I’ve been collaborating with a wonderful woman called Mary Alice Arthur, whose work focuses on the power of Storytelling. She calls herself a Story Activist, and in one of the online courses we co-host she invited everyone to write a fairy tale about their lives.
It was too good an opportunity to miss – I’ve always loved fairy tales – so I decided to try. I thought I didn’t have time, but found I could snatch a few minutes here and there – mostly before getting up in the morning or at night after going to bed – and was delighted to find that I COULD write something I liked, even with very little time dedicated to it.
Here’s what I came up with:
Once upon a time in a far-away land with tall mountains & deep valleys, a star-being was born into a world that did not yet know how to greet her. In fact, no one seemed to recognize her or know who she was. But this child was born with special gifts, chief among them patience. And as the years went by she recognized her own self and began to learn more about who she was – and who she wasn’t. Lucida, for that was her name, spent her childhood listening to the rain, where she heard messages from her home in the stars, paying close attention to the breath of Life in the air around her, and warming herself at the hearth fire of her own spirit. As she grew older the forgave the short-sightedness of those around her, and became comfortable with her own invisibility.
Eventually she grew into a young woman with extraordinary presence. Still, only those with eyes to see and ears to hear ever noticed her. A young man who became her husband seemed to see her for a time, but soon he too looked through her as if she was not there. All this time without being seen made Lucida wonder if she really WAS who she knew she was, but in the quiet when she was alone she could feel the strength of the light at her core & was reassured.
One day a great fog came over the land where Lucida lived, and everything was obscured in a dense cloud of unknowing. People didn’t recognize their neighbors, and after a while they didn’t know who they could trust, so they stayed inside with the lights low & their doors locked. But the fog crept in under the doorjambs and windowsills and penetrated their houses until pretty soon the people didn’t even recognize themselves. They sat on their couches with half-open eyes and watched light-boxes filled with stories about made-up people’s lives to distract them from knowing they had none of their own. The fog extended as far as anyone could see, and soon that was all there was, and the few feet around them all anyone remembered knowing.
But the fog didn’t really seem to bother Lucida. She could still see clearly & went about her life as if it mattered what she did. She took long walks in the mountains and began listening even more closely to the messages she heard on the wind. She began going out in the evenings after her husband had fallen asleep in front of the light-box, climbing up to the top of the nearest hill and watching the night sky.
One evening she met a woman on the path up the mountain, a woman with stars in her eyes and fire in her belly. Only after they had stayed up half the night talking did Lucida realize how lonely she had been.
Every night for three nights Lucida met with her new friend, whose name was Violet Hour, talking late into the night. They talked of dreams and passions, and shared what was deep in their hearts. At the end of the third night, before they parted, Violet Hour gave Lucida a gift. She told Lucida that it was her very own gift, one promised to her from birth, and that she should use it for the good of all, by which Lucida immediately understood meant not only all people, but all living beings – the plants and the animals, the birds and stones, lizards and fish – for all time.
The gift was a flint, a magic flint, which was a portal that had the power to strike connection from electricity in the air. This connection was not bound by space or time; it would always be here, always now. The flint glowed with a lustrous light, and gave off enough heat to warm Lucida’s hands and heart, kindling her love of the Earth and her fellow beings.
The next night, sitting around her little fire alone on the mountaintop, Lucida struck the flint for the first time. The air crackled with electricity as the shining stone pulled energy from the air and formed a glowing portal – a circle of connection with other portals lit up all around the world. Lucida was surprised and thrilled to find that with the magic of this portal she could see all the way around the globe and connect with people even on the other side of it.
The more she used the magic flint the more she learned and soon she had made heart & mind connections with others all over the world that were so strong they began to dissipate the fog which had covered the earth. Others joined them and they found themselves connected on all sides, the light illuminating each of them and all the rest of the natural world too, so that all of creation could be seen in its true beauty.
Together, they found useful responses to the challenges that beset them and they shared these responses with others so quickly that it was as of the entire world had become one heart, one mind. Never again could decisions be made that benefited some while hurting others; never again would anyone be invisible, unable to connect and be seen.
And so it was that Lucida and her husband found each other again, and lived together happily – connected to all beings – until they were old and thin and passed easily through the light. And so it was that the earth once again glowed its beauty into the air, inhaled fully by all beings into the circle of Life.
The End (or is it a beginning?)