It used to be a private thing – so private, it probably counts as a secret- but then I started painting and making shadowboxes and talking with people. Maybe I should have skipped the talking part. That will always get me in trouble. Actually, I don’t say ‘fairytale’ often, but it’s what I’m thinking. More specifically, I’m thinking: these are fairytales. Not all. Not even most. But some.
Fairytales have always been a necessity to me. A practice. Impossible to unravel from real life.
Since I was very young, I’ve catalogued places and scenes. A lot were predictable, but stuff that isn’t supposed to have fairytale to it, did. For me. Suburban empty streets with only the army of sprinklers at work on a Sunday morning. Farmer taverns, creaking and cool in their shadows. Factories.
I collected sensations, aromas, shades of light, textures of air and sounds.
Most of all, I captured what I was feeling, little fireflies of memories. It wasn’t all stuff that charmed. I also took note of those things that were disturbing. Psychologically. Dark didn’t bother me as much as – for instance – a plastic, air-conditioned, overly manicured neighborhood. I can still feel myself clench and choke and bat away some weird despair when one of those things appears or resurfaces in a daydream.
When I grew older and heard the contempt people had for fairytales, I didn’t wince or blush, embarrassed. I didn’t think I was practicing fairytales. I understood it was disdain reserved for those who thought they could escape the demands of real life, typically by marrying someone who could finance that escape.
Then I grew MORE older and realized that fairytales are alive and well in even the most sophisticated circles. If I had more time to think about it, I think I’d think about whether they’re inescapable.
Right now, I find myself painting the occasional sweet thingie. They aren’t deliberately sweet. They just turn out that way. A little Jessica Rabbit going on, only in reverse.
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I have pages and pages and PAGES of notes about what fairytale-ing is good for. Why it’s good. For me.
But I think I’ve written enough for today.