Kathie GibboneyBy Kathie Gibboney      November 11, 2022

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Glamour
There is a tree that grows aslant the creek over on Valley Drive just off Old Canyon. I frequently park beside it, yet never truly saw it until a friend mentioned, “Doesn’t it look like a fairy house? Can’t you imagine it having shutters and a little chimney?” And I could, oh, I could. In this time of world upheaval—pandemics, climate calamities, local politicians unworthy of office, angry adults behaving like junior high bullies utilizing hate as patriotism, polluted seas, sad-eyed, lost people, Hannity’s bad hair style, poisoned pills that look like candy, my own mortality, and the lack of really good donuts—I now feel the pull of the tree, ever stronger day by day, an invitation to step into the opening in its trunk and disappearing into the Fairy Realm. Ah, to hear the music and elfin laughter, to be light of heart and foot, to dine on honeysuckle. To live among the Fairy People, never aging or caring one lick for the troubles of the mortal, weary world left far, far behind! But I know the price of Fairyland, where passing years seem but minutes to a mortal. I wrote a story about it once, maybe as a caution, to keep myself from slipping away, as Yeats wrote in his poem, “Come away with a fairy hand in hand, for the world’s too full of weeping for you to understand.” The original definition of the word glamour is to be spellbound, eyes splayed with enchantment, enraptured, bedazzled, blinded by the light. Glamour She closed the book, leaving it on the table and walked back out that golden door. The sudden, ordinary light was harsh and hard. The smell unsweet: cows, wet sheep, and earth. The sound was quiet, no, not quite for there was the caw of the raven and maybe thunder. But the sound was empty, somehow hollow, missing something. She realized there was no music filtering through the air, lifting one’s feet and heart. Wind blew and for the first time in many years, (how long?) she felt the cold and nodded, remembering. Only one thing was given to hide the rough stones and sorrow-covered hills. The shimmering green of Ireland still held. She did not want to look at her hand. “Just walk,” she thought but her legs staggered under her and her dancing shoes, so silver-moonshine delicate, soon tattered, turning to dust as she walked down the road. She hoped he had returned the secret book. He was brave and right to have left it for her to find. Reading the words written in that beautiful scroll was almost like reading music. That was, of course, the problem. It was all too beautiful. Somehow, she already knew in her soul as the book pronounced a truth, “After some time dwelling herein, the human heart will fade and forget.” And she heard his voice whisper, “Go back.” Dear Elf, she thought. It was then she looked at her hand. It was just bone covered with flesh, wrinkled and aged with discolored spots on which her tears fell, tears she had forgotten, and she was glad the elf could not see her, for he did not like to look on ugly things. It was not much farther. Strange the Fairyland door opened so close to that other far-off land. Maybe in the end they are not so different. She did not know how long she had been gone. There were new gravestones with dates far beyond the days she knew. To count the missing years hurt her head and she gave up. “It was just a day or two…” she spoke in a voice unrecognizable. They had taken her long ago as she lay there crying. They had comforted her, taught her dancing, and dressed her in silver. “Just a day or two more” they always said. “One more dance,” they enticed. “The door’s right there you can always walk back through.” There is no time in Fairyland. Maybe now and then she had remembered something of the other life and for a moment the air left her and it felt like falling. Then the music would start and the golden, glimmering sound captured a joy not to be denied so she shook her head hard, to clear away remembering. He was her favorite amongst all the Fair Folk, tall, light on his feet and loved by many. He would tease her, calling her a pretty word she later learned meant clumsy, and bring her flowers in colors she had never seen. They laughed together but sometimes there was something grave in his eyes. Then he left the book because he couldn’t tell her himself that a human with a broken heart will always have a broken heart if they don’t cry. A human will lose their soul if they don’t ever die. Although she didn’t see, he watched her leave. So came she to her Michael’s grave and fell down weeping until she died there, under the clumsy stars. The End November brings a certain melancholy, a winding down of life, the starkness of the raven against the gray. It’s a tempting time to ponder that enchanting netherworld just behind a door, in a tree, or in my muddled mind. No more to witness dastardly political campaigns, the sorrow of loss, the DMV, or laying out fifteen bucks for a margarita. And yes, someday I’ll walk through that portal, but not yet, not yet. There’s still a sort of gallant glamour in being on this plane, living, clawing, and loving in the hardscrabble hope of the here and now.
Kathie Gibboney
      November 11, 2022

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November 11, 2022

THINKING OUT LOUD
NEWS
LONG DISTANCE LISTENING PARTY
WINTER EVENTS
ALL THINGS CONNECTED
MY CORNER OF THE CANYON
LIFESTYLE