Times come in every life when one’s world view is not solid, when traditional mores and rules seem not to pertain. One feels awash, with no structure to guide one’s actions. As young children, all of us are subject to the turbulent chaos of an adult world beyond our understanding. What children have traditionally been given to structure their relationship to life are fairy tales. A child’s way of experiencing, as Gawan learned from Obilot, can augment an adult’s, and the fairy tale best expresses this way of experiencing. Incredible as it might seem to the initiate-speaker, a child’s book of fairy tales harbors a treasure. It is no coincidence that interest in fairy tales, and other traditional stories, burgeons now when so many adults feel divided of a secure world view, when so many aspects of life merit questioning.
Monday, July 04, 2005
I've been rearranging my rather massive book collection - a time to purge and pack away into deep storage many texts to make room for some new ones. I'm pleasantly surprised to rediscover books that i haven't cracked open for some time and as i lay hands on each beloved text - especially those from my collections of tales (folk and fairy and literary) old memories are sparked of the lessons i've learned and am still learning from the tales and ideas that i have read. Lind Sussman in The Speech of the Grail (Lindisfarne Books, 1995) writes: