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Girl Into Heron
Dreamed 2017/11/7 by Wayan
for Ovid, Margaret Stohl, and Watts Martin
Read and read. First book: Royce Rolls, by Margaret Stohl, a farce (which she claims is slightly autobiographical) about a Los Angeles reality-TV family with absolutely no privacy. Teenage Bentley wants out, and does some ingeniously drastic stuff to get out. Funny. A solo departure from the Southern fantasy-horror that Stohl did with Kami Garcia--whose solo work just keeps repeating that same ol' devilism. Stohl's following her bad-girl thing down a different path here. The risk paid off.
Watts Martin, Why Coyotes Howl. Science fiction & fantasy tales, mostly furry. Not all--Still Life With Espresso is a rather Charles de Lint fantasy on a painter who reads others' memories; her historical murals start revitalizing her 'hood. But many are straight wish-fulfilling furry/xenophilic romances. The story-structures and prose aren't always polished, but the emotions and issues he raises hit home. Bentley in Royce Rolls was fun, but I'm not a media-saturated human. This book makes it clear that skin or not, I am a fur.
Mainstream critics judge the artistry in depicting their little world; minorities like me, living outside that one room, focus on subject matter and ideas. Not that I MIND a great style, but...
Go to bed half-satisfied and half longing--my loneliness for otherness stronger than ever. But then, Tolkien, in "On Fairy-Stories", his definitive essay on the function of fantasy, says that's the job of such tales. Mundane fiction polishes the doors of perception; fantasy cleans the doors of desire. We're too reasonable; think too small.
She's tall. Gawky tall. As only a teenage girl
Is when the child's outgrown.
Marshwades in her shimmerblue shirt until
She finds the secret stone.
Cloth frays to feathers. Legs to leather, and
Blue heron! Everglades. Everglad. I feel
Her joy in flight.
And selves. Return to hands, to human lands
Whenever she likes.
But the dream veers. On this fork she died
Along with her stalkers four. Or
At least the cops, who have no faith in bird,
Think all are swamp-corpses. I
Tag along, with a slouching Private Eye.
He and I, mudweary, try
To track the flown. Ovid or Oblivion? My mind,
Black drown could be. And yet those four
Trod her track. Black stone!
Wild cranes could bloom. Would they
Find avianity a joy, as she?
In the reeds, Obsidian winks. Old crocodilian
Come-hither smile. I dread
Treading that stone. Yet how I long! So...
Dare I step, let go?
NOTES IN THE MORNING
- Leggy nonhuman girl in blue; swamp-stone-portal: Reli in Watts Martin's Traveling Music--a leggy catgirl in blue sent by an Everglades portal-stone into our ape-run world finds, unexpectedly, love. Meaning: Loneliness, love unsought?
- Human-to-marsh-bird: echoes The Blue Flamingo by A. Merritt or Hannes Bok, I forget. The flamingo guards a gate to paradise; the tough-guy narrator shoots the bird to get in. He's eventually caught and put in the flamingo's form (and job) as a parole--can he learn restraint? Patience? Restraint? Bird-respect?
- Girl grows feathers: in Watts Martin's Going to the Dogs, a man wakes up part mutt. His wife walks: "You're not the man I married!" True. But as she leaves, she sheds a feather. Changing too. Denying change underway?
- Sleuthing: in Royce Rolls, to escape her smothering family, Bentley fakes her own death; long after, her brother & a cop track her down. Trying to reunify?
- Four men vanish, not one as in Bentley's staged death: in Watts Martin's Without Evidence, a sapient tigress killed her four abusers; to banish flashbacks, she now and then finds, kills & eats a jerk. Not always a rapist or abuser; she's no Girl with the Dragon Tattoo careful who she hits. Unhealed trauma, passing evil on?
- Cops see thuggery cuz can't imagine metamorphosis: my rationality assumes MY abuse scarred me; maybe it did knock my sexual orientation from human to furry. But gayness isn't just post-traumatic stress. Why should xenophilia be? And the heron was joyful, and, I think, able to return at will. Just as I fly the oneirosphere but nest in your human world. Shamanic dreamwork!
- Heron-people: recurrent theme! Whatever they mean, it's important. Diverse dream-herons:
- Three weeks ago, a heron-headed gawky brown guy in a suit ran an architecture magazine. My first thought was Thoth, Egyptian god of scholars & scribes--Creativity. But I'd just read Nagabe's The Girl From The Other Side: a tall dark angular beaky mutant becomes guardian of an abandoned human child. Responsibility, disciplined nurturance?
- Two weeks ago, two cat-raven-heron girls. One flirted with me. We petted and purred. We didn't go all the way, but I found her adorable--in all her shapes, she had such sensual, happy energy. Sensuality?
- What's this third heron mean? Joy, dreamwork, art? Betweenness?
- ACTION: face my furriness--good and bad. The trauma that unstuck me from the human world may have left scars--a feral wariness. Yet don't assume trauma only stunts one.Transforms, too. I gained disciplined creativity, sensuality, and just possibly soul-flight. Illness traditionally prods a shaman out of the human egg.
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