The pristine writer’s desk
“When I Was a Queen in My Own Country…”
I woke up with those words in my head a couple of days ago. No dream memories, no context — just those words. And I’ve been puzzling about them ever since.
Quite awhile back, I bought a tiara, a simple, cheap one (but it does sparkle brightly). In fact, I bought three — the first one wasn’t the one I liked best after all, and the third one was for my granddaughter. The idea, which I got from writerly friends that I admire, is to wear it when doing creative writing. Donning the tiara marks off the time and space and acknowledges it (and oneself) as creative, special, magical. This is an excellent idea!
I wore it once.
Then I wove ribbons into it, but it still wasn’t right.
I’m certain that pretty, clean, precise, sparkling tiaras are right for other more princessly and queenly women, but that just isn’t me. I’m realizing that being ill for so long has made me sort of “civilized” — tame or timid or with too much inertia. But I was never meant to be tame; it isn’t in my genes. Sure, “civilized” is okay for a masquerade — can you imagine me nicely dressed, make-up and stylish hair, disguised as a citified business person? I’ve done that, and done it well enough to pass, but it was never me . Such women probably don’t have flyaway hair like dandelion clocks. Or “gardening fingernails”. Or bare feet. Or cat hair all over their velvet skirts. Velvet skirts? Well, yes — silk and velvet are for me. Especially once they get a little worn and have picked up some stains from the flowers and berries and leaves. And glitter is sticking to them in surprising places. You see what I mean?
A tiara is for writing. O yes, definitely for writing, but not just sitting at my desk with the computer. I’ve put a half a picnic table on the back porch with the intention of sometimes writing or doing art work there. Scribbling in a notebook. Messing about with paints. So far, the table is pristine. Unused. No ink spills or paint spatters! Perhaps I should just go out and dribble paint on it and break it in that way? The inertia of illness is a terrible thing.
Now I understand that a different kind of tiara is needed. Most likely it would be made of things that grow in the woods and bits of ribbon and perhaps fragments of faery lace — and, yes, things that sparkle. It wants to have faery faces peering out of it. If I put red sparkly things on it, do you suppose it would attract hummingbirds? Or only mosquitos? I now understand that it must be for much more than writing. Certainly for art. Definitely for gardening as well — grubby hands and radiant crown and dirty knees. Perhaps a tiara could also be for meditating outside where I can smell the flowers and the trees and hear the birds. Or just for sitting there, sipping a tisane. Magic… my magic is in the humble, simple, beautiful things. It’s natural magic — my favorite form of enchantment where the world of the fae intersects with ours.
To be a Queen In My Own Country… This is about being totally oneself, no? And wearing a crown to celebrate this, a crown born from My Own Country? I’d better start gathering the pieces. And I wonder, I just wonder — what kind of a crown or tiara or circlet would you wear to be a King or a Queen in your Own Country?