Friday, February 26, 2010

I DO believe in fairies--I do! I do!

A few months ago, I was tucking The Midget in bed and out of nowhere, she burst into tears. Hard, fierce tears, the kind that defy interruption by language or hugs. I could only hold her hand until the storm subsided and she could speak again.

"Mom," she sniffed, rubbing her nose across my forearm, "I just want it to be real. Magic and fairies."

I hugged her and snuck a handkerchief into her hand, and told her the same story I've told her half a dozen times, the story about seeing the little ball of light dancing in the cemetery, the one the cat saw, too. I don't know if she believed it, but I did, and that was what mattered. The strength of my belief let her go to sleep that night.

As strange as it is to admit at age 31 and as a die-hard materialist, there is a part of me thatstill believes that magic is real, that ghosts could exist and that I saw a fairy in the Gardiner cemetery. It that inherent insistence upon believing in the impossible that feeds the words within me. It the core dissonance that shapes my song.

Will anything ever change my mind about all these impossible things? I doubt it. No matter how hard I've thought about the evidence, I have stubbornly resisted giving them up. I feel certain it's because they do exist. I know they do. I have met the Faery Queen, riding her white horse. I have seen a girl become possessed by a demon and vomit up green goo. I have battled the powers of evil with my rowan wand and read magic back into the world from the Book of Light. And with a trip to the library, I can do it again.

I guess what I believe in is the power of books. From the moment I slip inside the front cover, I am no longer myself and I no longer live in Portland, Oregon. I am absolutely absorbed in the world created by the story, and the lessons I learn in those pages, I take to heart. The part of me that remembers the tale believes entirely in the mysterious things within that world.

I tell myself that's all it is. An imagination, fed by books. A love of all stories set in the implausible worlds of fantasy.

But about that fairy. I did see a dancing ball of light in the cemetery, and it was Equinox, a magical time of year. The cat saw it, too. And we don't have fireflies in Oregon.


Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

That's so sweet!

I think writers *should* believe in fairies. And most of us still do...

Mystery Writing is Murder

Christie said...

Beautiful post, Wendy.

JohnR said...

As rational and skeptical as I am, fantasy is my medium, my mode. There are some human truths that can't be expressed anywhere else.