Yesterday, I watched the first episode of Once Upon a Time. And you know what? I liked it. Here is the trailer:
It was cheesy, in the way television fantasy usually is, but what I particularly liked about it were the fairy tale aesthetics. I think my aesthetic sense was formed by reading illustrated fairy tales. My idea of the perfect house is a castle (just a small one). My perfect dress swishes around the ankles. My perfect garden has a yew maze and a fountain. I always wanted enchantment.
I think we need more enchantment in our lives. It’s not unrealistic. Terri Windling and Rima Staines have Dartmoor and its environs to help them, but I think all of us can live in ways that are more magical. It just takes choosing the beautiful and the real. Surrounding ourselves with things we genuinely love.
If you do that, bread and cheese can be enchanted. (Right now I’m eating a harvest bread, filled with nuts and fruit, and blue cheese.) A pottery bowl filled with pinecones can be enchanted. A scarf that you knit from the purest, softest wool can be enchanted. If you can enchant the small things, you can enchant your whole life.
(Of course, writing is a kind of enchantment. With black squiggles on a white sheet of paper, I create worlds. I like the idea of being an enchantress.)
I found some pictures of enchanted places. I thought I would post them here. I’m not sure who took these pictures, so I can’t give proper credit where it’s due. But here they are:
What do you think of my enchanted places? Once, when I mentioned that I’d like to live in a castle, a friend of mine said that he thought it would be uncomfortable. But I would rather have enchantment than comfort. (If I had to choose one of these houses, I would choose the first one, although I would want the roof thatched in the ordinary way. The house is a bit too cute for me, as is – too self-consciously cottagey. It needs some mussing up. I think I would be afraid to live in the stone house at the bottom. Afraid of giants.)
I’ve been thinking about what my goal should be, now that my dissertation is done. And I think that’s it: make my life enchanted.
To start, I’m going to write more poetry, dance more. And create magical spaces around me. We don’t live in fairy tales: we live in a reality that often seems dull and ordinary, like the small town in which the fairy tale characters are imprisoned in Once Upon a Time. But even in that small town, they are dramatic, romantic. They look as though they should be in fairy tales. (Have you ever seen people like that? People who, in a cardigan, jeans, and Wellingtons, nevertheless look as though they had escaped from fairyland? I have.) Even in our ordinary reality, we can be more than ordinary. We can be, and make, magic.
I’m going to put that on my to-do list . . .