There is a beast
within my heart.
She plays immaculately
with the beauty in my soul.
― Melody Lee, Moon Gypsy
Come, faeries, take me out of this dull house!
Let me have all the freedom I have lost;
Work when I will and idle when I will!
Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame.
—W.B. Yeats, “The Land of Heart’s Desire,” 1894
There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously – no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.
―C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory
This is my living faith, an active faith, a faith of verbs: to question, explore, experiment, experience, walk, run, dance, play, eat, love, learn, dare, taste, touch, smell, listen, speak, write, read, draw, provoke, emote, scream, sin, repent, cry, kneel, pray, bow, rise, stand, look, laugh, cajole, create, confront, confound, walk back, walk forward, circle, hide, and seek.
―Terry Tempest Williams,
A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both.
—L. P. Jacks, Education through Recreation
The value of the myth is that it takes all the things we know and restores to them the rich significance which has been hidden by ‘the veil of familiarity.’ The child enjoys his cold meat, otherwise dull to him, by pretending it is buffalo, just killed with his own bow and arrow. And the child is wise. The real meat comes back to him more savory for having been dipped in a story…by putting bread, gold, horse, apple, or the very roads into a myth, we do not retreat from reality: we rediscover it.
Synkroniciti and FAE Realty present recently listed faerie houses, all built at our last synkroniciti gathering, In the Garden.
I hope you enjoy looking at them even a quarter as much as we enjoyed making them. My thanks to Kelly, Susan, Louis, André and Shanáy for their originality, creativity and friendship. I’ve enjoyed my stint as real estate editor over at FAE and hope the listings are all to your liking. Wink.
Listing One: Broken Pot House and Snail Guesthouse (Katherine)
These two low lying homes, designed to be perfect for small toads or frogs and stylish enough for fairies, nestle happily into the mulch. The main house is colorful, yet blends into the garden, while the guest house is a picturesque bungalow that would be a great fit for a single fairy. Style meets functionality beneath the crepe myrtle.
Listing Two: Pine Cone Garden Apartments for the Wee-est of the Wee (Susan)
Teeny folks will appreciate this lovely set of garden flats in a pine cone, artfully constructed for the artistic eye with a lovely view near the acanthus. Longing for the romance of Greece or the Mediterranean but don’t want to leave your tidy flat? This is your place.
Listing Three: Shell Basket House (André)
You’re not a sea fairy, but you’ve always wanted to live in your own sea shell. Now you can, as the rooms of Shell Basket House are just that. The arms of this house are flung out in celebration, imitating the upright attitude of the nearby calla lily. When the sun hits it just right the entire place has the feeling of an offering. Offering and celebration, not a bad way to see life, eh?
Listing Four: Vine Gazebo (Kelly)
This delightfully crafted tall gazebo in our hottest neighborhood, between the elephant ear and the pink camellia, is a real stand out. Lounge in a romantic mood, as sun and shade drift by. The epitome of high flying garden elegance and airy sculptural form!
Listing Five: Yellow Cup House (Shanáy)
Just next door to Vine Gazebo is this gorgeous, evocative home for a big fairy family of sensitive taste. It recalls the essence of sea and forest, some of nature’s most holy places. At the same time, a variety of color, form and texture keeps the place from feeling too reverent. This is a place to make memories.
Listing Six: Feather Cup House (Susan)
This charming domicile is all about soft textures and luxury. For the sustainability conscious fairy, the feathers catch the morning dew and dry out nicely by mid-day. On the other side of the pink camellia from Yellow Cup House, it is a favorite with the local cat, a large half Maine Coon tabby named Yuri. The ideal resident is a cat whisperer and certainly should not be allergic. Fairies, if you would like a furry feline friend, look no further.
Listing Seven: Bark House (Louis)
Looking for your fairy dream palace? Near the ginger stalks and fern stands this stunning home made of bark and twine. Elegant and refined, it still looks completely natural on the wild side of the garden. Beautifully appointed and inviting, it’s already attracted attention from the creatures in the garden. CONTRACT PENDING
( Can you find our newest resident and happy customer? Bark House is Lizard approved.)
The process of making these Faerie houses was so much fun. We learned and were influenced by each other, and yet each piece has a completely different character and structure. As adults we don’t have enough creative playtime in our lives. Can’t wait to do it again sometime!
Last Saturday, April 9th, synkroniciti hosted In the Garden. This time we moved away from prepared pieces to build Faerie Houses.
We drifted together slowly. Anticipating that it might be a light night for poetry and art, I asked folks to bring along small natural items, the kind of things you might find beside the pathway while on a walk, the kind of things laying discarded in the yard. Some of us went out of our way, asking the neighbors for rogue bits of plant material and digging beads and feathers out of our closets.
We began inside, sharing a few stories of gardens and plants that were special to us. There was a grandmother’s bird of paradise plants, which didn’t bloom until she died, and native Texas bamboo and Japanese persimmons that failed to thrive after a grandfather’s death. There were gardenias planted at the four sides of a childhood home and a mother’s bed of violets in a country garden. Recalling these memories was, at least for me, calming and refreshing. Then we stepped outside into the cool late afternoon/early evening to construct our offerings for the toads, fairies and small creatures of my newly planted garden.
We brought out a card table and chairs and piled the table high with treasures: bits of bark, pine cones, spent bougainvillea blossoms, beads, shells, a feather boa, acorn cups, fuzzy pieces and leaves from a magnolia tree, Spanish moss, stones… these were just a few things we had collected and now shared freely. There were clay pots, scissors and twine to make things go together more easily. We didn’t have any glue, and I am thankful for this, because there is something very special about twining and stringing things together, like fitting together a puzzle. We didn’t necessarily know where we were going with our ideas when we started, but soon we produced our creations, rich in color and variety and surprisingly different in structure. It was a luscious, playful, Zen-like experience.
As it grew dark, we each placed our offering into the garden. As the structures arrived in place, small communities formed. It was magical. All week I have been taking care of them, setting them back up after strong winds and covering them when the rain looked to be fierce. They won’t last forever, but they are precious in their own time. Yuri the cat loves Susan’s feathered pot and a lizard has moved into Louie’s bark house.
Part two of this post consists of galleries of our work, which I have taken the liberty to write up in the form of house listings. Thanks to Neil, André, Shanáy, Kelly, Susan and Louis. Each of you is an original and I am so moved by what you made! Can’t wait to do this again next year… or maybe even in the fall. The wee creatures will be wanting new digs.
Maybe you can come?
I was tired in the evening yesterday. I felt drained by the last days outer conflicts. I felt separated from life. Suddenly I heard the wind blowing through the trees outside my open window, whispering a silent and playful invitation: “Do you want to play? Do you want to join the dance?”