Monday, August 31, 2009

Faeries in the garden, and other meditations of a third-eye mind.

They say there are faeries at the bottom of the garden.

I took this picture in my garden earlier today. I thought the fairies were slacking off as my flowerbeds are all tangled with weeds and the grass is dying from all the summer heat (not to mention it's in dire need of clipping...) but lo and behold...a fairy on a mushroom!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

dragonfly, green

Also inspired by tinkerbell, but much smaller.

The above wings were NOT inspired by tinkerbell...but I thought they deserved a spot.

New pairs of wings

Inspired by Tinkerbell.

The faerie, queen of innocence. (cheesy, I know. But I'm in that kind of mood.)

The fairies went from the world, dear,Because men's hearts grew cold:And only the eyes of children seeWhat is hidden from the old...~Kathleen Foyle

The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve; lovers to bed; 'tis almost fairy time. ~William Shakespeare

These faeries are still young, but older than you think they are. Faeries live such an awfully long time. It stands to reason that they still look like babies when they are hundreds of years old.
A spinning faerie, dancing in the freshness of almost-autumn.
Faerie secrets, faerie spells. Beware, lest they trick you!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Just a bit jaded

W.B. Yeats--"Come faeries, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame."
My son.
I have heard debates and read articles before about mothers having favorite children. I have read about people deciding to only have one child because they don't believe it is possible to love another baby as much as they love their first, and they wouldn't want to do their second child an unjustice by loving their first child more. Well, I happen to have a lot of experience with this, and eventually, I shall have more. I am not done having children, and I can honestly say that I do not love any of my children more than the others.
I DO love them differently. But just as much.
For many people, I think this is hard to understand. I think it's a misunderstanding that is fairly easy to clear up with an example or two, but for now, I'm going to let it rest. I don't have any examples at the ready, and my post is not about loving my children differently. It isn't even necessarily about loving them all the same. Though, my post may end up being a perfect example of this, and proving my point. Either way, I digress.
I do feel that I have been a bit hard on my three year old son. He has a shaddow to him. He has more time-outs and 1...2...3...'s than either of my other children. He is amazingly affectionate and cares very much for his sisters. But he seems sad to me. Something about his eyes. I've noticed this for awhile now, watching him play, putting him to bed. He seems detatched. There is nothing wrong with him. He has exceptional language skills for a 3 year old, makes eye contact, loves to cuddle, and has a vast imagination. Usually, when he is pretending, he wants to be the bad guy. Once, after he had watched Star Wars with his dad (a ritual that my husband couldn't wait to share with his first son), he was being an extra naughty little thing and I asked him "What has gotten into you!? Why are you being so naughty?" His reply? "I'm just being 'Dark Vadar' mom!" It was very quickly agreed upon that if he wanted to play Star Wars, he needed to be a Jedi like Luke or Obi Wan or he needed to be Han Solo. Mostly, our house has been protected by "Mahoney One Kin- obee" since.
For some time, now, I have probably been too hard on myself about my mothering. I try to be a good mother, but I am not the most patient, or the most lenient. I am actually kind of strict, and I let them watch too much television (movies mostly). One thing I can say for myself, though, is that I love those little snots more than anything in this world.
My daughter is very vocal. Lilly will rattle off at me about how I'm being unfair and how I "don't sound pretty" when I yell. She is headstrong and stubborn and absolutely self assured. I think I make a bigger effort with her than I do the others because I see a lot of myself in her, and I do not want her to end up like me. I have made my fair share of mistakes, more than my share even, and I want her to be better. Perhaps that is not so good of me either. Eventually, I'll have to LET her make those mistakes if she is to learn anything and avoid being a repressed, depressed, resentful little thing in her early adulthood. I don't want to repress any of my children.
Scarlet is too young to really be mad at. She has time outs for things, and has a saucy little mouth that gets her there two or so times a day- but still, for now she's the baby and always seems "too young." She's not the baby of the family- that is certain, but seriously, I totally understand why the youngest child is always so spoiled. So what. That's where they happen to be in the food chain.
Mahone, though, is not quite so outgoing or self assured. I watch him in his nursery class at church and at his preschool class, where he has been going for 3 weeks now. All the kids dance and sing with the teachers, and do actions and jump. My son MIGHT bounce a little to the music, but usually only if he has to go to the bathroom.
This isn't to say he's SHY at all. He is a friendly child and likes to talk and make friends. He wants to be in soccer, though around here you have to be 5 to sign up, and only 3 to be in ballet lessons. Lets take a minute to digress here, and think about this. How does this make sense? I mean, little girls (or boys, but let's face it. Who REALLY wants to put their son in a ballet class?) can start doing a "creative" class when they are 3, and wear pretty pink leotards, tights and shoes and of course tutu's. But anything appealing to a BOY (soccer, martial arts, t-ball, etc.) requires them to be at least 5 years of age. So while I take my oldest to ballet class, and my son, my baby and I play on the grass if it's nice, or sit in the car and talk and eat gummies for snack until she is done with her class, my son is talking about when he is big enough to do soccer.
One might say that this is a great time for bonding and that it can be wonderful. Sure. Sure it can. I have tried to make it fun for him, and like a little one on one time. But really- what he sees is that his sister gets to have one more thing that he can't have, and his eyes grow a little more shaddowed. And is it fair for me to make Lilly stay OUT of dance classes just because her brother can't do anything until he's 5? Really? I don't think so. It's not her fault.
So, the question I pose is: How do I even this out? How do I give him just that extra level of love? How do I handle tantrums and time outs without making him feel just that much more jaded? How do I not look at my angel boy, and have my heart bleed for him?
Discipline is still needed. It is not okay for him to get away with things just because I feel I am sometimes too hard on him. But I figure that maybe I could slip him an extra piece of chocolate when I'm sharing a bar with my kids, and giving him extra compliments on his awesome ability to trace his name, or use 4 DIFFERENT colors on his homework will suffice. I know it will, because I spent a few minutes with him today while we played with his "knight in shiming hornor." that he got from the treat box at preschool. A little of that shaddow lifted from his eyes. Just a bit. But it brightened his day.
I just hope he doesn't grow up to be a supervillain.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

More fabulous photos from a glorious day of rain.

Singing: "Never ending Stoooorrrry! Ahhhh ahhhh ahhh!"
Aww, a sleeping dragon, tired from a days work, snuggling up to a soft black cloud.

Oh so amazing. I would LOVE to see the fairies on Antelope Island. It's not an island REALLY- just a small peninsula going off into the salt lake. But it sure looks like a perfect view of the "Green Meadows of Enchantment" (reference Brian Froud's Faeries), doesn't it?

Do Pixies like a rainy day?
A-piping through the dell?
The Pixies must enjoy the rain;
That's when they weave their spell.

Splattered with Gold

It is a well known fact in the fairy world that there is always gold at the end of the rainbow. Well, from what I saw today, the Wasatch mountains are rich with it.

As a fairy of the Winter Court, specific to Autumn, I have a tendency to make it rain whenever I want to do something outside- even if I need it to be NOT raining. I very dearly enjoy the rain, but it always seems to thwart my plans. I'm very serious about this. Camping trips, fairs, birthday parties, etc. If I plan, it WILL rain. I try very hard to be spontaneous and just pick up and go when the weather is in my Summer Court cousins' hands.
Today just happened to be one of those days. I woke up without opening my eyes, rolled over in the cool sheets of my bed, smelled those familiar earthy tones of Autumn creeping up, and tasted the dew of rain through my open window- wait, what? RAIN? UGH! I had to sit up and physically shake my fist.
For a month, my human cousins and I (not on the fairy side) had planned to go fairy hunting in one of my favorite spots and hopefully catch a glimpse and photo of a fairy or two. But everyone knows that even in the most refreshing of rainstorms, fairies are busy washing their gossamer hair in the bellies of leaves on their stems as crystal tears drip down from above. Their hair is already so swimmingly out of control that it takes them the entire length of the storm to do so! And once the storm settles, they huddle in their nests and clocks and corners, keeping their fragile wings out of harms way, and their cold little bodies sheltered from the wind. A rainstorm, even in the heat of August can be quite chilly when you wear next to nothing.

Unfortunately, and at the same time, fortunately, it is due to rain through Tuesday. We plan to go fairy hunting next weekend instead. (I happen to live in a human world, and not everyone can be as spontaneous as I am.) But it makes me lick my lips and shiver with pleasure at the thought of cloudy skies and dewy grass, stockinged feet on cold tile floors and sweatshirts. Tomorrow night, we may have to roast marshmallows on the grill at the back door while we listen to the thunder.
On the bright side, having to cancel this adventure opened the door to a new one. A birthday party for my husband's cousin (not on the dragon side). We weren't going to be able to attend because of the previous plans for fairy hunting. It was half way through the party when sheets of rain started pouring down, and my children were soaked to the bone on our way to the car. And it was about half way home that the pirate maps of the Leprechauns made themselves known.
All along those mountains, rainbows erupted in huge slides from one side to the other, dangled down like ribbons from the clouds to tease the ground where gold is burried. And I smiled because I believe it, and because now, all my money problems are solved...if only they would stay PUT!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Winds of Change

It's August. And it is blistering outside.
I have never liked the heat. I was born in Arizona but quickly left with my mother to the softer, yet still sweltering summers of a mountainous Utah where I spent the rest of my childhood and all but 4 years of my adult life.
We have long known I'm of fairy stock. I'm not sure what gave it away exactly, but my husband, (the strikingly handsome man on the right in the flat cap and pinstriped suit. The other stunningly debonaire man is the one who is responsible for Atlantis falling into the sea. Something to do with a sewer system in a bed of sandstone and leaky pipes.) just so happens to be a dragon who was ancient when Nebuchadnezzar sacked Jerusalem. This pretty much means he knows quite a bit more about fairies and their ways than I myself do, since it was my great grandmother that we suspect to have been the changeling.
Oh, she was a spitfire. She had red hair in her younger days, and blue eyes. Her skin was pale, like my youngest daughter, and she didn't do anything without kicking and screaming. Sometimes that kicking and screaming was terrorism. Sometimes it was hilarity. But she didn't do anything without passion.
When I was 10, I stayed at her house with my grandmother and grandfather and two of my uncles. It was near Christmas, and it was snowing outside. My mother, who was the second child of 6, and her youngest brother was born on her 19th birthday, had me when she was 22. My youngest uncle is 3 years older than me. (Subsequently, my cousins are all the same age or just a few years older than my own children, and they were positively shocked this last summer when they found out that I was not my mother's SISTER, but her daughter. They were abashed to learn they had a cousin as "old" as me.) Obviously, it was the perfect day for a snowball fight. I lost. My uncles and grandfather whitewashed me until I was soaked, and then they ran into the house laughing. Luckily, I was in high spirits and whipped up a snowball before they all got inside. I was standing out by the street, but threw the ball as hard as I could. My grandpa was standing with the door open now, but ducked, and my snowball sped over him and through the door to smash dripping and slushy on my great grandmother's wall.
Oh, I was ashamed, and I caught a lot of trouble for it. But my great grandfather- the most exemplary example of a human there ever was, told her to quit giving me heck. I ought to have gotten a medal for having an arm like that.
On my wedding day, my great grandmother brought her own wedding pictures through my line and proclaimed proudly, and adorably I might add "Wasn't I a DOLL!?" My husband, chuckling as he patted her cheek said "You still are, honey." She then spent the rest of the evening bragging about her cherry red mustang and flirting with my husbands married great grandfather. She was 90 years old.
It was four years later that she died of pneumonia, and I have always thought it was a silly thing to die of. Fairies are resilient creatures. We survive and we endure. We may have the world crash down on our heads, and still, we always come out alright. Thus it is with illnesses. My great grandmother came through all kinds of strange diseases, including several bouts of shingles...and then she dies of pneumonia. At almost 95, shouldn't she have gone out with a bang? Like a skydiving accident, or a seriously action packed, movie worthy, eye candy car accident in her shiny red mustang? But that's what fairies do. When we have that tiny bit of blood in us that makes us mortal, we die of dumb things. I fully suspect I, myself, will die of a simple but disgusting case of stomach flu.
My resident dragon has many proofs that I'm fae touched, but the point of the matter that I'm getting at is that we have no idea which court. As my great grandmother was a changeling, and that we're sure of, the line continues down the human path and the fairy line is lost. Especially since it was probably left in Holland or somewhere along the way to America. Either way, my great grandmother was born in February, during the most bitter cold of all the months in the year.
Earlier today, after 4 days of sick children, and feeling quite sick myself, I lay bundled on the couch in an over sized hoodie, sweat pants, and a blanket. My hair, wet from a shower with my oldest daughter was soaking into my pillow. The air conditioner was on, and for the moment I was freezing. And I was enjoying it.
Outside, through the window, I could see a bright blue sky and a breeze pushing the branches of our tree around. The light seemed very bright to me and very crisp. I could smell the autumn air. It might have had to do with all the bundling my children and I had done to ourselves, or the smell of the freshly popped popcorn on our laps as it is easy on the stomach, or the unseasonable Christmas movie that was on the television. But i feel it still, 12 hours later, I feel it in my entire being. The winds of change. And it's exhilarating.
Spring usually creeps up on me without warning and I never quite suspect it. It's like a sun orange tiger pouncing through the coolness of tall grass and frost to blister my whole body with a humid tongue. And then I'm stifled again and must hibernate for the summer, locking myself into an icebox of a house with a huge energy bill.
Of course, this points to the Unseelie court. And why shouldn't it? My great grandmother was born in the freezing cold. I was born in July, but more specifically July 31st. For the pagans this is Lughnasadh Eve.
Lughnasadh is celebrated on August 1. Lughnasadh is the first of the three harvet Sabbats. It is also know as Lammas and is a time to give thanks to the God and Goddess for all that they have brought to us thus far. The Goddess is still pregnant with the future harvests, and is honored and revered as the new mother. This is the time of year for rededication, or rekindling of sacred fires. This is the time to be thankful for all that you have
It might be summer, but it is the end of the summer, and a window into Autumn. My favorite.
The Unseelie court are often seen as the dangerous, wicked fairies, and the Seelie court looked upon as the beautiful, kind and fair fairies. But I read recently that that the only difference between the two is that the Unseelie fairies are the ones who don't care to keep the fairy line "pure" and only mate with other fairies while the Seelie court stick to their own kind. Well, isn't that the truth? If my great grandmother was an Unseelie changeling, well, then this would make a lot of sense, and it would be the reason that I can so clearly feel Autumn coming when it is still weeks away.
A few more days of splashing through a hose and sprinklers, maybe a weekend or two of camping. Several more purple popsicle stained lips and chins. The salt lake will stop receding, and the mountains behind our home will flame with reds and oranges, and instead of heat, it will settle a cool crisp blanket over the valley, like clean linen sheets on a feather bed. My heart beats for the days of pumpkin carving, soft rich colored sweaters and sunflowers. Rolling in haystacks and wearing gloves to school.
Just a few more weeks of hibernation.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Forget them, Wendy. Forget them all. Come with me where you'll never, never have to worry about grown up things again.

I know that most of my posts so far have been whimsical at best- a random quote or picture here or there. It's because I don't have stories that are terribly interesting to tell. I have a VERY vivid imagination, but those are my sacred adventures. If I let them out, they might skip away into oblivion and prove to be not quite as beautiful as I once dreamed.

In this case, though, I start with a quote by Peter Pan; a boy who I have adored and cherished more dearly than any lover that I could ever take, and have always kept close to my heart.

"Forget them, Wendy. Forget them all. Come with me where you'll never, never have to worry about grown up things again."

Now that I am a woman, and not particularly young or beautiful or spontaneous anymore (never due to lack of wanderlust, just the overabundance of responsibility) these words provoke a pain in my heart that I swear feels so binding that I instantly become tongue tied, out of breath, and heartbroken.

One might think that as the mother of three very lively, active, beautiful beyond a fairy dream, imaginative children, the two oldest of which have large arrays of imaginary friends and elaborate plans for the future, would be a pro at keeping this kind of feeling at bay. After all, what keeps us young and blithe? What keeps us able to remember the secret things that ring in our ears at night when the stars whisper to each other over our sleeping heads full of hair bleached white from a thousand summers of swimming through tall grasses and cuddling up to the glossy waters of a back-yard swamp? Children of course. I don't believe I actually had to answer that question.

Yet here I sit, at my computer while one baby is asleep and the other two are down stairs, eyes glued to someone else's genious called "Nightmare Before Christmas" (a.k.a. "Jack the Pumpkin King" to my children.) instead of rolling in the grass of this faboulous August indian summer that we're having with their mother.

The fact is that I've come to this point where this quote by Peter Pan, "Forget them, Wendy. Forget them all. Come with me where you'll never, never have to worry about grown up things again." has taken on a whole new meaning.

So what DOES this quote mean then? Well, in the book, Peter is trying to entice Wendy, a lovely girly little thing who would love nothing more than to see a real fairy or a mermaid abathe in the crystal murkiness of a deep pool, to go with him to Neverland so that her father will not make her leave the nursery and grow up.

For as long as I can remember I've read this book in awe, with my mouth watering for an adventure like theirs. For innocence once again, for some kind of unwavering, unconditional love. Peter Pan is not a romantic love story (despite the fabulously amazing new movie that came out Christmas Day of 2003. I know it came out that day because my husband of one month took me to see it for our first christmas as a married couple. Many Peter Pan encounters have happened for special occasions in our marriage, including a live play. It was the first.) but don't children love so deeply and so faithfully that they have already forgiven you by the time you realize you've done something stupid? Like me, for example, ignoring my babies while I type away on my computer, something SO important that it can't wait, but they can? ~note the tremendous ammounts of sarcasm puddling on my keyboard~

I'm feeling sorry for myself. And I'm saying goodbye to something that was woven so intricately into my beating heart that I think it's okay for me to feel sorry for myself. Some things have happened in the last few days and I have decided that I am done with everything else. I'm going to "forget them" per Peter Pan's advice, and move along so that I don't grow old.

Forget who, you say? Well, I don't think you'd understand if I told you the whole thing, and I think that it would just embarass a lot of people. But I blog about it because 1. I know that they're not reading this. Most of them haven't even LOOKED here, though I'd told them about it. They have better things to do, better connections, and for all my effort and energy thrown into THEM, they don't have any left for me. 2. Since reason number 1 is in immediate effect, I have no one to talk to. Before I can abandon my old idea of what kept me young and beautiful and worth while, and before I can throw myself into being a creative, affectionate, doting mother, I have to hash this out and it has to be on my own because I'm sick to death of my opinions and my convictions and my affection being wasted on those I think love me, just so they can throw those and false accusations back in my face. A thousand times I would have walked through fire or faced a raging dragon for them and proudly waved my loyalty like a flag for all to see. But any of their support, when the turmoil is public, when their "Switzerland" facade, their oh-so-calm front might be disrupted, support is only given behind the scenes. "I love you" and "yes I agree with you" and all that can only be said so many times before it loses it's flavor and becomes monontonous. If one isn't willing to step up and defend a friend, then how is a person supposed to know that behind the scenes support isn't going to both sides? How can one ever regain even a little bit of stature or respect or even GIVE it when they were left to be kicked and dragged through the proverbial mud? And then, when one DOES dare stand up for you, they are told to butt out because they don't have a leg to stand on, even though the "leg" they're giving is the same argument the self righteous, hypocritical bastards who provoked the stand did themselves?

No matter the sorrys no matter the pats on the head you get when the "dust has settled", there is no real going back. I've faced it for too long, and been rejected and renounced too many times to let this go on any longer. I refuse to apologize. None of the things I said were said to BE mean. They WERE mean, but the truth is often mean when a person knows it's true and refuses to change what's wrong. I meant what I said, even in this state of calmness that has washed over me, none of the things I said require apology. Or it would be a false one.

To a specific person who told me that I had no right to say anything about something I know nothing about (yes, that's confusing, but for reasons stated already I will not elaborate) and that that person could say the same thing about me because I happen to be a stay at home mother, well, all I have to say about that is that NO YOU CAN'T. The person in question doesn't do ANYTHING like I do it. My being a SAHM IS a JOB, and it takes all my time and energy and love, whereas that isn't even up for debate in the other case that it takes none of that.

So what does this quote have to do with any of this?

I'm going to forget them. Because in the last two days of being completely alone in this world since a very severe breakup back in college 8 years ago, a sort of out of body experience taught me that the thing that will keep me young, beautiful, restless, mysterious and alluring is not a calendar. It is not a group. It is not a name. It is my children. It is my home. It is my family. And it is embracing my womanhood instead of trying to be forever young.

And how does this help me to "never have to worry about grown up things again" ? Because every bit of drama and heartache and angry feelings and even some of my serious financial stress in my life stems from this particular group. To give up some of those people, because, let's face it, we've all changed and some of them are just not good people anymore, and personally, I feel that I am a better person (NOT to be confused with me saying that i think I'm a better person than THEY are, just that I'm a better person than I USED to be) now than I was, and I think in some ways they pull me down to where I can't be as good as I could be. Sometimes, not growing up means that you HAVE to grow up. It means to move on, as children do, forgetting what was wrong and just going with what's good. What WAS good for me is no longer good for me. I'm growing up. I'm moving on. I'm taking up a responsibility to lose myself in my children. (And of course my awesome wings you all know you want to buy.)

Of course there are those who I still love dearly. Those who will always be my sisters or brothers. I'm not talking to them right now either because I just need to be alone. I just need time to let my demons withdraw and go back to rest within my soul before I can face them. This may take a good chunk of time. And I don't mean just a few days. I need some peace. Some quiet. Some one on one time with the ones who matter. Some time to slowly cut the laces and let go.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Art is the stored honey of the human soul, gathered on wings of misery and travail.

- Theodore Draiser

Yep, that pretty much sums up how I feel today.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I took my oldest Faerie to a beautiful little cove today. We made a few friends.

Another caught little fae

"More magical than I had dreamed, and more varied. Some are as small as flowers, some as tall as I, and all sizes between but all seem to exist as a celebration of nature's enchantment. "

Voyage Of The Bassett