Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fairy Tales

I've heard people say that real life is not a fairy tale. I beg to disagree. I've read the brothers Grimm, and Disney has taken generous liberties with those stories, sugar coating them and making them pretty. In the original versions horrible things happen sometimes. There are wicked witches, capricious kings, mischievous elves, and hungry wolves waiting to prey upon the just and unjust alike. Very much like real life, don't you think?
And what on earth can you say when you meet someone whose tale has just taken a nasty plot twist? Very little. You want to walk the other way, because you don't know what's on the next page for your own life, and it's terrifying to contemplate. Bravely, you push on and offer platitudes. Later, you realize that absolutely nothing you said could possibly comfort the one whose life has been turned upside down. You're kicking yourself. But wait. It's not about YOU, it's about the other person.
I wish I had the answers, but I don't. Time heals. I know that. I also know that, given time, new stories--happier stories--can and will be written. It just. Takes. Time. Hansel & Grethel photo by JulenaJo.

1 comment:

  1. If we could just communicate the depth of our empathy, sadness, shock etc without words getting in the way...but as you say, the platitudes tumble out and you kick yourself in the rear for words that just dont convey.
    I too read the brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson at a young age, frightening myself late at night, loving the magestic old fashioned language and illustrations. Arthur Rackman was my favorite illustrator, really creepy.