Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Dark Part of the Forest

The other day, I told someone that I subscribe to Fairy Magazine. He pulled a face and made a couple of mocking comments. Me being me, I rolled my eyes and went about my business. (I'm way over being ashamed of my interests.) Great, imaginative photography is inspiring. I also enjoy stories written by the likes of Kelly Link and Holly Black and Alice Hoffman. I love art by Charles Vess and Kinuko Craft. You got a problem with that to the extent that you have to make fun of it? You're probably not someone I need to hang around. Can the magazine get overly twee? Not often, but sometimes. Largely, it's filled with cover to cover gorgeous. So, this morning I came upon Why Enchantment Matters. So much good stuff there. I suspect she's right--that most of the negative reaction is misogyny-related. Screw that. Sing and dance that magic into being. Think of it as an act of rebellion. I do. Because it fucking is.

Still, everything has its dark side. And yesterday, I also came across a passage in Rising Strong that touched on a related topic. That is, focusing entirely on the good aspects of oneself and separating them from the bad aspects. This can manifest itself in an obsession with twee. JK Rowling's character Dolores Umbridge is used as an example. 
If you somehow managed to miss her, well, click on the link. She's the type of woman that takes twee to Olympic levels. And in pretending her dark side doesn't exist...she ultimately gives it free rein. That story is common as dirt. Women aren't the only ones who indulge in this kind of denial. I dated a man who did this, and he exacted a great deal of harm to everyone around him in the process. Need an example? Pretty much any tele-evangelist preacher is a poster child for this shit. (And, if you ask me, Ted Cruz is a walking, talking illustration of this principle.) Anyway, I wanted to add my voice to the chorus. There's nothing wrong with enchantment. Just be aware that forests also have shadows, and not all that dances by the pale moon light is nice. Integration of light and dark is vital. It's what keeps us whole as human beings.

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