Sunday, 16 August 2015

They feared lions and tigers and bears, but the big bad wolf lived downstairs

Listen beloved, for all true stories so begin...

Once upon a time, a child lived in a tower by the sea. Nearby loomed a savage forest where in roamed lions and tigers and bears, but in the tower there was no fear, and no pain. She did not live alone, her mother and father lived in the uppermost reaches of this shinning tower, and in the lower floors, overlooking the garden, lived her grandpa and her grandma. Her mother had a new baby, and her father worked day and night on the ships carrying exotica across the great oceans, so the child wandered freely from room to room and took down magic from the shelves and learned a secret.

You must not think she was lonely, her grandfather loved her very much. He was a great story-teller, and would weave wonderful magical tales out of thin air for her delight. Her grandma, she sensed with the instinct of a pariah pup at the sight of street urchins, did not like her. Her hand was sharp, her words stinging stones, and so she avoided her. But life was magical. Each day she’d run down the winding stairs of the tower and down to the garden. She’d talk to the bees and listen to her grand-pa´s stories. He’d sit her on his lap and tell her how pretty she was, and how much she was loved.

One day when she was five, a strange and terrible thing happened. Underneath her grand-pa’s face a monster appeared and tore open slavering jaws. Through a beloved face another face rose and smoking poison poured out. And the Monster said: little girl let me touch you. But the child knew a great secret. And she said “NO” and the power of words revealed itself to her, and the Monster could not touch her. The Monster screamed its poison and rage but the magic words protected her, and he could he not touch her.

That night she did not sleep, but the next day, when she came down to the garden, all was as before. And she thought: “I have banished the Monster with the magic, or it was never there.” For a long time it was so, and then one day that strangeness said again: “little girl let me touch you” And again she said “NO”, and it could not reach past her power. From then on, she never knew who’d be waiting in the garden. Her grand-pa weaving stories or Monster with slavering jaws. pouring out its poison words.

Soon she never left the tower at all, unless they forced her to. She ransacked the books that had given her her first magic word for a spell to banish the monster forever, all in vain. Years went by, and she grew always sheltered by her words, and the anger of the Monster grew too.

One day when she was ten she said to the Monster: “Begone, or I shall tell the world you have made my grand-father the den you hide in”; but the Monster laughed and said: “no one will ever believe you, for they do not wish to”; and she knew that was a great truth.

She saw that many people had underneath faces: supple, strange beguiling. She knew that trust was a dream she could no longer believe in. So she took her magic words and her terrible strength and made a great spell so no fear and no fury or monstrous claw could reach her, and so she was safe.

And much later, when she had grown, a boy would come to her and there would be sweetness to him, to his smile and kindness in his eyes. And the boy would say: little girl, let me touch you. And she would say: NO…though she might want him to. The strongest word she knew was NO.

For years and years, this is how she lived and then one day one day she put it away. She folded the Monster into a tray, and put him in a box. "You will hold no more sway over me, nor your shadow ever again stray between me and those I may love one day."

So she found a new word, and then another; she started stringing the words into spells and stories and dancing and chanting them aloud, until no scrap or memory of the Monster could be found in any part of her life. Until the strongest word she knew was NOW.

And the NOW word said:
"NOW I become the child and the woman I should have been,
NOW I refuse your stain and any blame you placed on me.
NOW I start my life again.
NOW I am made NEW."


1 comment:

  1. You are a strong and beautiful being, life has left some of us raw with it's experiences, and though you learned magic spells and words, the true strength they gave you was to endure and survive the reality you had to.

    Thank you for sharing your story with me, may I share it on my page and in my group for others?