Thursday, June 7, 2012

StoryBook Club conjures Cinderella

 "His Royal Highness-
Christopher Rupert 
Vwindemier Vladamier
 Carl Alexander 
Francois Reginald 
Lancelot Herman 
(Herman? Herman!)
Gregory James....

is giving a ball!!"

And so a decree went out into the land that "The Prince is giving a Ball!"

There were those of us who met at Squirrel Haven for our monthly StoryBook Club, who had been eagerly anticipating this particular story.... for all of our lives.... and some of us have even lived the part.

What little girl among us hasn't wished to be a Princess while playing with our Barbies?

Here is our lovely Cinderella table!

A pumpkin with ratty steeds in ribbon reins! Wands! Flowers! Garlands! Delicious food consisted of a feast fit for a Prince! Roast Chicken and Vegetables, Princess Cake, Princess Parfaits and Danish for a Duchess. Also some decadent Cream Puffs to delight our taste buds. Washed down with a good red wine and some strong tea for afters while watching Rogers & Hammerstein's "Cinderella" with Lesley Ann Warren.
It is our collective conscious "PRINCESS DREAM MOVIE."

Cinderella is a story that has been told, in variations and over thousands of years, with the first type story from the Egyptians! Really really. Wands, shoes, twigs, dresses, walnut shells, animal friends, they are all elements in there in some way in all those stories.

It's a tale of humanity, kindness, cruelty, hard work, co-dependency & most of all:

A girl loved and doted on by her parents, over time and loss of them, finds herself in a harsh environment, critical of her and burdensome to her energy. The girl "Cinderella" (or "Cinderash" or by many other names) endeavors to please the higher ups (her evil Stepmother and Stepsisters- also the flip side of her mother) on the pecking order to prove her worth and sacrifices her dignity to do so. Yet, her kindness, (when she had ample opportunity to lash out back at the sources of her pain and discomfort) prevails and because of this stalwart constitution, she triumphs and is rewarded wish fulfillment. Her magic Fairy Godmother (most likely her very own dear angel mother) appears out of nowhere, at the precise saving moment to transform her and her world forever by giving her the man to save her.
The End.

Ok, so I left a lot out....but you get the drift.

But there is SO much more to this story!! Aside from the blatant fact that we, as humans, (women AND men alike) do have a part of us within us that wishes to be saved. It is our CHILD HEART. The one that has been abused, neglected, trampled or ignored in life. We sometimes buy into society's map laid out for us that if "only we work hard enough, and wish hard enough that we can be saved".

But, really, when all is said and done, its in the journey, and in the doing, and in the working that we learn and teach and know ourselves. And others. There is also a thread in this story about NATURE.
Cinderella's best personal times were with her animal friends, and being outside in nature and her imagination was huge and came from her alone time. The magic also came from a part of her "inner mother" and she "mothered" her own self and gave herself her own wish.

The Prince did save a way....but only by giving her an outlet for LOVE returned, which she was lacking in. It is good to receive and not just GIVE, Cinderella.

How'ere, Cinderella was already a winner in grace.

It was her kindness that saved her. Fragile in reputation, yet stronger than iron. Her glass slippers did not break upon dancing! Or running, or even dropping at the ball. One only was smashed by deceit. But the other remained showing us that we always have kindness in reserve to share.

I also read "The Cinderella Complex" and this book is the opposite side of the coin. This book is about the fact that when we, as women and nurturers, so easily put aside our cares and dreams in order to help others, we get caught in a martyr syndrome of over doing. It's the guilty Jewish mother thing.
"Oh no...YOU go on, and have FUN with the others. I'll just stay here my myself, ALONE, and WORK cleaning up YOUR mess"....kind of thing.

Shit happens.

This complex highlights the fact that we may feel compelled to clean it up, regardless if it's our mess or not. 

Yes, it's their shite.
Yes, they have to deal with it.
Sometimes you even have to deal with their shite, even so.

It really bothers us, in our psyche, to see Cinderella abused and used as much as she is in the story.
We don't like the mean Step Mother or Stepsisters for the very reason that they inflict on our heroine. Cinderella teaches us that while a giving heart is a wondrous thing....
you don't have to be a doormat.
The key here is to work together and play together.
Cinderella can be firm and say "deal with your own self....but I'll help you if I can."

We can't save anyone, really.
Neither can anyone really save us.
We each have that responsibility for our selves in the end.

"To everything there is a season". And that means that there ARE times we need to pick up the dust cloth and vacuum.
But, honey, don't over do it, get obsessed and start straightening the rug fringe (sorry Mimi, I had too :) or like, say,  vacuuming the grass....cuz that's just overkill.

Save some time and energy for yourself, put on a pretty dress and go DANCE at a party and kick up your glass slippers too, fer feck's sake.

And the Prince and Cinderella probably DID live happily ever after, but if you really think about it, she probably picked up after him and doted on him a bit. ...cause that's the way she cares.
A bit.
And I think she'd be WAY kinder to her own servants in the palace, don't you?
Absolutely. Cinderella would be a kind ruler/employer. When I think Cinderella, I think of Princess Diana. She was kind and yet, she'd evolved to saying what she did and did not like. She was an awesome Princess.

Like Cinderella, from more humble beginnings with a fairytale wedding. And she was a true role model being socially just and still vulnerable and independent.

We should all strive for this kind of fortitude.

Next Month's Theme.....just in time for the Ren Faire Season:

Everyone's HERO!!


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