Ior “Spinning in the Wheel”

“Spinning in the Wheel”

 

Thumbelina’s rest and home inside a shell,

The orb that knows woman’s same as swan,

The warriors of legend that shun death at a bell,

The maid who left mer with fins and singing gone,

 

All learn that boundaries can be crossed,

All know that lines are real

Enough to give reward only when something’s lost,

But its space isn’t empty, but hung like a wheel

 

With spokes of what the journey teaches,

With yarn think of the secrets you steal

When bending the story your step over reaches,

With blood you’ve spent now ready to heal,

 

That spinning wheel binds you to one place,

But its twining threads whisper that fates do blend,

There’s a ring spinning where all worlds are one space,

Where wild chases are still and violent passions do mend,

Where inside’s just nature with a shut door,

Where mirrors show present, future, and past,

Where desire is enough and fulfillment no more,

Where the Round Table seats no first or last,

Where Pied Piper’s children found their families in the stone,

Where land and water mingle, separate yet as one,

Where even Peter Pan can give a love full-grown,

And the ever-spinning Fates know ever’s the same as done.

 

This magic forging apart to same,

This living freedom bears a name.

Circling the earth, it still touches the core,

Strums to harmony, stirs fruition galore,

True fairy tale transformation is bound to lithe Ior.

 

Crossposted to http://onerunetofindthem.wordpress.com/

Merida vs. Cinderella

The more I hear/read people talking about Brave, the more I feel she’s still getting too much credit, particularly when it comes to being empowered.  Cinderella seems the obvious person to compare her to as her situation was also dominated by her relationship with her mother-figure.  Cinderella is often viewed as one of the weakest female characters in fairy tales, while Merida was supposed to be a new, more feminist princess.  The more I think about them together, the more I feel Merida makes Cinderella look good.

First off, I have to say that I have never been as down on Cinderella as many people are.  I always felt she developed relationships with mice and birds in order to preserve her sanity and keep from growing embittered.  As a young girl thrust into a lonely, tough situation, choosing to put forth extra effort (which the mice clothes show she clearly does) for these reasons shows foresight, self-awareness, and resourcefulness.  Add to that, she is forced to work long hours, do many manual jobs, and clearly isn’t allowed enough sleep.  In this situation, putting forth the energy to do that much for yourself and to better your circumstances is incredible.  I think it’s courageous of her to try and hold onto her happiness.  It shows that she doesn’t internalize the messages she gets from her family, she still believes in her own self-worth.  The fact that she is doing so while trying not to vilify her family any more than she must is an added effort of will to keep her sane and from the trap of being bittered, again-lots of foresight, lots of willpower.  Many people have a down on her for not getting out and making her own way in the world, or not doing more.  I think Cinderella was already doing more than many real people would.  Compare her to someone in a dead-end job that they hate-they don’t get along with their coworkers, there’s barely any time for them to have a social life, there’s a lot of pressure and demands.  Sure, they’d rather be somewhere else but finding a job is tough-at least they have a place to sleep and enough to eat, and they know enough to appreciate that.  At least they’re better than these rich, lolly-gagging idlers who just do nothing all day.  You have satisfaction in knowing you can get stuff done, even if it’s not stuff you’d particularly like to do.  People might wish these people into better circumstances, but does it really reflect badly on them that they keep going on and doing their job because they feel that they must?  Particularly if they are still working to keep up a rewarding social life and to not become embittered?  That person is the common hero or heroine of today, and Cinderella is a wonderful guiding light from them.

 

To get back to the comparison, look at Merida’s position.  She’s already a princess, she’s clearly well taken care of physically, she has a family who clearly loves her, days of total freedom, and her biggest complaint is that her mom is trying to control her.  Yeah, tell Cinderella about it.  Now, for the crucial point: how they handle their one magic wish.  To be fair, Merida does show more spirit in needing to insist on receiving a wish instead of simply being given magic like Cinderella, but then Merida also had magical wisps giving her the hint to claim something important.  On to the actual magic.  Cinderella wishes for the equipment to get to the ball.  This may seem shallow or short-sighted.  However, after seeingBrave, I see Cinderella’s wish as more self-assured.  She asked for the equipment to accomplish a certain task-she trusted herself to actually see that task through.  Merida, on the other hand, in spite of starting out with a huge advantage over Cinderella, didn’t think she could “change her fate” on her own, even with a little help.  No, Merida only saw that her mother was in charge, not that Merida herself could take control of her own fate.  In terms of control, I think we can all agree Cinderella’s mother figure had far more control over her than Queen Elinor does of Merida, but Cinderella still managed to think of something she herself could do, if just given the opportunity.  Moreover, Merida was entitled enough to put her wish on someone else.  Cinderella, at least, takes all the consequences of her magic to herself, not using the moment to put something unwanted on her family or trying to change them to make her life easier.  That gives Cinderella’s magic the moral high ground, especially considering how much more Lady Tremain deserved a magical alteration compared to Queen Elinor.  This is even before considering that Merida’s desire to change that particular event shows that the educated princess totally missed the big picture and failed to consider the consequences her actions would take.

 

Who would you rather have running your kingdom?  The resourceful princess who was always forward-thinking and only experiments with magic on herself? Or the entitled princess who’s willing to magically ‘change’ family members and doesn’t wonder about the consequences?

I declare Cinderella the victor.  Merida’s a new, more empowered spin on a princess, my ass.

Twelve Dancing Princesses

My calendar this month has Kay Nielson’s “Twelve Dancing Princesses”:

And then this happened:

 

I stayed up dancing til there’s holes in my shoes,

From elegant gliding and rocking the blues

And my sticking-out toes clad in shredded-up shoes

Grew much too tired to wriggle at you.

 

I danced all night til my stockings had holes

From jerking in time and prancing my poles

And my worn-out legs, dragging their shoes,

Felt far too tired to twirl round with you.

 

I spun and whirled til my skirts had tears,

From clutching hands and being flung in the air.

And everything it covered before it flew

Had lost all desire for nighttime with you.

 

I kept on dancing til my bodice had rips

where hands were warm and manners had slipped,

And even my corset released its ties

exhausted from night filled with you and I.

 

I danced all night til my voice had gaps.

My breath went unused and my words lapsed.

Since no one listened to things that were true

As I discovered holes in my dancing with you.

 

I kept on swaying til I saw my holes.

How I was uncovered, wore unsteady clothes.

I saw only holes in the things I could do

Dancing so fast with less clothing and you.

 

I danced until my lungs had rips

From moving fast and kisses-stopped lips.

Til my breath was too weary to cause a sigh

As your dance took my lungs, the air, and I.

 

I whirled with the dance til there were holes in my heart.

The gold and silver leaves sliced it apart.

Empty branches can’t stop exhaustion coming through

Or hide these holes from my night here with you.

 

I danced until there were holes in my mind.

Til trees sparkled with jewels of every kind.

Til my brain was so foggy I couldn’t think why

there appeared such holes between you and I.

 

I danced through the night until you had holes.

From the look in your eyes to your feet’s soles.

Being so tired I just fell right through

a lake-sized hole to the center of you.

 

I danced all night having holes torn in me

Til all that I had was made plain to see.

You danced through me as easy as night

But after rowing your holes, mine are shut tight.

 

I danced all night til there’s holes in my shoes

From elegant gliding and rocking the blues.

Now the holes are gone and your night is, too.

I’m never too tired to turn myself new.