I planned a paper fairy PLAYshop for January. Omicron came along and knocked that out of the realm of possibility – at least as a real LIVE breathing and in person PLAYshop. The Pandemic is giving our adaptability muscles new opportunities to flex!
Instead I offered an at home version where participants received a packet of papers to make their fairy, as well as access to instructions and templates and a short Zoom fairy consultation (really a fairy party) with me.
The night after mailing more than a dozen fairy paper parcels, I woke up from an unsettling dream. In the way of dreams, I can’t tell you anything about it, except that once awake, this sentence popped into my head, clear as a bell. “Fairies are so insubstantial.”
“Insubstantial?!!” retorts the fairy. “That’s our superpower! Most beings are far too substantial! Insubstantial, yes! Insignificant, NEVER!!”
I don’t think I laughed out loud then, but I have several times since. This first voice is clearly the voice of my own personal inner critic. She is not usually so funny!
Insubstantial. Flighty. Frivolous. Fanciful!! These are the kinds of words my inner critic loves to taunt me with.
One of the wise fairy makers said, ” I would just tell that inner critic to lighten up!!”
I notice that an enlivening spirit is with me when I am selecting fairy papers for people. I am happy as a clam, I love doing it, everything is a complete mess, and any notion of 1, 2, 3 or getting this done in a certain block of time is completely out of the question. Beside the point. It’s those darn fairies – trying to keep me messed up (in a good way)!
When creating a fairy, I am quietly delighted. Some parts of fairy making are quite finnicky and absorb all of my attention. Time slips through my fingers.
Abra-cad-a-bra! People appear on the my screen. Pouffff – they are gone!! When gathering on Zoom, we fairy makers notice a companionable gaiety and levity in the air. We laugh a lot!
Collaborating with other fairy makers has stretched my ideas about fairies and the possibilities they hold. A mom and her two young sons adapted the PLAYshop to make superheroes, which got me wondering about male fairies and why fairies are so gendered. Another fairy maker started with the thought of creating “Dreaming Fairy” – the fairy who would contribute to the world we want to live into. During one Zoom fairy party, participants had songs pop into their minds when making fairies. “Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes”…and “Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket, save it for a rainy day.” The songs found their expressions on the fairies created.
Sometimes I wonder, did I choose fairies as a project? Or, did the fairies choose me? I think the fairies chose me! In the midst of coldest winter, a pandemic that doesn’t seem to end, and a renovation job taking me deep into our stone basement to “mud” (reinforce the walls with a mixture of sand and lime), it seems that creating paper fairies is the perfect antidote, the best winter and pandemic elixir, a panacea of sorts.
The fairies whisper “Tread lightly”! They loosen my laughter and delight and playfulness. They lead me down new flight paths.
Up, up and away!!
To view an ongoing gallery of fairies created, click here.