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"Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten."--G.K. Chesterton (as paraphrased by Neil Gaiman)
What nonsense it is that modern society views fairy tales as stories for children.  It was not until about the 18th century that this view was held in any major way, and then by aristocracy, not the common folk.  Relatively recent taking into account the vast and intricate tapestry of the adventures of mankind.

What grain of value or use could have possibly lent them their longevity?

Fairy stories, along with their ancestors myths and legends, contain essential truths that are not always communicable through facts, and magic that suggests realities greater than ourselves. Fairy tales are medicine for the sallow realism of our times.

Spinning straw into gold is a timeless and powerful image.  It struck me the first time I heard it and has stayed with me ever since.  It involves a craft, or skill, in which one takes a common substance and transforms it into something new.  In the case of straw-into-gold, it is not merely something new but something beyond itself.

How fitting that when someone tells a fabulous story we say he "spins a yarn."

I propose this is the storyteller's calling; to take the everyday and re-work it (it doesn't matter if we call it skill or magic) so that we see its brilliance for the first time.  And, if our heart is true and grace is with us, that richness we manage to capture reflects a far-off gleam of something more than true, to which this world is but straw.

About the Author


"When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes."--Erasmus
"I left the fairy tales lying on the floor of the nursery, and I have not found any books so sensible since."--G.K. Chesterton
Call me Christie.  I am a sojourner in the land of Faerie, and a layman.

Other than a brief summer course on Irish folklore at the University of Limerick and a novice's study of fairy tales and myth for my undergraduate Honors thesis, my expertise is limited to what I have encountered with my imagination--on the yellowing pages of library books and in the pulpy scent of store-bought volumes (with a few scholarly works and, more often, the storytellers themselves acting as guides).

My area of study in graduate school was Arthurian literature; but since, I think, fairy tales belong to all times and to all people, I hope my shortcoming is forgiven.

I am a wife, mother, teacher, and aspiring writer living in Florida.  My favorite fairy tale (if it isn't obvious) is Rumpelstiltskin.

I can be contacted at GreenInkling@gmail.com and look forward to hearing from you.

8 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for the feature! I'm going to share your sweet blog on my Facebook page!

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  2. Thank you, Malissa! My hope is for this blog to get we fairy-tale inclined to support and inspire each other.

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  3. Hi Christie,

    I see that you have Seven Miles of Steel Thistles on your list, but just in case you have missed the post http://www.unsettlingwonder.com/ unsettling wonder are now open for written submissions

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  4. I can't remember the trail that lead me to your blog but I'm so glad I've found it. All I need now is another weekend to rummage through your treasure chest.
    Thank you,
    Cathy

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    1. Bless you, Cathy! So glad that we found each other!

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  5. Hi! I came across your lovely blog as a result of googling a half memory...and you are closest! Wonder if you can help, as I can't see quite what I recall... When I was little my Dad (who regretably is unavailable for brain picking any more) used to recite a POEM version of Rapunzel/Rumpelstiltskin. The two lines I recall are 'Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your fair hair', and 'she could spin pure straw into gold'. Whislt my Dad was a god, and could do anything/everything, he never struck me as a poet! I'm sure this is something he memorised. Do you have any record of such a poem? I'd love to turn it into a scrapbook page, but want a few more lines! here's hoping! Take care, Ruthx

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  6. Hi - I'm the Creative Director of a small media company. We're looking to commission writing talent. Please contact me at roy@gottliebproductions.com -- would love to discuss this opportunity with you.

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