Showing posts with label Fables. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fables. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Fables and Fairy Tales

Once Upon a Time…

What is it about this phrase that captivates our collective consciousness? We all love a fairy tale. Yes, guys you can admit it. We are all friends here. Is it the happily ever after ending? Surely it isn’t Prince Charming or the kiss that leads to bliss. Is it the thought of living with seven little men in the woods? No, it’s none of these, is it? We can make our own happy ending; we no longer need anyone to do it for us. As for the Big Bad Wolf, we can be the Big, Bad Cougar if we so choose, so why the enduring charm of the fairy tale? At this most magical time of the year, let’s take a moment to try and understand the mystique of the simple fairy tale. Those parables, myths, fables and legends which stay within our culture and bring meaning to us.

Why do these stories bewitch and enchant us? They are the same tales, retold and revised. From Cinderella to Snow White remixed into Beauty and the Beast and Pretty Woman. We watch cartoons, read books and comic books, watch movies, the children’s books evolve into the grown-up versions, and we still watch the movies, read the books and continue to love them. A sad, ugly little girl gets a chance to spend one night away from their usual humdrum existence. Let’s say she gets to stay out late, leaving a shoe behind, because she wants to get home before she gets caught…before the spell is broken.
Exactly what is it that resonates within us to make a story like this timeless? It is because we are that sad, ugly, scared little child. At one point in our lives, we have all been waiting for someone to notice how very special we are, behind those braces on our teeth and thick glasses. Fairy tales are our broken experiences- that is why they are classics. The stories continue to swirl and develop around us as we grow. As we break and mend, the stories do the same. They give us something to believe in, something bigger than ourselves.

Be strong.
Find the beauty within.

Cinderella isn’t the only tale that charms us. The non-fiction story of Anne Boleyn intrigues to this day because Anne, as a young girl who wasn’t considered beautiful, still captured the heart of a king and changed the destiny of a nation and history itself, all for love. Although the story of Anne Boleyn had a tragic ending during her lifetime, the romantic concept remains with us to this day and has made her story with Henry VIII immortal, a love that time cannot erase.

Consider how many different ways stories like The Wizard of Oz, Snow White, Romeo and Juliet, Batman, Superman lure us…they all teach us lessons of right and wrong. The stories are rewoven, retold over the years. How do fairy tales stay popular for so long? We fill in the gaps with ourselves, and as our culture changes, we bring our stories with us. Each generation brings its insight, concepts and ideas into the paradigm. Thus has it ever been throughout the human experience. On a cultural level, we adapt as our society reinvents itself. Hence, the continuing popularity.

Sleeping Beauty awakens at the right moment.
Superman fights for truth and goodness.
Romeo and Juliet remind us that there is a love so bright, life itself becomes dim in comparison.

Fairy tales break the key rules of character development. With their quirks and strange nuances, the characters of fairy tales are one dimensional, when reading the traditional versions. The same could be said for many of our most retold stories. We project ourselves into the stories as a method of filling in the missing pieces. It is a process of identification…self-identification that brings the stories to life.

Could this be the attraction? When a character and a story gives us spaces, we fill them with our imaginations? With so much to explore, there’s no end to the possibilities, are there? The end results are personal and compelling.

If the ugly duckling can become a swan and the lonely child can grow up to conquer the world, anything can happen. Does the secret lie in the fact that we all want to believe in the magic of possibilities? We believe deep within ourselves that dreams can come true?

We continue to immerse ourselves in fictional, mystical realms filled with magical people and evocative fantasies, even if the story reflects a contemporary setting. Many yarns continue to enchant, no matter how often we spin them anew.

What story captures your imagination every time it is retold?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sympathy For The Devil - Bloody Valentine Day Blog Hop

Atlanta Georgia, 2013

You wonder - is it ever going to change? You hate to ask - is it ever going to change because change does not always mean for the better. The more things change the more they stay the same. Mon dieu, as he would say. How long can you endure some things and still have the courage to hope, to dream of a better time? Or, is it easier to sink into the cesspool of despair and acceptance?

It’s the moment you fall – head first into the abyss. You never fully understand why - do you merely stumble or does someone or something push you? You only know that you are headed for that area of blackness and despondency where no one can reach you. Your only hope, even if it is a small distant dream, is that one spark - one person, one idea - will pull you back and somehow bring you back from the depths of misery. Once in the abyss - that place - it feels as if even God is wet with rain. There is no salvation for your soul and no one can save you, except yourself, so they say. 

Sadly, I am in that place now. I take my coat from the closet and put it on; making sure it is buttoned before I go out tonight. I pick up the scarf on the table underneath the entry way mirror and glance at my pale face in the mirror.

Oh lord, I look horrible. My hair is too long and it’s been a long time since  since I ate. I placed pale makeup carefully on my face and hands to hide the decomposition of my skin. Of course, hands can always be covered by gloves at this time of year. One thing – at least I’m blonde and blue eyed, so my skin is pale by nature. Once I eat, I will return to my normal look. This is all part of the sorcery that damned, son of a bitch Pierre von Minzle did to me. I was lucky to get away from him after he was in Atlanta a few months ago. Tonight will be the first time I’ve been out since that night.

I place the scarf around my neck and walk out the door, locking it behind me. Why, I wonder? The monster lives in the condo. Why should I worry about someone getting inside?  

That asshole did this to me. I can’t believe I fell for his sweet talk and let him get to me with all that past life talk and all that ultra-terrestrial existentialism. Damn him and that accent, those expensive clothes, that long, black hair and that frigging guitar. Since when do I believe anything a guitar player says?

Maybe it really was voodoo.

Good lord. What was I thinking?

Finally, the elevator arrives and takes me to the lobby of the high rise. It’s been four months since I have been outside. Four months. I’ve been in that condo attempting to adjust to this new reality. Hard to believe that it’s taken this long just to learn how to walk. But, it’s given me time to study and get prepared to enter my new life with this damned disease or affliction or whatever it is. If no one can save me but myself, then so be it. I am prepared.

As I walk onto Peachtree Street, actually I’m so weak I practically stagger into the street in the still of the night. I pull the collar of my black wool coat around my neck to keep the frigid, damp air from my icy skin. Atlanta can be so cold in February.

The Pomba Gira doll Pierre gave me - or whoever he will be this time - is still in the pocket of the coat. He said I could use this doll to call for him if I ever needed him. He doesn’t know it, but I’ve been reading about Pomba Gira and I know just what to do now.

Oh, I am so hungry that I have forgotten my manners. Please allow me to introduce myself. I am Mary Montague. We will see each other again soon, I’m sure.

Actually, you know, I am just like you. Well, we are somewhat similar, except my soul is owned by another person and don’t get me on that tangent again. I will explain more to you the next time we meet. Tonight, I must get something to eat so that I can get my strength back.  

Once I am stronger, I will look for that mother fucker Pierre. I know I can lure him back. Once I get him, I may slowly torment him or maybe just get it done and over with – a swift painless death. Even if I decide to fuck him to death, maybe I can at least find a way to get my soul back before his demise.

He will at least tell me how to get my soul back before he dies, whichever way I choose. He does talk too much…  

You better wish him luck because he is going to need it. 

(c) Voodoo Lounge Publishing 2013