I’m a little late on noticing this, but my calendar contains thoughtful statements. Indeed, my Josephine Wall fantasy calendar is stunning and thought-provoking. For August it says, “When we listen to a shell we hear the distant roaring of the sea: when a mermaid looks into one, does she see a scene from the world ashore? Whoever, wherever we are, whatever our limitations, all of us can make the effort of the will it takes to imagine an existence beyond our own.”
Being without employment has forced me to breathe. It has made me see what’s really important. I’ve seen more of my city and my friends in the last couple of weeks than I have over an entire quarter. I’ve seen more clearly what I have and am thankful for.
I barely looked at my calendar’s beautiful fantasy scenes each month. What did I miss in the previous months because I was too busy running in a rat race?
January: “Here dwells a very different kind of unicorn: beautiful, gentle, feminine, and unfathomably mysterious. She can talk as earthly women do, or communicate through the heavenly sounds that emanate from the harp beneath her horn.”
February: “Quite literally ‘one with nature’, the Wood Nymph or Dryad is half-human and half-plant: flowers, stems and tendrils tumble from her head instead of hair. The woodland creatures come to her because they know she is their friend.”
March: “Like the bird [magpie] from which she’s named , she can’t resist anything that gleams or glitters. We see her here festooned in ‘finds’ of every kind. Kleptomaniac or collector? She really doesn’t see what she does as wrong, picking up the brightly-coloured bits and pieces that people discard or lose.”
April: “Borne away upon the breeze over hill and dale, content to go where they are carried: these spirits [Gossamer and Thistledown] travel light, free of fears, doubts, and anxieties. We can only envy them their carefree lives – and do our best to emulate them, difficult as that must be in the hustle and bustle of today.”
May: “As the mermaid sleeps on her bed of sand and stone the ocean above her becomes a sea of dreams: she sees King Neptune guarding the gates of the great city of Atlantis with his trident. One day, she knows, she will enter within its walls and marvel at its miraculous sights and sounds.”
June: “Gazing rapidly out towards the far horizon – past the shore, past the sea, past the distant ship – the maiden sees a vast white cloud billow and burgeon into a flower. We should always allow ourselves to dream of possibilities that lie beyond our reach. Who is to say where our limits will actually lie?”
And for last month…
July: “A rose and a wish of love for the lady waiting by the river bank, though she herself is as beautiful as any flower. She seems as much a part of her scene as any plant, so perfectly does she blend in against her background with her diaphanous dress, her sumptuously braided hair.”
In looking back at these it has inspired some backstory for my protagonist as I hadn’t fully worked out who her mother was. Now it makes perfect sense to me.
Time to get back to editing the novel with new clarity.