Thursday, December 20, 2007

Do You Believe in Fairies?

Christmas with children is all about imagination. Children believe in things that we jaded adults have let go of in our wise old age. Sometimes, I wonder if it is imagination or if its that children have some kind of capacity to see things or believe things we don't. With Umberto there is a willing that isn't there with the girls. For the girls they just fully believe in Santa, the North Pole, and flying reindeer. Umberto is different. I think that there is a part of him that knows that there is no Santa (or is there?). But he's willing to believe. He literally wills himself into believing. It's an act of active imagining.

I don't remember much about believing in Santa. I know I did at one point. I can not even remember when I stopped believing. I remember when my cousins found out. My brother told them, and everyone was mad as hell. But I believed in fairies for a long time. Often I lived in places where there were lots of wooded areas. Even in the towns we frequented there were places secluded and dark. I remember little hollows against huge fallen logs covered in green moss. There were huge trees everywhere allowing bits of light to fall onto the leaves. I spent hours in the woods, reading and writing. I would look for fairies, look for signs. There was as I got older the same will to believe I saw in Umberto. I thought I could hear fairies singing and whispering when I followed tiny creeks. I built, in my mind, villages, places for the fairies. I used to leave bowls of milk out.

Discovering Wicca was more than just finding a religious home. It was a fulfilment of a guilty pleasure...being able to engage in a magical world that part of me wanted to exist. I was able to live partly in a world that was filled with supernatural beings and forces. One thing studying religious did was to finally deliver the death blow to that belief. I can no longer will myself to belief.

Umberto and I began to read the Spiderwick books a year ago. It's a wonderful series. Very dark. Filled with fairies of all kinds. I enjoyed reading these with Umberto, and even more enjoyed his own belief in fairies. Here I am, a vampire, sucking my child's belief because I feel unable to form my own. Belief is a fragile thing. A moment captured in a crystal. Shattered so easily.
What about you dear readers? Do you believe in fairies?


John B-R said...

When Sam was born he had a horrified look on his face, as if to groan, "Oh, no, not this again!" He never believed in anything like Santa or fairies, he was all "Don't be shitting me." We had to order him not to tell Rose there was no Santa, and his response was "You want me to LIE to her? What kind of parents ARE you." His heroes were junk bond traders because "if people were stupid enough, well ...". Luckily he outgrew most of the bitterness and cynicism, and is now a very compassionate and sweet and tolerant man, an artist, even. Rose, never believed in fairies or talking animals or anything either. She wasn't cynical like her brother, that stuff literally gave her the creeps. As for me, I take it that the body has enough senses to survive, but not enough to understand anything. I put fairies in the same class with Bell's theorem, something I will have to take or not take on faith and faith alone. I have to admit that what I can see is strange enough (I can sit staring for hours at a leaf or a stone or a screwdriver, thinking what the fuck?I can sit staring for hours at a leaf or a stone or a screwdriver, thinking what the fuck?) that I never even think about fairies or angels or stuff like that.

Ginger said...

Hmm...we're all different even as kids:) My kids are defintely totally into the imaginary world. I suspect its likely because I always was a kid and have passed that on. And again maybe it's just part of who they are.

I no longer think about fairies being I said religious studies killed that will and pleasure. But I miss it..I always feel slightly as if intellectual (wtf right?) and middle class people are not supposed to believe in the supernatural. Even writing the last post made me uncomfortable...oh no people will see me as ignorant.

Abeya said...

Well, in my case, coming from a black cuban matriarchy, headed by an animist grandma --who says the the moon is her confident, and caresses palm trees like part of the family-- NOT believing is such an effort. Nevertheless, I am not superstitious at all, and I was not raised believing in santa or the three kings. But I usally find myself automatically asking permission to the mint plant before taking a leaf from it, or having conversations with my dog... I guess I guess I wouldn't be surprised if sometime I would catch a glance of an otherworldly being running here and there. I am defintely not religious, but I like to say "soy una mujer de fe" (I am a woman of faith).