No, this is not a post about homosexuals.
My brother said to me the other day, "You know -- you really can only have one emotion at a time." We were talking about how I'd been feeling sad a lot, but how certain small things made me happy in a big way all the time. He said, "It's like that line in Peter Pan -- that Fairies are really little, but they have big feelings, and so they can only have one emotion at a time. You're like a fairy! Biiig big emotions ... one at a time." I took this as a huge compliment. Not only do I love Fairies, I love the idea of really committing to something 100% and then moving on to the next big something. It is both a strength and a weakness of mine.
When I was little I really believed in Fairies. The nature-y kind. I once discovered a little patch of daffodils in a neighbor's abandoned lot. I cleared a little bit of earth for them to grow and would lie on my belly and talk to them for some time. I was delighted to see them come back year after year. I knew there was something magic going on, and was content to carry on with the magic in my own little spot, feeling very much like I was complicit in their inexplicable being. I knew that "real" Fairies didn't exist, the ones with wings and wands that Disney tried to sell. But I also knew that if Fairies did exist, they probably wouldn't show themselves to me right out. Maybe they were just little balls of light. I could be patient. I wanted them to know that I was there, and cool with whatever they were up to. You know, just in case.
Likewise I remember sitting in a warm spot on the living room floor, gazing at the dust as it caught the light on a Sunday morning. Thinking to myself that there was something wonderful going on. Wondering if the specks of dust had thoughts and feelings. Creating stories for them in my head. Exhaling and watching them go crazy. (I certainly did know how to entertain myself...). These particles were not fairies but I was certain that they had some kind of magic, and perhaps Fairies would be close by ...
Starting from a very young age I've dreamt about flying. Just ... feeling a slight updraft and lifting my foot, floating off the ground. One of my first words was "higher!" [said on a swing], my very earliest memory was being carried -- feeling like I was floating above the ground without explanation. So much of me was content to bask in this feeling of floating, of sort of drifting above people, observing them and not really engaging.
I know that a few years ago I posted on this blog about a little girl that I met while couchsurfing in Finland. Ronja, named after the girl pirate from Finnish storybooks. Their house was full of magic, and I was so inspired by their lives and all that I saw. Tented hallways, bead curtains. The best and most well-trained dog I'd ever met. Plants with butterflies in them and crystals that cast rainbows everywhere on the floor and walls. I took mental notes for my own magic little place.
When I finally did get to move into my own house, I moved in with a friend. Prior to moving in, she was already obsessing about household rules and how it just had to be for her to tolerate living in any situation. She was going on about how we had to have rotating cleaning schedules or paper towels or something, an I thought in absolute seriousness about my cohabitation prerequisites and blurted out, "Yeah! And we have to have crystals in the windows to invite the Fairies in!" At which point she was like -- "Ok?"
But it's true. Having rainbows dance on the floor is an invitation for daily magic which you have to make at least a small effort to bring into your life. At my work there are dried flowers at the desk, and of course Mr. Stink, my little stinkbug friend. In my room, stars and garlands hang from the ceiling. Little attempts at my own Fairy bower...
So ... these are my thoughts. My wish in life is to live more like a Fairy. A little ball of light that comes when it is invited or feels safe, or simply when it wants to cause some trouble, makes the world a little more delightful and takes on more than it can handle most of the time. Biig big emotions, one at a time.
notes - Mel Chin talk at MCAD
1 day ago