To Perform or Not to Perform … That is the Question

To Perform or Not to Perform … That is the Question

I love creating things that can be shared with an audience, but I struggle with the notion of performance. It’s hard to go out there and put myself on the stage. I’m not a natural extrovert, and I know I’m not the only performer who feels reluctant to leave the wings....

Oliver Sacks on Awakening

Oliver Sacks on Awakening

No story has gripped me more than the real-life "sleeping beauty" story that Oliver Sacks tells in his magnificent book, Awakenings. For years I have been fascinated by the symmetry between his experience of patients with encephalitis lethargica and the fairy tale,...

Voices from “The Dark Princess”

Voices from “The Dark Princess”

In mid-April, I held an online course called "THREADS" in collaboration with Storytelling Toronto. THREADS is an annual workshop series that invites participants to move into a single fairy tale and find their own threads of meaning. This year I chose Richard...

Fairy in the Grass

Fairy in the Grass

On the first day of the first year of the new decade, I had a dream. I am walking through the grass in a garden. I look down and see a tiny feminine figure curled up in the midst of the green shoots. She has a blond bob with bangs and she’s a little bit plump. I think...

The Dark Princess

The Dark Princess

Over the years, I have been fascinated by Richard Kennedy's modern fairy tale, The Dark Princess. It's a story about a princess whose light is so bright that she blinds anyone who looks at her directly. She is utterly alone in the world until she meets a fool who sees...

“I Carry You” A Song of Tribute

“I Carry You” A Song of Tribute

I've been having a recurring image of us sailing away from the harbor of the world as we knew it. Some of us are reaching back, wondering how to recover the security we had before. Others are groping in the fog to find hopeful possibilities. Then there are the people...

Light of the Briar Rose

Light of the Briar Rose

Oh my dear friends, what a crazy time we're living in. It's so full of contradictions! As we distance ourselves from one another we're also coming home. As the pandemic threatens our airflow, the atmosphere is clearing. Birds can hear one another sing again. It's an...

A Sample of Enchantments to Come

A Sample of Enchantments to Come

WonderLit is on the move! We're in the process of moving the site to a new platform, which is going to mean better access for everyone, and potentially, some new WonderLit courses that you can take at your own pace. One of the courses I've been wanting to offer for...

The Finished Woman

The Finished Woman

You dreamt of failing in a finishing school. You were never going to succeed at becoming a Lady. You submitted yourself to endless lessons in etiquette. You allowed every natural instinct to be critiqued, and eventually all the humiliations and tiny tortures silenced...

Dancing with the Red Dress and Other Animate Things

Dancing with the Red Dress and Other Animate Things

Recently I read an article about a woman who is considered to be an oracle in the fashion world. When she looked into her crystal ball, she saw people simplifying their wardrobes, moving towards organic fibers and dyes, and buying well-made, long-lasting garments that...

In Praise of Nymphs

In Praise of Nymphs

I had a dream the other night that I had written something important using a fountain pen. I was staying in a hotel and I came out of the room carrying my writings in a sheaf of loose papers. I got on the elevator with a couple who were wearing white robes. Each of...

Here for a Spell

Here for a Spell

Human beings have been telling stories of spells and enchantments for a long time. The potent idea that one’s form can be changed by a powerful god or magician boils up out of the old myths of Rome and Greece and sprouts everywhere in the world’s fairy tales. Why are...

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