carrying a wee babe within me. I was overjoyed, my husband and I had been dreaming of this day for the whole year and a half we had been married. The first few months were tough because I was so sick. I had so many emotions that were new and foreign. I created a little cave in my bedroom, curled up with my computer. I didn’t have the energy to create anything physically, so I spend my days playing World of Warcraft making fictional jewels, gizmos, and gadgets with my different elven characters. I withdrew from my real life friends and delved into the online world, making friends with people all over the world.
I missed my friends, but I was worried that they would not understand the drastic changes happening to me. I lost twenty-five pounds in the first three months, not able to eat much more than soda crackers. I was so sick. I thought I might waste away. My child was using up all the resources I had (glad I was not all that thin prior to pregnancy). I had trouble relating to the wee creature inside of me. I dreamed of whom the baby would grow up to be, but it was fuzzy in my mind, until I found more about this child. When I learned that my baby was a boy, we gave him his name, Cohen Robert, and he suddenly became real to me. I began to feel him move, responding to my voice with little nudges.
I finally began putting on an appropriate amount of weight. I felt good again and headed out into the sunshine. I found soft and shiny clothes to drape my growing belly in, drawn to bright greens and deep purples. I felt a glow radiating out of me that had been missing. I began to nest, making my home sparkle with fairy creativity. Cohen’s room became an African Plain, a savannah with roaming giraffes nibbling on trees, inspired by music from the Lion King Broadway show. My belly swelled in the final months.
Cohen came into the world a week late (just like his mama, always late to everything) while the season shifted from autumn to winter. I knew right away that he had my fanciful spirit. He loved music, bright colors, and shiny things. The first year of his life left no room for me to separate myself from my fairy. I was one with her. Her spirit was my will to survive during the dark months that followed. Her empathy became mine. I feel what others feel so completely now that it changes my mood very easily. I am part wild fae, part human now. I love what she loved. I create what she would create. My love for nature has increased by leaps and bounds. I do my best to protect the world I live in.
Last month, we moved into a new house. We painted it in bright colors. It has gardens and more room to flit and fly. My wild soul craves the outdoors. I sit in the sunshine glimmering away digging in the earth. My desire to eat foods that my hands have helped cultivate has increased as well. Clothing that is plain and manufactured no longer appeals to me. I long for clothes of old made of leather, lace, brocade, and lovely trim. I long to make things; to create what I wear, eat, and handle every day, with my own two hands. I am now one with my fae.