Postscript to last week’s blog:
All week I’ve been wondering — How would the Dragon have told the tale?
We in the northern hemisphere celebrated the Spring Equinox last weekend -- a time associated with Emergence, Fecundity, Birth, & Rebirth
I started Sharing Trickster’s Hoard in 2021, just before the Spring Equinox. A few weeks later I came across the two stories that had emerged from my participation in Luisah Teish’s Art-As-Meditation gathering. It oocurred to me then that, in starting the blog, I was finally beginning to live into my New Story. What a delight just now to suddenly realize that the Spring Equinox has come round once again and that [without any planning or forethought!] I find myself emerging even more fully with the posting of these stories. I really feel these days that I am at last coming fully into my own life, writing my own Story.
“A story is a letter that the author writes to himself, to tell himself things that he would be unable to discover otherwise.”
― Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind
“Those who do not have power over the story that dominates their lives, power to retell it, to rethink it, deconstruct it, joke about it, and change it as times change, truly are powerless, because they cannot think new thoughts. ”
— Salman Rushdie
And now: Chapter 2
THE STORY OF SHE-WHO-FEATHERS-HER-WINGS-WITH-STARS TOLD BY HERSELF Once upon a time, there was a woman who had neglected her wings. Oh, when she’d been young, they’d been just like anybody’s wings —strong and sleek and able to carry her wherever she wanted to go to find the news that was needed and bring it home. Oh, when she’d been young, she’d brought news of the river’s thawing to oaks still snowbound on the prairie; she’d sung boughs of ripe apples to the deer; and she’d rhymed shining open roads for her bored deskmate in geometry class. But my! As she got older, how that woman neglected her wings! Misplacing them among library shelves, Hiding them under a sweater she’d been given, Staining them with dribbles of cheap wine, Hanging them on a hook behind her office door, Sending them as unaccompanied baggage on a transatlantic flight, Leaving them lying—once or twice—too long beside some bed where they didn’t fit…. Oh! She neglected her wings! Now the world went on, and the woman went on in that world, but she went on without her wings. When she saw something beautiful and important— and there were many Beautiful and Important things— she had no way to fly home with the news. And by the time she’d trudged along to wherever it was, she’d forgotten so much: If she tried to sing the news, the tune sounded out of kilter. If she tried to tell the news, the words tasted stale on her tongue. People still liked to hear her news, but she found no more joy in the telling — And she shut her mouth. What news? called the oak people. What news? called the deer people. What news? called the children bored in school. But that woman who had neglected her wings just shook her head in silence, and one hot tear rolled down her cheek. And the rains fell, And the winds blew, And the years passed by. Then, one day, that woman was rummaging amongst her things when she came across a book—an old dusty book— and in that book was a bookmark—an old dusty bookmark. And it was— a— Feather! If you held it up and shook it out and sleeked it down, you could see that once it had been azure blue. “Oh!” cried that woman. “I remember! Mother was calling us to dinner, so I just plucked this feather to mark my place. Just one feather — At the time, I didn’t think it would matter to my wings — I didn’t think about it at all.” She rocked herself from side to side and began to cry. “My wings. My beautiful wings. Oh, where have you gone?” And she began to look. Furtively at first, like a mouse looking for cheese in a roomful of cats. Bolder then, like the first leaves of a seed seeking the sun. And bolder still — calling aloud (when no one could hear), “Wings! Wings! Come back to me! Come!” And come wings did — leastways, somebody’s wings: One day on the lake, a hummingbird paused to look at her—nose to nose —long and long— before buzzing away. In the park, a turkey vulture tipped its wise head, put its hands on its hips, and told her in no certain terms, “You are in the midst of it!” Hawks circled above the mountain. And in the river, a heron stood—long and tall and patient. And finally, somewhere in her house, that woman heard— a tiny rustling, faint as the air under an owl’s wing. And she began to search. On her shelves, hidden among other people’s books? — No. In her closet, hung among coats from far countries and academic gowns? — No. On the desk? In the kitchen? Under the bathroom sink? — No. Under her pillow? Ah —Yes! That’s where the dreams had been dreaming her — all along. She unfolded those wings and shook them out. She tried to smooth the feathers - - - - - but there weren’t many left to smooth. “What now?” she asked herself. “I’m well past my feather-growing days. How shall I feather my wings enough to fly?” She thought…and she thought…and she thought…but she couldn’t think of an answer. “Poor, poor old wings,” she said. “I am so sorry.” And without even thinking at all, she gathered them up onto her lap. And without even thinking at all, she began to do what humans have always done - - - She began to rock those poor pitiful wings, And she began to sing to those lonely wings, And she sang them everything— all the news: the coyote who’d held her in his gaze; the earthworms on the rainy sidewalk; warm, welcoming shoulder of mountain; moon through winter branches; comet coursing across the sky. And as she sang, each word fell from her lips and stuck to those wings— And each word was a star. And so she feathered her wings with stars. And so she flew.
“It is Story that heals us, that shape-shifts us, that saves us.”
— Sylvia V. Linsteadt
“The thing people don’t always want to realize is that stories have great power whether they get told or not.” …. “The question is what story do you need to tell, in order to give notice to that thing with fangs that keeps chewing through your insides.”
— Will Willingham, Adjustments
I’m still writing & rewriting my Story. Are you, too?
Not so much rewriting my story but listening to it in a deeper way, and paring it back to what I feel are the bones. For many years, many words wrapped around me like a blanket to tell my story. The more words, the more my value as a person. Now, the life experience of knowing what held value, what held pomposity, what held grief and most of all, what held honor and love, are the bones of my story. I need less words to talk story and these words are centered more and more from the heart and less from the brain…
Barry Lopez: From Crow and Weasel:
“Remember on this one thing, said Badger. The stories people tell have a way of taking care of them. If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive. That is why we put these stories in each other’s memories. This is how people care for themselves.”
Native American poet and author, Jo Harjo:
“We are all here to serve each other. At some point we have to understand that we do not need to carry a story that is unbearable. We can observe the story, which is mental; feel the story, which is physical; let the story go, which is emotional; then forgive the story, which is spiritual, after which we use the materials of it to build a house of knowledge.”
Dear Marti, I just wrote a long reply to your wonderful comment but I think I pushed the wrong button & it flew off into the ether. First, I want to thank you for sharing your process. Finding the Bones is exactly what Story is about. That’s why I find it easier to discover my truth and tell my story through poetry or fairytale — thereby avoiding all the rational explanations, psychological interpretations, and many many words with which I can hide my Self and my truth even from my self. The Bones became explicit while I was writing my poem “Story for a Stormy Night” (posted 4/16/2021) — and I was surprised to find them strong & shining. And thank you for the quotes, both of which have been dear to my heart. I think a key is in Joy Harjo’s words: “We are all here to serve each other.” That knowing is what gave me courage to start Sharing Trickster’s Hoard.
And you are serving us all so beautifully with your precious gift of writing stories. Thank you, Margery, for spreading your wings and taking flight. We are soaring with you!
This is such beautiful, touching storytelling. I love that you were inspired to use a fairy tale format. And yes! The dragon’s point of view… This is my third attempt to leave a comment on your blog. Perhaps the others have gone to spam or I have some sort of setting conflict. At any rate they went poof when I tried to post. If this gets through would you be willing to email me?