Friday, May 25, 2012

Fairy Tale Friday: Three for the Price of One


link to original here
Back in March, Michelle at Buttered Toast Rocks (a sentiment I have to agree with) alluded to her favorite fairy tale – Donkey Skin – which I’d never heard of. When I snooped around for more details I found a deeply touching story. Beautiful, dark, and finally in the end – sweet.

It brought up issues of incest and hugely unequal power struggles, though, that at the time I wasn’t sure how to broach.  There are these harsh realities in life that are so hard to look at. I squench my eyes shut and measure my breathing, trying not to think about them. Things that shouldn’t happen, but do; that immobilize a person, or that make them wish they could simply disappear into oblivion.

I imagine that’s what the princess in Donkey Skin felt. 

Though I’ve never dealt with incest, I have had to deal with the backlash of terror and emotion that comes from being abused by someone I loved and trusted. I know I’m not alone in this feeling, and I know others can agree that that’s the worst part, isn’t it? That you open up the very softest parts of yourself to this person, but they use your tenderness for their own gain/pain/pleasure? How can that even be? It doesn't make sense. The ground becomes uneven under your feet as you ask question after question to try regaining your balance...

So while this story has been in my brain since March, I’ve tried to let it rest. Until today, that is, when my fairy tale wanderings inevitably led me back. This is my abridged journey:

link to original here
A few initial searches led me to this story. I’d never heard of Cap O’ Rushes before, but the interesting animation caught my eye. And then it turned out to be a fun little thing that reminded me of Cinderella. I knew I didn’t want to go there yet, and there were bits of Cap O’ Rushes that caught my whimsical attention – the meat and salt comment, the time period, the ring in the soup. 

What to do with that, though?

I butted my head multiple times against the “Love like Salt” idea, which is apparently a whole fairy tale sub-type unto itself. That had potential. But I kept looking.

Something in the dialogue of the Cap O’ Rushes YouTube page mentioned Sapsorrow, a variation on another old German fairytale, Allerleirauh. Both of these are in essence Donkey Skin, only Sapsorrow is a softer, more forgiving version.

Chunk out 23 minutes of your day and take a look:


I like this version because it is still beautiful though dark, still sweet in the end, but the father doesn’t seem to want to hurt his child. That one twist is what makes all the difference to me. I’m finally able to talk about Donkey Skin.

I find the similarities in these three stories interesting:

  • The discontent and misunderstanding father. Usually it’s the mothers/step-mothers who play out the ‘evil’ card, eh? -- What about you? Do you get along better with your mom or dad?
  • Instead of becoming slave to her changed and uncomfortable circumstances, our heroine uses her intellect to find an alternative solution. -- When you're in a situation you don't like, do you just shut down til things change? Or do you figure out how to get out of it on your own? 
  •  Her alternative also involves using natural resources to hide her identity and beauty, whether they be rushes from a bog or skins and feathers from her animal friends. -- What part does nature hold for you in your healing processes?
  • Laboring in the kitchens is her saving grace in multiple ways: working further supports her disguise, it’s here that she learns about the ball, and it’s also here that she either slips the ring into the soup or hears about the shoe. -- Does it bother you when you have to work, or do you find strength in getting your hands dirty?
  • There is a point at which the prince finally gives a signal or sign that if the princes will trust him enough to come out of hiding, he will protect her from whatever it is she’s afraid of. -- Do you have signals for things with your friends and loved ones too? Scratching your nose means you're ready to leave the party, or something?
  • The princess is the only person who can truly answer that sign completely and comfortably, not because she’s a princess or because she’s beautiful, but because the shoe was made for her and no one else. The ring was given to her and no one else.  It is a role that only she can fill.-- This last one's a doosey, init? The thought that we alone can fulfill our parts, our roles, in this chaotic thing called life -- whatever that may be for each of us. And? And that we have a choice in the matter. We can try on the kicks, or we can chose not to. 

So similarities are interesting because, while I may not have lived any of these fairy tales, I’ve felt similar feelings. And I’m sure you have had similar feelings too. How is it that we can all experience such different lives, but still be connected in these similar emotions? 

Why do we still pass on these stories, with little changes made here and there, from one generation to the next? 

What is so powerful that it makes a person not want to talk about a story completely unrelated to their own life, but is felt deeply nonetheless? 

Dare I say it’s magic? What would you dare to say?


Moment of Magic today:

link to original here
Obviously I'd pass on trying on this type of glass slipper. It's beautiful, don't get me wrong. I love that my life doesn't require me to wear high heals, though. Not ever. Or at least if it does, I still choose not to.






Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Once Upon a Weekend

Once upon a recent weekend I was tightly wedged into the backseat between the overbearing car seats of a Niece and a Beta.

Whilst stuffed into that cranny, I googlied at their laughing little baby faces, manned a somewhat decent dialogue over the phone with Hubs, and texted Sister Older on another phone about our Prospective Plans for the day. 

Sister Oldest and Mutter were sitting in the front talking, driving, listening in on my conversation, suggesting things to say to Sister Older.

“Hang on,” I finally said to Hubs. “I can’t multitask. Let me finish this text really fast…”

Mutter laughed from the front, “I thought you were multitasking really well.”

link to original here
The truth is I can put up a good front. I can juggle for a short amount of time, but when I realize people think I’m doing fine while really things are falling apart? That’s when I need to say, “Hang on, I can’t multitask. Let me focus and finish this one task really fast…” 

So my break was awesome. It was hard, though at the same time rewarding. I didn’t get everything done I wanted to (are we surprised?) but I feel good about what I did accomplish. How’d my first deadline go? Are we golden to move on? Check in here to find out.

Some other “truths” I learned, and re-learned, about myself and my world while Unplugged:

Apples are really good for you. I know I’m a little obsessed with the fruit, but. They are. Here’s your proof. So over the last couple of weeks I’ve been trying to incorporate a couple into my daily diet. There's a big clear bowl of various colors and kinds sitting on my counter now. Yum, because apples are direct vehicles to Nutella and peanut butter, right? What about you -- do you have an apple a day to keep the doctor away? 

Okay so here’s a little quirk: apparently I will buy foods that have some promise of an interesting fact or something funny printed on the packaging over foods that don’t. Do you do this? If you have to choose between an oatmeal packet that tells you about echoes, versus one that doesn’t, which would you prefer?

And did you know this? Mosquitoes need to harmonize – literally – to mate. One story is here, but the gist is this: the male’s wings beat faster (and therefore make a higher sound tone) than the female’s wings. She speeds her frequency, making minor adjustments here and there. He slows his wings down. When the sounds of their wings harmonize, they know they’re perfect for each other. Interesting. How do humans harmonize with their mates? Interesting, interesting.

I also learned that Sleepy Joe has a beautiful story for herfirst kiss, one that I sigh over happily and somewhat jealously.

I learned that Mrs. P has this amazing idea for what to dowith one of her kidneys after she’s done having children.

I learned that DR has this profound understanding of what déjà vu may or may not be.

I learned that a.eye and I have a similar experience with cold, which makes me retrospectively glad to have felt it, though in the moment I was anything but.

And I learned that my homework assignment is a little harder to complete in one sitting than I realized. I’m working on it here, with a goal to finish it up by next Tuesday. What’s the policy on late work?


Also. Nicole Pyles over at World of My Imagination awarded me with the Kreativ Blogger and big, happy, huggy thanks go to her for this. It’s a lovely award. The rules say I need to list seven things about myself people might be interested in, and then nominate seven other blogs I love.

But sometimes rules need to be broken. Lets kick some corners down, shall we?

First of all, a list of blogs I follow can be found here, and I love each one. I wish I could read and comment on them religiously. If you are on that list, and you are reading this, consider yourself officially nominated. Please know that I deeply appreciate your writing efforts and your thoughts, even if I don't get the chance to comment as much as I want to.

As for seven things? How about this – I’ll ask you seven things I might be interested in instead. Feel free to answer any or all of them:

1. As I said before, I’m not a good multitasker, so I’m going to narrow my focus down to one scheduled post per week instead of three. Of my featured weekly posts (Writing Thoughts, 300 Thursdays, or Fairy Tale Fridays), which do you get the most from? 

2. Why (in reference to question 1)?

3. What’s your favorite poem and/or picture?

4. Why (in reference to question 3)?

5. Do you believe in magic?

6. Why (in reference to question 5)?

7. Does question 5 bring a song to mind, and is the chorus now cycling through like a stuck record?

And in case your answer to question 7 was "no"...


Moment of Magic today:

  

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Life Unplugged

My inspiration:



Because:

and


and



So here's my equation: 

Give me some of these,

and 

certainly this,

plus

a handful of this guy,

and

 one of these too please.


Multiply by:
link to original here
this hike plus a few others around here,

and

link to original here
this 10k along the Greenbelt of my old hometown.


Of course I'll need this:


And a whole lot of this:


Now this is the new gig in town I want to check out:

link to original here

And this is the next song I'm hunting down the tabs for:



All this equals:


Meanwhile, did we all know that Deb is a licensed teacher? Secondary Education, Language Arts/English/ESL, specifically (as evidenced by the fact that my "math" had more to do with pictures and words, a few pithy computative terms sprinkled in here and there, than numbers and actual equations. I'll do pretty much anything to avoid wrestling with arithmetic). Yes, yes, it's true. So. 

Your homework while I'm out:

First -- Read this article and feel the power of being validated by a real live agent.

Second -- Create a post on your blog answering the name-thing, and then five of the following questions (or more, if you would be so bold). Link up your post in the comments below, as well as any additional stories and posts the questions may spark, then visit some of the other people posting their links too. Give them some positive energy and comment love.

Homework is due May 22:


1. What are you listening to right now?
2. Do you like your handwriting?
3. If you were another person, would you be friends with you?
4. What’s your favorite breakfast?
5. The first thing you notice about people is… 
6. In what way are you irrational?
7. If you needed a kidney, who would be the first person willing to donate one to you?
8. Where’s the farthest you’ve been from home?
9. Scary movies or happy endings?
10. What makes you feel young?
11. Do you believe everything happens for a reason?
12. What’s something you aren’t?
13. If you had next Monday off from all responsibilities and expectations, what would you do?
14. Do you always smile for pictures?
15. What would you be willing to literally fight for?
16. What is your all-time favorite joke?
17. Wonderland or Oz?
18. What’s the story of your first kiss?
19. How do you explain déjà vu?
20. What’s the coldest you’ve ever been?


Moment of Magic today:

Wishing you many moments of magic this month -- feel free to comment about those too.



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