with deep gratitude to Neil Gaiman, Terri Windling, and the IAF.
Neil Gaiman wrote a wonderful poem called, "Instructions," which tells you how to navigate the world, should you find yourself in a fairy tale.
Remember your name.
It is extremely good advice, all of it. Please go read the poem here, and then come back.
Really, I'll wait.
Sometimes, I think about taking advice I read once from Havi Brooks, to have a Book of Me. In it, there would be all kinds of useful advice on how to manage this strange and wonderful creature, the Sara, and help her to attain magnificence. Clearly, there are times when I desperately need such a book.
I've been a little off-kilter this week. Small Son has been sleeping badly. I've been sleeping badly. There was an anniversary this past week, the anniversary of my world turning inside out and upside down. Time and again, I wonder what would have been different if I had taken the leap of turning the world myself, or of choosing a different path altogether, but that way lies a lot of useless time and energy. Vanity and a striving after wind, people.
From the back garden you will be able to see the
Sometimes, that's hard to remember: that every step forward or back is a conscious choice. Sometimes it is a choice simply to continue living. Sometimes a choice to stop living as we have.
And that the choice is free. No compulsion.
So I do wish, sometimes, for my own list of instructions and the wit to remember to read them. But then, sometimes I find my way just fine without a map.
Sara is a storyteller, writer, artist, teacher, wife, mother, and singer living in Minnesota. I write about storytelling, and about living a life with stories.