Thursday, December 31, 2009

And Winter Came

It is unmistakeably winter here

Everything is white. The sky is white, the ground is white, the air is white. All is white except the bare brown branches.

The river behind my house is covered with snow, the overhanging branches glancing over the frozen surface. The woods seem naked and empty without leaves to hide behind. The trees grow blurry with strange winter mist, melting together in the distance. It is so cold now that it hurts to go outside. The fields are empty, choppy stocks of grass rising from the snow. I used to look out over those fields as a child and imagine stories and figures there.

Sometimes I still do.

I know I have been terribly absent here in the last few months and I am sorry. I will try to do better!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

In the Weeping Brook

There is a willow grows aslant a brook,
That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream;
There with fantastic garlands did she come
Of crowflowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples,
That liberal shepherds give a grosser name,
But our cold maids do dead men's fingers call them.
There, on the pendant boughs her coronet weeds
Clamb'ring to hang, an envious sliver broke;
When down her weedy trophies and herself
Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide;
And, mermaid-like, awhile they bore her up;
Which time she chaunted snatches of old tunes;
As one incapable of her own distress,
Or like a creature native and indu'd
Unto that element: but long it could not be
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pull'd the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Tale from Cair Paravel: The Peasant's Tale

This is the first part of a Tale of Three Strands.

Many years ago, in a faraway country, there lay a beautiful valley, fruitful and pleasant and green as an emerald. On one side of it rose a great wall of mountains; on the other stretched an endless forest, so deep that none had ever seen the center of it. The valley soil was rich and fertile, fed by a clear, sweet river that poured down from the mountains when the snow melted each spring. The forest was thick with game, and its trees supplied the people with lumber for their homes and firewood to warm them through the long winters. During the summer sheep frolicked in the pastures, and in springtime the plum trees burst into flower, covering the landscape in clouds of pink and white petals. In that jeweled valley, among the streams and the soft green hills, there lived a peasant girl. It is with her that our story begins.

The girl lived with her parents on a little farm at the edge of the woods, where they raised goats and chickens and grew barley in the fields. Every morning she rose at dawn to gather milk and eggs for the family's breakfast. It was on one such morning, as she made her way from her family's cottage to the pen where they kept the goats, that the girl heard a sound stranger than any she could have imagined.

It was an eerie sound, high and ringing and reedy, like the whistle of the wind through a crack in the roof, or the sound a wet fingertip makes around the mouth of glass. It seemed to come from nowhere and everywhere at once, echoing, filling her with wonder and sorrow until it seemed her heart would break. Then it faded as suddenly as it had come, and the world was quiet again, stirred only by twitters of birdsong.

She stood transfixed, her shawl pulled tight around her, searching in stunned silence for the source of the sound. The air was still; nothing moved but the slinking mist and the plum blossoms as they drifted aimlessly on the breeze. What had she heard? she wondered. What could make such an unearthly sound?

Suddenly it came again, and she bolted, her shawl slipping from her shoulders as she raced down the hillside. She almost stumbled, pelting down, down, over the sloping earth, the sound growing louder and clearer the closer she came to the woods. It died as she reached the forest, and as she came to a stop before the shadowed trees, suddenly all thoughts of it faded to a whisper in her mind. Before her now lay something far more astonishing.

Just beyond the trees, glimmering in the haze of falling petals, stood the most wondrous creature she had ever beheld. It had the body of a stag, yet instead of antlers a single, shimmering horn rose from its head, and while a deer would have been made of flesh and bone, this creature was formed from seamless, sparkling glass, its eyes as blue as sapphires in its crystalline face. It moved like a ghost through the fog, its footsteps ringing clear as bells in the stillness.

Her breath caught. "Unicorn," she whispered, and the word seemed to hang in the air like a spell as she spoke it. Trembling, she stared in disbelief at the glowing beast before her. It was then that she saw the arrow. It rose from the creature's flanks like a ragged thorn, dark against the paleness of its body. White blood trickled from the wound, dripping down its leg like watery milk. The unicorn raised its shining head and let out a long, whistling moan that made tears sting her eyes. It was the sound, the call that she had heard from the hilltop. The creature had been calling her. That was why she had come, why she was here. She had to help it. She stepped forward, slowly, carefully, afraid the unicorn would spring away. She could see its limbs tensing, its blue eyes growing wide. "Please don't run," she breathed. "I won't harm you."

The creature stood silent among the trees, its jewel eyes fixed on her. She took another step forward. She was shaking, every hair standing on end. At last, she stretched out her hand and touched her fingers to its glassy skin. It trembled at the touch, its sides heaving, but to her relief, it stayed, and when it grew calmer, she led it away from the forest, towards the hills. Slowly, slowly, they began to climb the winding path up to her mother and father's house. But the unicorn was too weak; it collapsed, letting out a cry that shook the hillsides. The girl scrambled to its side, trying desperately to help it to its feet, but to no avail. She ran back up the hill, calling for help, the unicorn's cries ringing behind her like wails. At last she reached the farm and found her father, and together they brought the injured creature safely into the house.

They laid it by the hearth, where it glowed like a molten ruby in the firelight, weeping tears that turned to pearls in their hands. Her mother tended its wounds as gently as she could, but the creature seemed so weak that they feared it would not live past sundown.

Hours passed and the girl never left the unicorn's side. Day slipped into evening and evening faded into night, but she would not be parted from it. Her mother brought her a blanket, and with the soft warmth of the fire on her face and the unicorn's gentle breathing for a lullaby, the girl soon slipped into quiet, dreamless slumber.

When she woke the next morning however, it was no longer a unicorn that lay beside her. It its place slept the most beautiful man she had ever seen. He was white as ivory, with golden lashes and hair like pale honey, so perfect that her heart skipped a beat. Beside him lay a crystal dagger, its silver hilt twisted with filigree and afire with gems. Glancing down at his leg, she saw that it was wrapped with her mother's bandages, the fabric stained red now instead of white. Was this the unicorn that had fallen asleep beside her last night?

With baited breath she reached out to touch him, half-convinced she was dreaming. He stirred, and blinking in the light, stared up at her with eyes as dark as sapphires, as blue as the unicorn's eyes had been. The girl fell back in alarm, but he caught her hand. "Don't be afraid," he said, and his voice was so soft and his face so kind that she began to calm a little. "I am a King's son," he told her. "For a year and a day I have been bound to wander as a unicorn, unable to return to my home and my people. But you have lifted the spell, and saved my life." And with that he bent down and kissed her hand.

Woken by the prince's voice, the girl's parents arrived. Seeing the unicorn gone and a young man in its place, her father and mother were astounded, and together they listened in silent wonder as the Prince told them his tale.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Dull Flame of Desire

by Fyodor Tyutchev

I love your eyes, my dear.
Their splendid, sparkling fire
When suddenly you raise them so
To cast a swift, embracing glance
Like lightning flashing in the sky

But there's a charm that's greater still
When my love's eyes are lowered
When all is fired by passion's kiss
And through the downcast lashes
I see the dull flame of desire

Photo by Chadwick Tyler

Monday, October 19, 2009


Lately I keep having the most gorgeous, vivid dreams, only to watch them dissolve as I wake until there's nothing left but fragments. With every dream that's lost, I wish more and more that I had that dream-recording device from Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, so I could still remember them.

Last week I dreamed I was a young girl living in a small mid-western town. It was summer, and the days were warm. The light was always a wheat-like shade of gold, with the wind dancing in the grass. I fell in love with a half-indian boy with brown hair and eyes like a fawn's who lived on the nearby reservation. He owned horses and road bare-back in the rodeo races, and I was constantly afraid he'd hurt himself. Sometimes I came and helped out on his farm, and he would take me riding. Then at night we would lie in the bed of his dad's pickup and watch the stars together.

#1 by

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hello Everyone!

I'm back! I've actually been here for about a week now, but I've been too tired to want to write. For some reason I find catching up on my journals a real chore, so I think I will slowly share tidbits of the trip with you instead of writing big long entries.

Since we've returned I've started looking for work, joined a job hunting class, gotten sick (again) and spent quite a lot of time at the All American Quarterhorse Congress with the family. I've been reading about Queen Victoria and Tasha Tudor and old-world superstitions. I'm planning to alter a skirt of mine, and a buy a petticoat when I can, and I've been looking at pictures of young Goldie Hawn from the 60's and now I'm in love with her hair. I want so badly to watch The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe again, those scenes where Lucy first enters Narnia always fills me with childish wonder, and the end always makes me cry. I've also discovered the song "Fireflies" by Owl City. So sparkling, and light and beautiful. It makes me think of what living inside a snow globe must feel like.

Friday, August 28, 2009

On the Open Road

Ever since I was a child I've dreamed of packing up my meager possessions and setting off to see the world in a little gypsy caravan like Mr. Toad. It's been a while since I've been on a road trip, and lately I've been positively itching to be back "on the open road". So you can imagine how excited and delighted I am at the prospect of a month-long excursion across the USA and back again.

I'll be seeing so many wonderful things, Mammoth Cave, Yellowstone, Las Vegas, and so many different landscapes and climates! My family will be leaving on Tuesday (just three days, heavens!) and I will most likely be out of touch the whole time. I'll miss you all!
Then next month I should be back with many wonderful stories and pictures to share!

Until then, why not entertain yourself by checking out the source of all the lovely images from this entry. There is so much creativity just per square inch there it's amazing, and I'm sure you'll find something to keep you amused.
Hope to see you again soon!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Can you imagine...

... walking through town, going about your business, and suddenly this song, and this scene appears before you? I don't know how I'd be able to leave.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Two-Hearted Dream

"They say for every high there must be a low
And every sun ascending a lonesome moon will grow
Drive my heart, drive my heart, into the fire of a burning heart's desire
The only spells you'll be seeing, do you hear me coming in my blue dream
Lonely, lonely, lonely, his mother told me
The dream of love is a two-hearted dream
Lonely, lonely, lonely, his mother told me
The dream of love is a two-hearted dream..."

Lately when I close my eyes and open my mind, this song is all I hear.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Along with my upcoming month-long, continent-crossing vacation in September, the one thing I am most stoked about is the release of Imogen Heap's new album, Ellipse. Are any of you familiar with Imogen Heap? She is a brilliant songwriter/musician/singer from the UK, and was formerly part of the awesome band Frou Frou (best known for the utterly glorious song "Let Go".) Her music moves in this endless loop of gorgeous electronic sounds, classical instruments and heavenly vocals and her songs change from whimsical to haunting at a moment's notice. She writes, orchestrates and sings all her own music, and provides most of the sounds herself (whether it involves heading out the park and recording passing jayhawks, or banging on empty carpet tubes with CD cases.) She is ridiculously inspiring, insanely talented and her album Speak for Yourself is one of the few CD's I could take to a deserted island and never get tired of.

Although I've loved Frou Frou forever, it was only about a year and a half ago that I finally tracked down Imogen's solo work. (You could say this is kind of cheating, since coming so late to the party cut down hugely on time spent in impatient "omygosh, when is the new album coming" thumb-twiddling, while the rest of her fans had to wait through the last four years.) However, as she has been sharing tidbits from the new CD via Youtube for quite awhile, I did become very impatient, especially to finally hear the finished version of a little song called "Canvas". Thankfully her newest work is finally all wrapped-up and will finally be released this August. And I could not be more excited. So, I thought I would share some music videos with you ("Headlock" is just lovely, and "Come Here Boy" is one of her best known songs.) Also, a little trailer for her new album!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Summer Days

Today was a little chilly and now that it's dark out the air is quite cold. I'm all snuggled up in a thick, wooly sweater with a cup of hot chocolate to keep me warm. I've had such a lovely day. This morning I got a call from work saying I didn't have to come in because of the cold, so instead I went to the waterpark just for fun. I paddled around the little river on a big yellow life ring, chased waves in the pool and ate a chocolate and peanut butter sundae.

This afternoon I visited the nearby school. My family goes there often (usually when my brothers and father want to play basketball) and it's become one of the things I look forward to most each summer now, because each year the science teacher plants a little garden out behind the building. I'm always curious to see what new flowers have been planted and which old ones are returning, and I'm always on the look out for the pretty little things she hides there: glass marbles, snakeskins, windchimes, and smooth stones.

I brought my camera, and my little ship, and a pair of my favorite earrings that you've never seen. Everything was so pretty, I couldn't resist taking pictures of it all. Then when I was my camera was full of pictures and I was satisfied, I lay down on the grass and watched the clouds until it was time to go home.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Wind in Her Sails

I found this sweet little ship a few days ago. Isn't it lovely? I don't know what I should name it, though. Any ideas?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Rock a Bye Baby

The randomest, most distant memory just came back to me this evening. I don't know what brought it to mind. I can't even recall the last time I thought about it. But today I remembered it like I was there. I remembered being a little girl, almost three years old, sitting on the edge of my bed with my mother on one side and my younger brother on the other, all three of us clustered together like little birds. I remember the softly glowing night light, and how big my mother's stomach was, and I remember how quiet it was as we all sang "Rock a Bye Baby" to the little baby growing inside her. Even years later, as a little boy, "Rock a Bye Baby" was one of his favorite songs. And even then I wondered if our singing was why.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Unicorn Maiden

Although I was never one of those girls who went through a "horse stage", I've always had a special place in my heart for unicorns. I've been drawn to them for their beauty, for their fragility and rarity, but most of all for their purity. As Marianna Mayer said "the unicorn is the only fabulous beast that does not seem to have been conceived out of human fears. In even the earliest references he is fierce yet good, selfless yet solitary, but always mysteriously beautiful."

I watched The Last Unicorn this week. I found parts of it strange, and a bit childish, but overall it was entertaining, thought-provoking, and very beautiful. How true its moral, that in order to really live, to fully embrace the joys and wonders of life, you must also welcome sorrow and pain. You cannot love without letting yourself be hurt, but if you live your life without loving, than yours is a shallow, selfish exhistance, and not worthy of being called a life at all.

After finishing the movie, I was suddenly inspired to make a unicorn horn, or alicorn, for myself. I gathered together paper, silver trim, my glue gun and lots of glittery nail polish, and whipped one up that very evening. And here it is!

Monday, June 15, 2009

On the Water Again

I haven't written anything lately because of my new job. I'm now working at a water park not far from my home, and it's keeping me very busy. The work is hard and long and inglorious, and leaves me footsore and exhausted, but it's near the water I've been missing so much. When I walk through the park, I can see it, and hear the sound of it, and there are sea gulls here. So far I have only been able to listen and smell and watch others swimming, but hopefully on Friday I'll be able to go for a visit just for fun, since I get free entrance now that I'm employed there. I also hope that soon I'll be able to move to the cashiering job I was promised. There is a little shop at the waterpark that sells swimming equiptment and souvenirs, and this is where I really want to work. They have shelves full of beautiful little things: bottles of shells, miniature sailing ships, shiny brass spyglasses, old diving helmets, and wooden chests with heavy locks for hiding pirate treasure. What better job than whiling away the afternoon surrounded by such lovely things?

Friday, May 29, 2009

A Tiny Tea-Party

Mexie and Bridie
by Gwendolyn Brooks

A tiny tea-party
Is happening today.
Pink cakes, and nuts and bon-bons on
A tiny, shiny tray.
It’s out within the weather,
Beneath the clouds and sun.
And pausing ants have peeked upon,
As birds and God have done.
Mexie’s in her white dress,
and Bridie’s in her brown.
There are no finer Ladies
Tea-ing in the town.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Song of the Sea

Lately there is a longing in my heart, in my bones, in my skin. I want the blue sky, and the wind, and the glittering expanse of the ocean. Once I lived on it, in a little boat on the Puget Sound that smelled of must and teak oil and Simple Green. I spent almost five years there, clambering over the decks, feeding the ducks, and geese and seagulls, sitting on the pier and dangling my legs in the water. My family moved away when I was eleven, and I haven't really thought about it since. But the last month I've been missing the water so much it's hard to describe.

I miss the wind-chime sound of the ropes hitting the masts, the soft crash of the waves beyond the breaker, the way the sun winked little diamonds on the water. I miss seeing darting schools of fish through the cloudy water, or glimpsing a cluster of seals, nothing but sleek grey heads in the distance.

I miss being underwater, the feel of it splashing on my skin, the way it made my hair float up in a cloud of softness. I miss the droplets that stuck to my eyelashes, and how the salt would stay on my clothes long after the water had dried.

I miss the ships passing through the harbor, each one with a name, and cargo and a history completely it's own. I miss the bright sails of the boats on summer day's, and the flags in the wind.

I miss collecting shells and stones along the rocky beaches, and trips out on the dinghy, trailing my fingers in the water, the sun beating down on me until my cheeks were pink and my knuckles dirty-brown. I miss the the seagulls crying, and the smell of salt and mold, watching the sunset splinter across the water and falling asleep to the gentle rocking of the waves.

I miss the sea.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Tale from Cair Paravel: Moonflowers

Once upon a time, deep in the forest, there was a cottage. The young girl who lived there was kind, but very shy, and chose to live alone, far from town and any of her neighbors. Some might have been desperately lonely there, with no friends or family for company, but the girl came to enjoy the seclusion. During the day she tended her garden, walking barefoot over the soft grass with the sun on her face and the sweet scent of flowers in the air. At night she would sit at her window and count the stars before falling asleep to the hum of crickets and birdsong.

However, there were days when isolation weighed on her like a stone and the silent emptiness of the house made her ache with loneliness. Yet the idea of reaching out to any of her distant neighbors seemed hopeless; she knew enough of them to see there would be very few kindred spirits among them, and, shy as she was, the thought of looking made her tremble.

And so she made the dolls.

Camille was the first, a delicate, pale doll who she dressed in lace and taffeta. Then came Valentine, the gentleman, dashing in crimson velvet and gold braid, and finally little Annette, wide-eyed, sweet-faced and innocent. The girl took her meals with the dolls, sitting them in chairs at the table and chatting to them as she ate; in the evenings she sat with them around the hearth, enjoying their company while she read or sewed, and when it was time for bed they slept on the window seat in her room, tucked comfortably among pillows and embroidered cushions. With them to talk to and spend time with the girl was rarely ever lonely, and she came to care for the dolls as if they were real people.

It was on the first day of summer that another figure entered the girl's life. That morning, as she was slowly brushing out her long hair, she happened to glance out the window. It was then that she saw the young man. Face down on the grass, his clothes and hair stained garnet with blood, he lay as still as a corpse in the sunlight. She rushed out of the house and into the garden and found him, though bruised and bleeding, still alive. Bringing him inside, she laid him on her bed, treating his wounds and washing the dirt from his skin.

Despite her care the young man remained unconscious, and she sat beside him all afternoon and into the night, afraid that he might never wake. For three days she kept constant vigil there, alert for the any sign of life. During those long hours, as he lay still and doll-like beside her, she began to talk to him, just as she would have Annette, Camille or Valentine. She told him about herself, of her life, of her shyness and loneliness, of her garden, her house, her dolls. Soon he became as familiar and dear to her as her three companions were.

At dawn on the fourth day he finally woke. The girl was delighted. She made him tea and hot soup and as he ate he told her his story. He was a tinker, making his living traveling from place to place, repairing pots and pans, sharpening blades and bringing the latest news from out of town. Thieves had attacked him on the road, robbed and beaten him and abandoned him in the woods. With the last of his strength he'd stumbled through the forest and at last had found her garden, only to collapse from exhaustion where she had found him.

During the following weeks the girl rarely left the tinker's side. As she had sat beside him those three days the girl had grown used him, and found that now she felt little of the fear she would have before. After so long in isolation having a real person to talk to was strange and wonderful, and she never tired of hearing his thoughts and feelings or stories of the places he'd been and the marvelous things he'd seen.

The young man had also lived a solitary life, with no family and no home to come back to each night, always moving, never staying in one place long enough to settle. He had grown lonely like that, though perhaps he hadn't realized it, and he found the company as delicious as she did. They spent their days around his bedside, telling each other of themselves and their lives, and he found he would have been happy to listen to her talk for ever. In the mornings when she went out to tend her garden he would move to the window to watch her, happy for just a glimpse of her.

As he grew stronger he began helping with housework and working on the garden with her, and as the weeks passed he grew well again. He could have left then and headed back down the road he'd started on and returned to his former lifestyle. Yet he stayed, unable to bear the thought of leaving her behind.

One day as the girl sat weeding in the garden he kneeled down beside her, holding a folded up handkerchief in his outstretched hands. Opening it she saw the seeds, and as he poured them into her hands he told her of the flowers that they would become. By day the buds stayed closed, wrapped up in their petals like pale sleepers, but at night they blossomed, opening wide to glow in the moonlight. He said he'd seen them years ago on his travels and, buying a pack of seeds, had promised himself that if he finally found a place to settle and make a home he would plant them there. He pressed the seeds into her hand, clasping it his own, and asked her to plant them for him. Then, leaning close, he whispered that he loved her and placed his kiss upon her trembling lips.

During the long days and weeks with him the girl had also fallen in love. But, afraid he would soon tire of such a simple and solitary life and leave, she had kept her feelings hidden, nursing her love in secret like a little flower. With his words it blossomed inside her until she thought she would burst with happiness and love. She sobbed into his shoulder in joy and relief, and he held her against him and tenderly kissed her tears away.

With her beloved beside her the girl no longer needed the dolls for company, but they were still her dear friends and she could not bear the thought of parting with them. Instead she moved them to a new home in a window seat overlooking the garden, and once a year, on the anniversary of the tinker's arrival, she dressed them in their best clothes and had a lovely dinner with them just as they had before.

Then when the moon was high she and her love would slip into the garden, walking bare foot, with the moonlight dappling spots of silver on their skin. The air still hung heavy with the fading fragrance of peonies, roses and lilies and above the stars glimmered like a string of pearls in the sky. Lit up like stars themselves in the dark, the girl and the tinker would meander slowly through the garden, fireflies floating in the air around them. It was then that the moonflowers, for that was what they were called, would bloom, unfurling to glow white and ethereal in the moonlight. Each evening the flowers blossomed anew, revealing their beauty again and again, and it seemed that every morning the love of the girl and the tinker blossomed again too, growing more and more beautiful with each dawn.

The End

Photo by

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Spring Arrives

I'm sitting at the computer with a big bowl of cold grapes. It is finally warm enough to have my window open. I love leaving the window open, catching snatches of birdsong, feeling the fresh air, the way the curtains dance in the breeze, the patterns of lace playing on my carpet.

The robin who has been visiting the nest in my family's tree has finally moved in, and brought his wife. The grass is now green again, and the woods behind our house are coming back to life. The trees along our street are covered in little red and green buds or torrents of white blossoms, and magnolias and tulip trees are opening. The neighbor's yards are exploding with color, tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, crocuses, and of course, dandelions.

I actually really like dandelions. They remind me of little yellow stars, and I love the way they turn to seed in the summer for people to blow away and make wishes on. My brother however, is in charge of lawn care, and is much dismayed at their return, as it means the restarting of his war against the ever-encroaching sea of weeds. But I don't care. Dandelions mean spring is here again. ^^

Photos #2 and #4 by me
#1 by
#3 by

Friday, April 3, 2009

Meet Miss Alice Clarissa!

This is Miss Alice Clarissa Kelly. She is almost ten years old, and the youngest in her family. She loves beautiful, girlish things: lace and bows, freshly picked flowers, pretty dresses, having her hair curled into perfect little ringlets and tied with a pink satin ribbon. She is mad about sweets, and likes little cups of tea with three lumps of sugar. School is a bore, except for when she gets to read from classic books or poetry. She loves poetry, even if she doesn't always understand everything she reads, she just enjoys the sound of such pretty words all strung together.

At night when she should be asleep she leafs through books of riddles and fairy tales, and sometimes she closes her eyes and pretends she is the heroine from one of her favorite stories. She keeps pretty seashells and pressed flowers in an old music box that used to be her grandmother's, and never gets to sleep without her favorite doll to keep her company.

She is trying to learn piano and violin, but it is hard, and she is not very good yet. Someday she would like to be as good as the great musicians, and amaze the audience with her playing. Or perhaps she would like to be an actress, blowing kisses after her fifth curtain call, or a dancer, flouncing around in beautiful clothes, so light on her feet that she looks like a fairy.

But most of all she would like to be as smart and pretty as her big sister, Vanessa. Vanessa is away at school now, learning so many new things, and how to be a real lady; Alice Clarissa misses her. She misses braiding her hair, and listening to her read stories before bed time. She can't wait for summer so Vanessa will come back.

And now she wishes you a good day, and hopes you will meet again soon!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Rabbit Hole Day - Dreamland

Some know the secret of sleeping beautifully. They fade away draped over pale sheets like living art, lying still and vulnerable and soft as petals, hair swept around them in wavy halos. I am not one of these fortunate few. I sleep on my stomach like something knocked unconsious, messy-haired, groggy-eyed, lost in a forest of quilt squares and stuffed animals, a beached whale in blue pajamas. Yet despite this ordinary landscape, or perhaps even because of it, the landscape of my sleeping mind is a gilded fever-dream.

In the moments my eyelids close, my mind slips away, leaving my bed and flying to a world far more beautiful than this one. You all know this world, you have all seen its sky, though the stars may be different than the ones I see, depending on where on this imaginary globe you happen to have been dropped. Are there forests where you stray, or silvery fields, or deserts smooth as frosting on a cake? Does the air hum with birdsong and little golden orbs of summer light, or does the moon wink at you through trees strewn with lacy moss while cicadas and nightbirds serenade you?

The sounds of laughter stirr me from slumber. I wake in a grecian temple, in a bed of satin and velvet and tulle. In the moonlight I am pale as alabaster, fragile as porcelain, dressed in a cloud of dusty blue strung with pearls and embroidered with silver cobwebs. Silver leaves and milk-white feathers glimmer in my hair.

A troup of girls flutter into the room, and with sparkling smiles, they pull me to my feet and out into the moonlit evening. We drape ourselves with mists of white fur, fitting white muffs over our chilly hands as we climb together into silver sleighs. Dappled-gray horses pull us on through darkened trees, the moon above a glowing paper lantern in the canopy of stars.

We arrive at a crystal ballroom, swathed in pale tulle and white peacock feathers. The walls are mirrors, the ceiling the jewel-crusted inside of a geode. The orchestra plays on hurdy-gurdies and seraphims, soft melodies as whispery as sugar candy, and we dance like music-box ballerinas with boys made of marble. We spin in dervish circles, dizzy on sugar and champagne, until the first watery rays of sunlight spark across the silvery floor. The room dissolves in a mist of soft white and gold, and I wake to find myself myself again, messy-haired, groggy-eyed, a sleepy whale in blue pajamas.