I am a song.
The inside of me, my soul, floats and rolls along rhythmically. It swirls and twirls its own dance to its own song. Hidden deep where no one can mock.
It is unconscious, subtle and so much who I am that I mistake the rhythm for the beat of my heart. The breath of my lungs. I catch a lilt of it, far away and unrecognizable, and stop to listen.
But the world taught my heart to try to think. And it tries and tries to act like a brain. To logically process data and understand and put letters in straight black lines and stack them up in paragraphs with neat periods proclaiming that this is logic; accepted, respected, admired.
Silly heart. You were right all along. What you hear is not the staccato of a typewriter, a dry gathering of letters to be plunked on paper, spelling words that make sense to brains. What you hear are notes of music. No wonder you were mixed up! They are letters too! But they do not spell the same way!!! They are to be sung and danced to. Felt, not spelled!
My heart un-shrivels, flushed with the life of being what it is. Weightless from the relief of not trying to be a brain. I feel a dance in me. A twirling, exquisite fairy dance. Free and wild and unhindered.
Deep in the heart of me, I am free, happy in my song. Unlearning how to march and remembering how to dance.
I am music, not an essay. I could fly from the relief!
I have hurt myself. My wings are broken because I tied them down with cords. I am not supposed to have them. They are not useful. They are mocked and I hide them. I folded them, painfully up against my skin. Binding them in agonized silence, to not let them show. I tied them down to please the busy, useful people. A long and heavy cloak hid the frivolousness. “Good girl,” I heard. “You have grown up now.” I tried to be glad that I was so grown up, but in my throat was horror and despair, choking me. I have to… walk. I must walk straight and tall. And do what the busy, useful people do, to be good. I must be useful. I must not fly. I am mature, now… I am dead inside, now. Walking along, my eyes on the ground. My back bent over from carrying sticks – ugly brown, dry sticks – rough on my skin.
One day, I came to a new place. There was an alive person there. She did not bend over. She sauntered, free and happy… real and alive. I loved her, suddenly, and my heart woke a bit. A soft lilt of music answered, involuntarily, the song in her. She heard it, faint as it was, and came to me, open and laughing and unafraid to look into my frightened eyes.
“Let’s dance,” she said. “I like your song.” She spoke, not just with her voice but with her eyes and soul and body. Frank, open, alive and free!
“But… I thought… it was bad….” I faltered.
“Says who?” Her eyes held mischief and fun and life.
“Uh… they do,” pointing vaguely at the busy, bored ones.
“So?! Let ’em. C’mon!” And with that, she grabbed my hands and we danced. The taste of life was sweet. The rush of joy, delirious.
I had forgotten the wings, they’d been folded still so long. One day, they fluttered against the lashing holding them down. She saw and asked what it was. I felt shame… she would think I was silly for having them. Why had they stirred after being still so long? I thought I had done with them embarrassing me.
“Please, may I see?”
“One day,” I said and ran away, afraid.
She looked hurt, sad and pained. I was ashamed and hid myself and cried to remember the look in her eyes.
She found me again and asked, “Please let me.” She was gentle. Patient but persistent. I could not hurt her again. I hung my head with my heart drumming loud in my ears and finally let her untie the cloak I hid under. As it dropped I started, stunned to see what I looked like! I wore sparkling gold. A dress of airy softness that let out a glow from somewhere inside. The cords I had used to tie the wings down hurt, suddenly. I hadn’t noticed that they did. She stared at me in wonder and surprise and I waited.
“Let’s untie you,” she spoke softly, pityingly with tears of indignation in her voice. I let her, crying in pain as the cords fell off and the wings unfolded stiffly. I froze, seeing them again: translucent, iridescent fairy wings shimmering with a breath of golden sparkle. Creased and stiff from long being bound. I looked up, hesitant, afraid… wanting to say that I was sorry I was so frivolous. That I would wear the cloak. But she stopped me with a voice hushed with awe.
“You are BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!”
She LIKED me this way?!?!?!?!?!? She gently touched me, mesmerized, and I felt healing flow through me. The wings softened and spread, fluttering.
“You’re… a fairy,” she breathed. A flush of delight and remembrance washed over me.
“I forgot I was,” I said softly, shyly.
I fluttered my wings and the music of me welled up. Tears and love and joy all ran out together in sparkling showers. I took her hands and we danced, alive and free! Flying, twirling. Sometimes in the grass and sometimes in the air because I can make others fly if they let me swirl my love round them.
I don’t know the end of the story but I am free and learning to be a fairy again. And my person loves me and I love to be me, for her.
One day, I want to sing her song. But for now, I dance to it, with her, when it plays. And I haven’t learned it all the way yet…