Isn’t it nice? I always felt like I had all these worlds inside of me, you know? Imaginary worlds most people would call them, but I guess it never really fitted as a descriptor for me. It didn’t feel right. Imaginary/imagination always makes me think of the mind, the head, something in the air, light and outside somehow. I’m not sure how to describe it. But my worlds they feel like they fill my ribcage, my lungs, my stomach, my heart, like they are at my core.
It clicked for me when I read this quote by Neil Gaiman:
“Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside them they’ve all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe.”
and it was also something mentioned by Charles de Lint, in a quote or a novel, I can’t quite recall. That felt right.
Like we all have all these worlds inside of us, all these inner landscapes we travel through. Anyway, I do. I travel through them and I meet people there, and they are me and I am them, but they are their own as well. They are independent and a part of me at the same time. They live and breathe. And it’s not just people, but places as well. Well, places are their own characters, aren’t they? they breathe and live too. And sometimes, these people and places are kind, and sometimes they are dark, sometimes they are dangerous, or evil, or sweet or anything, really.
This is the most fascinating thing for me, to discover and explore my own inner landscapes, and maybe share part of it with the world. I find that art, any kind of art, is also a window into the inner landscapes of others.
Oh the things we have living right under our skin.
not knowing what to write, because it can only be felt. It cannot be explained with words, but only with sounds, tastes, smells and the small touches of skin against skin, of fingerprints and teethmarks. The way your ribcage expends, and your lungs constrict at the same time. That great and terrible and magnificent land in the middle of it all. And the simple love that makes your eyelids flutter shut and your eyelashes cast shadows on your cheeks.
I remember you saying you're a fan of Terri Windling? Do you have any suggestions for someone who has never read any of her books before? Thank you. xx
Yes! HUGE fan.
Terri Windling is more an editor than a writer. The only novel by her is The Wood Wife, which I highly recommend and is amazing. It’s full of desert myth and spirits and poetry and art. So I would definitely tell you to read it if you can get your hand on it (it’s not out-of-print so you should be able to order it from amazon, or, even better, through your local bookshop)
Apart from that you can read most of her poetry in the archives of The Endicott Studio (or her website) as well as her very interesting essays on myths, folklore and fairy tales.
As an editor, I would definitely recommend any book in her mythic fiction series, co-edited with Ellen Datlow. My personal favorites being The Green Man and The Faery Wheel. Also, I would recommend Teeth, also co-edited with Ellen Datlow, a YA collection of vampire stories, which I really appreciated a lot since it restored my faith in intelligent YA vampire fiction and also was fun to read as it touched different aspects of vampire mythology in different culture, some of which are not as present in popular culture (keep your eyes open for the YA dystopian anthology coming out later this year, I’m sure it’s going to be really cool)
I also really recommend The Fairy Tales series, anthologies of reworked fairy tales for adults. (also co-edited with Ellen Datlow)
Also love the other Fairy Tales series of novels she edited. I haven’t read them all as I haven’t got my hands on all of them (most are out-of-print I think), but I recommend Briar Rose, by Jane Yolen (reworking of Sleeping Beauty) and Fitcher’s Bride, by Gregory Frost (reworking of Bluebeard)
You can just peruse her website for more. Hope that helps!
I do not slack at my work, at my art and writing, only because I am lazy and/or easily distracted, I do so because deep down I truly believe that I can’t succeed, that I do not have what it takes. I am unconsciously sabotaging myself. That didn’t used to be me. I wonder when that shift happened in my head. I wonder when I started believing that about myself.
I could not resist the call of Spring, of going out in the sunshine and fresh breeze without a winter coat on. Without the weight of layers and wool that I usually don’t mind, even love. It felt somewhat freeing. Walking at a brisk pace I went to the post office, then to the health food store and then, having had no breakfast, stopped in a little cafe called Café du Matin for a bit. As I sat by the window in a patch of sunlight with a fresh salad and a tall cup of coffee, I let my fingers choose music on my ipod, scrolling through the names until I could find exactly what I was looking for, then obliterating any other sounds from the outside world. I opened my book and let my eyes and fingers find the place I was at in the story.
And then I let the world slowed down. I let Time take a breath.
I created my own world between the melodies filling my ears, the words imprinting themselves on my retinas, my mind, my imagination, the feel of old and soft paper under my fingers and the taste of crispy fresh lettuce and too-sweet bitter coffee under my tongue. I let it enveloped me. My own little glass jar. I could feel everything in me slow down embracing a sort of contented stillness. Not the overwhelming, stilted stillness I usually feel. The one full of guilt and laziness. The one that chokes me in the dark when I know I should be moving. When I know I should embrace verbs like do, and act, and create. That kind of stillness is overpowering in its headiness, sluggish and oil-like. Swamp-ish even.
No. That new stillness was calm, and sweet, maybe like honey. Golden and fresh. Forgiving even. No frantic edges.
This, yes, might be a sort of everyday happiness that tends to blindside you with its normality and simplicity. If a bit laced with loneliness. I do not mind being on my own. I quite enjoy it in fact. Just me and my thoughts, and my inner worlds. But it’s not quite the same when being on your own is not really a choice. When that tiny loneliness is pushed upon you by circumstances. Nevertheless, I am quite friendly with this small loneliness. She walks beside me on the street afterwards, once I’ve paid and once I’ve closed my book and am making my way back home. I bump my hips against hers, and she grins at me with a little light in the corner of her eyes, mischievous and knowing and understanding. I might brush my knuckles against the back of her hand, but will not hold it. I will never kiss her. But I don’t mind her there as I walk.
Once home I opened all the windows and sit down on the sofa to write this entry and I am not quite sure what I want to say or why I am doing it. Just that maybe, just maybe, it seems important to tell these calm stories of small happy moments, to remember and cherish when the bad kind of stillness presses on your chest and you find that you have a hard time breathing and your lungs feel too small. Besides, the coffee has made my heart beat too fast and jittery, but I am happy to feel it there, against my lungs, beating a calm rhythm that I know and recognize.
I generally am not in the habit of checknig how many followers I have or how many people unfollow me etc. But as I curiously checked today, I saw that I had just went over a major milestone.
There are so many of you! (in my opinion anyway). So yeah, thank you :)
Thank you for following this little blog of mine. And I know I’ve been rather quiet for a few days, maybe a couple of weeks, but I’ll be posting a bit more this weekend and whatnot. Just needed some space and all that.
Anyway. Welcome to my new followers, and just, wow. Just wow. Thank you. I am very flattered. xxx
“If there were a map of the solar system, but instead of stars it showed people and their degrees of separation, my star would be the one you had to travel the most light-years from to get to his.”
“The feeling between us was mournful and desperate. We could not look away from each other, every inhalation was a question: Yes? Followed by: Yes. Falling and catching and falling and catching, we descended into a precarious and vivid place; I had always known it was there but had never guessed where.”