leaning in to magic.

fairy tales

i may (or may not) have had a few chocolate martinis. in my defense, i needed to break in a new bar set that santa brought me for christmas. (side story: on no less than 3 separate occasions since christmas morning, i have almost destroyed christmas magic for my child. the biggest fuck up being the one in which i referred to the big playhouse set [75% OFF YOU GUYS!!] that santa brought her as being, i quote, “the dollhouse i bought you…” and then her, turning to me in hurt shock going, “but mommy, YOU didn’t buy this…santa got it for me!” and then me going (internally) oh shit! and then (externally), “wait, what? did i just say *I* bought that for you???? oh, baby. i’m so sorry…you know how mommy’s brain has been lately…what i meant to say was, stop writing in marker all over the dollhouse santa worked so hard to BRING you…”) life is hard, everyone. then you ruin a child’s christmas magic. in a tremendous example of children’s adherence to and belief in magic, she relaxed and instantly bought my explanation; she wants santa claus to exist as bad as i do.

and i promise i was NOT drinking choco-tinis when that santa mess-up almost happened.

today i took down a few holiday decorations, but i stopped. the holiday decorations are depressing me so much i can’t even take them down. i ended up watching episodes of deep south paranormal on the chiller channel. mostly because i grew completely fascinated with the man with the very long hair and very long beard. i think i like men with beards now. they feel safe for some reason. and also i was utterly fascinated with the southern drawl. we have it here in atlanta, but it’s been so diluted. when i hear the deep south drawl, it utterly fascinates me (this goes back, i’m sure, to my inability to say no to a man with an accent). and ghosts…i’d really like to interact with a (friendly) ghost.

then i watched an entire afternoon of classic movies on the turner classic movie channel: a star is born, cat on a hot tin roof. and then i switched over (after an absorbed deep south paranormal marathon) to another movie channel and watched a movie called you can count on me with young laura linney, young mark ruffalo, and young matthew broderick. and now i’m writing this drinking (or not drinking) chocolate martinis and watching awakenings with robin williams and robert deniro. both young. (everyone was so young today!) and also: i think awakenings is about so much more than just people waking up from disease-induced sleep; i think it’s a movie about all of us, about what it really means to be fully awake, authentically functioning, making peace with ourselves and the past. also: robin williams’ huge smile makes me both happy and sad, and i sat and pathetically sobbed at the part where penelope ann miller dances with robert deniro to silent music and his body is momentarily soothed into peace.

other things i did today: i bought materials to make a vision board/treasure map. i do one every year; last year i tried making an entire journal that i intended to add to throughout the year. that idea went kablam pretty quick. so i’m going classic – got some poster board, a few magazines (that i’m reading first), good glue. so the idea behind these, if you haven’t done one, is that they’re visual prayers – you find pictures, words, whatever; things that represent things you’d like to bring into your life…or things you’re just drawn to for some inexplicable reason. you cut them out and glue them on your poster board in a collage, leaving spaces here and there so god (or whatever) can get in. and then you keep it somewhere you can see it every day. the more you look at it, the more it’s able to manifest. i’ve never met anyone who’s done this and not gotten at least 1-2 things off their vision board. (and no, i actually don’t care if you find that hokey and dumb. magic only works if you believe in it.)

and i have an idea for a story. i think i want it to be a fairy tale (no connection to the navel-gazing, sad drivel i posted the other day in a fit of depressive angst). i like fantasy, and so i think i’ll add in a lot of that…i don’t think i want a modern day fairy tale; i like the idea of world-building. i think there should be a dragon. and a witch (or three). and definitely elements of joseph campbell’s the hero’s journey. and distinct flavors of feminism; there will be nooo saving of damsels in distress. girls can do it for themselves, in my fairy tale.

so i’m going to get started on the research part – the reading of fairy tales (i like the tone of irish ones the best), and the reacquainting with campbell’s hero’s journey elements, and the creation of a world and its characters. (i already have the plot elements kind of written down.)

and i’m feeling very, very quiet these days. sort of detached, like i’m really fighting off fully giving in to a full-on depression. if you could have seen me on sunday and monday…let’s just say sunday and monday (and christmas night) weren’t my best. and i’ll just be very up front and honest: i am much better, but still not okay…can’t decide if it’s the weather, or my situation, or what. i am fighting it, though. i am fighting it really hard. …though, having said that, can i also tell you about an article i read tonight by martha beck? it that talked about how the key to happiness is leaning in to the pain and the sadness. the key to happiness is to watch your pain and sadness as if you were watching a movie. to note, to observe what’s going on (sadness: i feel like shit and i will never be okay. observation: yet here i sit, eating pretzel sticks dipped in peanut butter, making chocolate martinis, concocting a story). and then to really just give in to it, to allow the feelings to move through you, and then…let go. (it’s the letting go that’s always been the tricky part for me.)

which is why i’m kind of drawn to the writing of a fairy tale. you guys all know that the brothers grimm did not, actually, write cinderella and sleeping beauty and beauty and the beast the way disney portrayed them? and you understand that, actually, j.m. barrie’s original peter pan is quite dark and frightening? i think the best fairy tales are always full of darkness and pain; it’s the leaning in part that matters. dark stories make us lean in to our own pain, in ways maybe we’re reluctant to in real life. (this is why storytelling matters.)

sooo…going to go do that now. will try not to ruin santa claus in the process.