elfcraft: (Writing)
( Jul. 13th, 2010 02:18 pm)
In musing over which myth to do a study upon next, two images suddenly leapt to mind. One was the iconic princess in a tower, just waiting for some handsome and brave prince or knight to come rescue her from her hardship. The other was of the patiently, silently suffering lady who waits in the castle whilst her brave prince or knight rides out to right wrongs and smite evil-doers.

Then it struck me. Of course. It’s not really two images, is it? She’s still alone in a tower, still trapped in domesticity and waiting for someone to change her life for her. She’s still a captive.
elfcraft: (Writing)
( Jul. 13th, 2010 11:27 am)
Those of you who know me are, I'm sure, totally unsurprised by this one. I've done, and do, a lot of meditation on the representation of the feminine in myth. I'm fascinated by the fact that ugly mythical beings are often exclusively male, whereas beautiful mythical beings are often exclusively female. For example, leanan sidhe are supposedly all female, but think for a moment about why that might be... they're the "faerie muse." The idea that the relationship between the sidhe and the artist is sexual, or at the very least romantic in nature, is incredibly pervasive, and thus you get a race that is purportedly only female, because women both were by and large uneducated at the time (and thus not writers) and, more importantly, were not allowed to be sexual in nature or take pleasure in sex--or even to be thought of in that manner.

Thus you get a culture obsessed and fascinated with female sexuality that also manages to revile and shun it at the same time. Thus you get faerie temptresses, muses, all manner of fae that are both exactly what men wanted and most feared from women at the same time.

That, really, is the truth of it, I believe. On the surface, it is a way to demonize female sexuality. But more than that, deeper and in the places good company just didn't talk about, it's the desire for that free, pure, and primal creature; it's what was really wanted and yet forbidden by breeding and standards, and that's why these images were so pervasive.

As a woman today who is free to be, and is, uninhibited, powerful, sexual, and independent, I feel drawn to this series as a way to bring a new perspective to the stories that have been in my mind all my life. And, of course, as a Pagan, I feel drawn to this particular vignette as a way to, in some small regard, redeem these feminine aspects of the Divine that have been maligned for so long.
I struggled with the title, because I felt "Changeling" was far too direct. It was originally quite a bit longer, but I've decided to keep the vignettes 100 - 200 words each, and so edited it down.

It was inspired by something I read once years ago: "Faeries stole my baby... but I like the replacement better." Terribly clever, perhaps even witty, but also terribly contrived for anyone who's actually known a mother who has lost a child. The bond there is not something to be shaken in such a way. However, I also do not know a mother who could actually do to a changeling child what the superstitions suggest. I do not know a mother who could bring herself to harm an innocent child, no matter how full of guile its arrival may have been. (Having a friend who works for CPS, I am quite aware that there are women who are capable of doing quite despicable things to complete innocents, but I would never deign to use the word "mother" in reference to them. They, like my brother's ex-wife, are nothing more than egg donors.)

I do not know yet if this will be included with the compilation (you will probably hear me say that a lot until I feel more settled in what unifies the pieces). Part of me feels drawn to moments and images of female faerie creatures like the leanan sidhe and tennyo previously used and would like to see that as the overture that ties all of the pieces together, but I am as of yet undecided.
These two are part of a series of vignettes that I'm working on... I hope to collect them into a short-story length piece that I can submit to a few different places. My worry right now is that they're too dissimilar to seem cohesive, but I suppose I won't really be able to decide that until I've more written.


elfcraft: (Default)
Becky Courington


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