There are some words that always make my ears prick up:
If anyone’s talking about these things or tossing these words into their copy, I’m there. I can’t help but pay attention.
It’s like ‘once upon a time’. Or, ‘long ago and far away’. Or ‘gather round’.
Such words and phrases speak straight to my subconscious. They give me a ripple of excitement and anticipation.
Last week in the Duck Pond, as part of our Fairytale Month celebrations, I recorded a video of myself reading an essay from Kate Forsyth. It’s an essay I came across some years back in one of my favourite magazines, Womankind.
The essay is entitled, Re-enchanting Your World, and it wasn’t until I’d read it twice (and swooned over it several times), that I realised it was written by Kate. This made it even more special. More personal somehow.
Like so many magical gifts that haphazardly fall into my lap, I saved the magazine. I knew I’d want to return to that essay.
Um. What are you trying to say, Jen?
I guess I’m saying that we are all responsible for enchanting our own lives. But sometimes we just need a little prod. Or a sprinkle of fairy dust.
It’s similar to the ‘permission to create’ movement that’s currently sweeping through social media.
But as well as embracing our creativity, I’ve found it equally nourishing to acknowledge and commit to the Magic in our lives.
Permission to be enchanted, dear reader.
Permission to be in awe.
Permission to be bewitched by the immense beauty (and terror) that being alive elicits from us.
Says Kate, ‘I seek to build a sacred practise for myself, a way of observing and honouring the phases of the moon, the turning of the seasons, the fundamental crises of birth and life and death. My cathedral is a wild garden, an ancient forest, a vault of starry sky, a murmuration of birds, the crumpled crimson folds of a rose.‘
Dr Kate Forsyth’s recent Duck Pond masterclass: Shapeshifting Stories: The Secret History of Fairytales.
In what ways can you re-enchant your life, dear reader?
Perhaps you could write a list of ideas in your journal? That would be fun!
• Light a candle every time you sit down to write or draw
• Serve a traditional Sunday lunch using your best china.
• Set the table for breakfast—with a tablecloth, linen napkins and a silver toast rack (you can find these in op shops, trust me. Toast racks are soooo old fashioned. But so very civilised.)
• Read more poetry. Better still, print out your favourites and paste them in your journal.
• Carry a poetry anthology in your handbag. (I’m currently carting around Mary Oliver’s, Felicity. The aim is for it to be dog-eared, with coffee rings, underlines and margin notes. To my mind, a book that is tattered and lived in is the most enchanting.)
• Collect twigs, feathers and rocks that speak to you.
• Construct a creativity altar in honour of your muse.
• Get yourself a pretty set of oracle cards and consult them every morning. (You can find oracle decks in op shops, too.)
• Make a little charm bag. Fill in with polished stones and crystals. Keep it in your car or satchel for good luck and protection.
• Play dress-ups. Dare to be different just for one day, one morning, one evening.
• Make a colourful mobile for your bedroom window.
• Name the trees in your garden or those on your street, they will love you for it. Better still, ask them what their names are! (We share a garden with Queen Maeve, Gandalf, Gladys, Mavis and the Sentimental Oak. To name just a few.)
• Dance, stretch or sing out loud. Don’t walk across the room, sashay.
• Get yourself a penpal. Send them brief, handwritten letters with glitter, stickers and random cut-outs of stuff you love.
• Make biscuits or a card for your favourite shopkeeper or waiter.
• Give thanks.
• Tell people you love them.
There are countless ways you can re-enchant your life, dear reader. I know you’ll come up with way more. If you do, be sure to let me know. I love hearing from you!
Meantime, I must away. My wild, wet garden is calling me.
To join me in the Duck Pond, CLICK HERE. (The recording of Kate’s beautiful class is available to our members until early October. Plus, we have another fairy tale masterclass coming up, this time with Dr Michelle Smith, on September 26, 2022)
To grab a copy of my book on creative writing, CLICK HERE.
To join my mailing list and receive fortnightly museletters as well as updates on courses I’m running, CLICK HERE.