Sunday, July 10, 2011

Once upon a time



Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for. ~~Bob Marley

The quest for a resilient heart - you know, a heart that can take a lickin' but keep on tickin' - this isn't anything new. Poets, philosophers, artists, lovers, and just plain folks all over the world, throughout time, have thought about it, wondered how and if it's possible.

What would Goldilocks do? This ia my mantra. Yesterday I was thinking about Goldilocks - her character, I mean. Talk about a trusting, open-hearted girl, unafraid (though she really should be afraid of bears) seeking and finding exactly what makes her comfortable. Well, wow.

OK, I know - Goldilocks is a fictional character in a fairy tale, yes? There are a whole lot of heros and heroines in fairy tales and myths who are as pure, open hearted and resilient as she. Why? These characters are teachers; they encourage us to take one step, then maybe one more step, towards the ideal of their open hearts.

My favorite fairy tale character is Gerda in Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen. I love that story so much, I could almost recite it by heart. The Erik Christian Haugaard translation is my all-time favorite. It's ironic, really funny.

Gerda is not brave or courageous, she is not heroic, but she goes through an icy hell and back to save her soulmate Kai from the clutches of the Snow Queen, who is only seductive to Kai because his heart is frozen. Hmm. Gerda does not kill dragons or wield weapons of any kind. She does not fight. She's so pure, no one can resist helping her, even some of the rather wicked characters in the story, like the wood witch who wants to keep her, or the little robber girl, for instance. She heals Kai with her tears. Now really. Wow, what a story.

Yeah it's a story, but I'm thinking about it today, thinking about Goldilocks and Rapunzel, Cinderella, Snow White, etc. My innate character is nothing like these pure maidens, but they are worth studying, wondering about because - oh man - they are portraits of open-hearted, trusting purity. And they prevail! They are very powerful. Oh yeah. So ... what would Goldilocks do? Eh??

6 comments:

ellen abbott said...

Ya know, I don't find Goldilocks to be such a pure character. She broke into the bears home, ate their food, broke one of their chairs and then went to sleep in their beds. When the bears got home and were understandably upset, she ran away without facing the consequences of her actions. So what was the lesson of Goldilocks?

I do love fairy tales though, have several large volumes. they were regular reading when the kids were little. Those and the book of Aesop's Fables.

What makes for a resilient heart? Love and hope.

Reya Mellicker said...

So you're saying Goldilocks, in a certain way, was behaving just like Rat who was seeking shelter in the chateau but ran away when it became apparent he was not welcome. That's funny!

Reya Mellicker said...

On my way to wOrk I was thinking I'm the anti-gerda, powerful and aggressive yet utterly afraid of everything. Like Jake was. Holy cow.

Whitney Lee said...

Well, they do say that dogs and owners are alike...
Like attracts like and all that.

Gary said...

Musing on fairy tales! Right up my alley dear Reya. Fairy tales are the great myths for children. They provide lessons and fodder for thought that can last a lifetime. Just look at the many perspectives we can have on one story. Amazing! Now, about healing hearts. There is nothing quite like the pain that love can bring but even though I have been flattened by love in the past I found the ones worth suffering for, so that's something. Right?

Reya Mellicker said...

Oh yeah!