There's no better celebration of any season than the decorated tree adorned with the rich symbolism of nature—my ritual to inform and inspire you in the journey called life.

Monday, February 1, 2010

tree fairies articulated

THERE SEEMS to be a place for every special interest in our web-connected world. If you're passionate about something, there's a good chance you can find a group of like-minded enthusiasts. This blog is a case-in-point. There are plenty of real-world people that share my enthusiasm for the decorated tree. I think people that are most interested have resonant childhood memories of the things that drive their passions. My friend Odette says she'll never forget her mother bringing a huge tray of alternating red and white, heart-shaped petit fours to her class one Valentine's Day in her youth. "That's my mom!," she was proud to say to everyone that day. Valentine's Day remains her favorite holiday probably due, in large part, to that unforgettable bit of joy her mother supplied that day. It's memories like these that stick with us and become a way to connect to the free-spirited passion of our younger years. Mine was obviously centered around the holiday tree with my mother encouraging my creativity in my childhood. In collecting ornaments and ideas to assemble into bits of visual magic for special occasions, this blog holds evidence of those enduring and simple gifts of love.

THE RESPONSE, both through actual friends and followers of my posts here is enough to keep my creative spark ignited. If my particular passion and point-of-view can capture someone's attention just long enough, there is a defining moment of recognition. Blog-savvy friends tell me I need to write in shorter snippets, enlarge the typeface or make the pictures bigger (one click on most photos and you're there). Well-considered points, but I'm the sort who would rather read a book on the sofa (or under a tree), than online. And I'd rather read a chapter than a page, so you'll have to bear with the long-winded nature of my expression and squint your eyes for the details. The rest of the world can distract themselves with text messages (I have them blocked on my cell phone). And, I won't be going out to buy a Kindle, an iPad or even a laptop anytime soon. But if you see me with one, I'll try to disguise it with a Bookbook. How ironic. This blog is directed toward the subject I explore with the intent that it eventually does become a book—something you can hold in your hands and turn the pages with your fingers. Who knows what tactile experiences will follow from that? Even though the digital age certainly has its shortcomings, it has also brought subcultures together—in this attention-deficit-disordered world.

THAT SAID, it's great fun to make connections with friends and even strangers that "get" what you're doing. One of my blog followers, "Catrita" expressed to me her interest in the little-known world (to me) of BJD's (ball-jointed dolls) in relating to me that she had a few that would make perfect tree fairies. Being an actual flesh-and-blood friend, she entrusted me with two dolls from her collection to photograph (they can be quite expensive). This is what can happen in 3-D (well, 2-D, at least from your view). I haven't played with dolls since my childhood next-door-neighbor, Fran and I played long hours together with my G.I. Joe dolls and and her Barbie and Ken dolls (way before the internet of course). And if playing with dolls had anything to do with me becoming a "tree fairy" myself, then I stand here before you. I had the gleam in my eye for glitter as early in life as I can remember and I've been known to actually hug a real-live tree (the energy can be incredible). There is a certain wisdom to be found in what sparks the eye and connects you to the earth.

WITH CUPID  in flight again this Valentine season (and two BJD's in my hands), it seemed to be a fitting time to explore the mythology of tree faeries. Catrita's doll (above) is Puki Cupid made by Fairyland of Korea. With pointy cupid ears, she's an impish sort. The larger of the two dolls (top) is Lilac Fairy, a OOAK (one-of-a-kind) doll by Berdine Creedy. She’s not as mischievous as Cupid, but she’s just as happy absorbing the world around her.

CELTIC mythology is rich with fairy lore. Many trees found in Celtic countries were thought to have magical powers. They served as homes to fairies, demons and all sorts of woodland myths and beliefs that hold a certain resonance to this day. Oak, ash and thorn trees figure most prominently in this myth-making. But, it depends on what part of the Celtic world you might be exploring as to what trees were most significant. For instance, elder grows abundantly on the Isle of Man in the Irish sea and it is commonly thought of as the ‘fairy tree’. Many elder trees in Ireland were thought haunted by fairies or demons. See what happens when people hold time in their hands? They fashion whole new worlds. Who's to say they're not just channeling stories from an alternate reality? 

I LIKE  to think, that if anything is home to mythological creatures, trees would be the most likely place to find them. It's fun to imagine all sorts of fairies, cupids, nymphs, fawns, gnomes, trolls and leprechauns living in a vast networked subculture right under our noses, only for us to discover when we're ready to step away from the computer screen. It wouldn't hurt to direct our attention back toward the natural and metaphysical world, even for a concentrated moment. We might tap into something we've lost that is just as powerful as modern technology. The mythology passed down through history has a way of bubbling back to the surface to remind us we're a part of something larger than ourselves. Whatever catches the corner of your eye, if you focus your attention long enough, can bring the fuller view back into focus. That's where the surprises of the mind's eye can meet your vision.

THOUGHT BUBBLE | (Top): Lilac Fairy, a one-of-a-kind (OOAK) ball-jointed doll by Berndine Creedy peers gracefully from within an open glass globe I bought at Bungalow in Atlanta (my favorite furniture store) a few years back.

BUBBLICIOUS | (Above): Puki Cupid, made by Fairyland of Korea is ready for the Valentine season. She sits with outstretched arms looking for affection. A glass votive globe from Pottery Barn, dotted with little nibs is a perfect bubble from which an imp can view the world.

photography and styling by Darryl Moland

No comments:

Post a Comment