A Festival of Fairies
This morning (August 11, 2020), seguing from a discussion about diatoms, Ije and I told Alethea about “Aurora Borealis”. Mangling the name for the Earth’s magical display of northern lights as she pronounced it, she asked: “What’s that?” We paused briefly then told her it is where fairies congregate to talk about stuff, to exchange delightful cooking recipes, but mostly to dance. Her jaw dropped, her eyes sparkled with awe.
Alethea loves fairies. She’s always been surrounded by them. And her affectionate relationship with the resplendent little critters has grown on me, expanding my notion of the real. Through her eyes, I am continually discipled by a radical gesture of hospitality towards the Unthought – the ongoing traffic of ideas, bodies and concepts that are excluded from our sociology of the social, hidden from our calculations of justice, buried beneath our anorexic/literalist notions of reality, marginalized by the psychic gentrification of the imperial ego. The rebel Jesus rightly named “the kingdom of heaven” after children, indicating that the other worlds we seek don’t lie at an Apollonian distance from where we are, but are shockingly close, tucked into archetypes, dreams, fairies, and dimensions that are rhizomatically nearby.
As a pandemic wind flails and moans across continents, let us heed the knocks on our doors and be hospitable to the strange travelers that seek temporary shelter. The forbidden concept. The theory that makes us squirm. The shocking reframe. The barely sandalled notion that challenges our place-making performances of home. Of justice. Of rightness. For if the nightly tales I tell my daughter are anything to go by, if the many stories of magical visitations are to be cherished, if her precious awe holds any weight, we must be careful to attend to the stranger because you never know which one might be a disguised angel.