I found this image on a thumb drive. I had not thought of it in some time, and now, in making up a missed post, I though I would explore it. The image is of an actual castle–I don’t remember where I stole it –photoshopped into an image of a crystal ball and repeated. The girl is from a McCall’s pattern from the 50s. The setting is the Blue Ridge mountains in the summer with rhododendron, and a cat, a fun project for an afternoon, based on some meditation work with a shaman and the image she described to me.
With my various new perspectives on my life and my transparent beliefs, the ones I am not aware of because they filter my perception, I think I will revisit the oft-repeated story of the girl who gets to marry a prince and live in the castle.
Sometimes I think my alter-ego is a tall, thin blonde, her shoulders wider than her hips, with a small waist and feet. This one looks like a princess, with her castle in the crystal ball. She might be thinking of her future as she looks off to the right, wondering if there might be a prince involved. For all her lady-like training and skills, she too may prefer the wildness of her familiar. Her crossed ankles have her stepping in two different directions, her purse in one hand and the future in the other. Some inner conflict there, but is it only the unknown, a naive fear of innocence, or is it foreboding?
Her familiar is a large cat, a civet maybe or a sand cat, not as big as a jaguar or an ocelot, but bigger than a housecat. It too is looking at the castle in the crystal ball, but in my mind, with some trepidation. It does not like being behind walls, preferring the wild outdoors, though I imagine it would like to be warm and well fed.
The castle is an image that comes with many fairy tales, the place of safe haven from the wild woods and the hard labor of the fields. It’s the place where the wealthy live in relative luxury and idleness. Tonight, however, it looks much like a prison, like Archibald MacLeish’s “silent…sleeve-worn stone/of casement ledges where moss has grown,” a place of being restricted, limited, constrained. Any role in life brings some constraints of custom, choices, culture. Will the change bring her what she wants? Maybe I’ve watched too many episodes of Downton Abbey.
The question that comes to mind is whether what the girl has always dreamed of and what she has been told is what she desires with all her heart. She seems to be questioning those desires and goals. She will have do decide what is best for her, what is her life purpose, her destiny to become, before she decides to play her part in the fairy tale.
That leaves me as the fairy godmother, waiting for her to make a wish, so that I can make it so.