Once upon a time, not so long ago when I was a young girl in the South Bronx, I wanted to be a fairy. I knew about Tinker Bell and I wanted to flitter around as a tiny being who could get in and out of tiny spaces. Fairies presented a sense of whimsy and a sense of bringing about change to the world. There were the fairy godmothers in all the fairy tales who would grant grand life-changing wishes. I loved the idea of personifying lightness considering the darkness with which I was surrounded as a kid. I knew at an early age that I wanted to be Clarice Starling when I grew up, yet being a fairy could have been a cool gig. I wouldn’t have minded submitting my resume for such a job. But fairies always seemed to be such do-gooders. And while I have taken a social justice route in my work life, as a fairy I am not too sure I would want to be a do-gooder. What would be the fun in that?
Throughout history there have been allusions to a wide range of fairies. Once I started reading Shakespeare, I learned of Puck in a Midsummer’s Night Dream. The actor Robert Sean Leonard played him in Dead Poet’s Society. What I loved about Puck was that he was mischievous as well as, at times, humble. If he offended, then it was all a dream on your part.
If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber’d here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream…
I would love to say such a monologue and effect at my business meetings. I wouldn’t mind being a mimi version of Puck. I could offend and then enchant. What a wonderful way to interact with people that you may or may not like. I have come across other types of fairies that may be slightly more interesting and menacing. There is the Russian Bannik who loves baths. He used to insist on “me” time. That is my type of fairy.He possessed the power to change shape and foresee the future. Again, my type of fairy. The Bannik lived in the sauna. What a wondrous place to live. I would never be cold again. And the Bannik wasn’t all that mean. Supposedly, if you disturbed him while he was bathing he would then possibly douse you in boiling water, crack your neck, or strangle you. Considering the many evils out there, the Banik isn’t all that bad.
Oh to be a fairy. What kind. Oh what kind?
To be light and free
To fly, laugh and be winsome