Love Letters to the Universe #14: The West (or) Strangers in a Strange Land

1 Mar

Dear Universe,

With some trepidation I present to you the lands of the west. I do so, fully knowing that I must be honest in describing this, my people, for you know me so well. The west is the cardinal direction symbolized by the element water. There the sun dips down to take its nightly bath under a canopy of stars. Water is the element of emotion, spiritual intuition, romanticism, hearts, imagination and creativity. That which holds water is the cup, the totem of the west in the tarot.

In the fantastic imagination of my homeland, we are always moving west, toward the promise of what lies beyond the setting sun. We are heading toward our death and whatever may lay waiting behind that veil. And who lives in this zone where gentling twilight is the norm?

The elusive Fae, of course. They are the creatures that have taken human shape and walk among us, observing, commenting, exploring, shaking their heads with disdain at these hairless monkeys and the trouble they continue to repeat over and over again. One must wear a special set of glasses to notice the Fae among us. Here is the wrinkly faced old one who is slapping his knee and giving winks. In a moment he will jump up and hoot in childlike glee. Here is the little old one wearing fresh-minted skin, as he or she ponders the life of ducks afloat on a Sunday afternoon.

The Fae have often been misunderstood. Often they are the first hunted down by oppressive regimes, rounded up, and silenced. Just so, in gentle cultures they are revered for their wisdom, sought for their council and their stories which always marvel the hearers with a yearning for that which is just out of sight and touch.  Chaos and order are just seasons to these old ones, and they move through both with their own unique and uncanny grace. What motivates them may mystify even the Fae themselves, as that which occupies the rest of the hairless monkeys may be disdained or wholly overlooked by the Witches and Aliens that make up this western tribe. Cursed to always feel like a fish out of water, the Fae often feel, and often are, set apart by their whimsical temperament, their odd outlooks, and their singular styles.

With outspoken women and gentle males, the Fae are the original equalists. It is rare to find a truly prejudicial Alien or Witch. Since their modes of meaning stem from reflection and their natural intuition, the Fae have their own inborn sense of right and wrong. This can bring them into conflict with societies that have rigid and dogmatic rules of behavior and comportment. Hippies, Bohemians, Gypsy-travelers, dreamy-eyed artists, and absent minded professors can all be found in the ranks of the Fae.

Their individualism can be their downfall, as they may grow bitter and resentful of the world and fall into a flight or fight mechanism which will send them into self-righteous rants or scurrying into a self-imposed exile. They may see the rich emotional life inside of themselves as untranslatable to the common monkey and, in an act of self-loathing, try to turn off this emotional well. Many famous Fae have been known for their cold demeanor because of it. This lack of a feeling of belonging and separation may result in despair, which could lead to self-abuse and even suicide.

Writing, poetry, art, teaching, music, spirituality, philosophy, and humanity itself, may hold limitless fascination for these ethereal wanderers. The Fae have one foot in this world, however, and one in the next, and this can lead to a form of depressive lethargy which takes a large will to overcome.  If they do, the Fae have an important role in any society, as their perspective can awaken and illuminate. Their unorthodox take on life can shed light on what this mystical west is like, and how we all might better get there. Young Fae may become despondent with the woes of the world and may bang their heads trying to change it. The old ones, however, have learned the patience and the humor to take what comes and find the funny and the outrageous in it. And although many Fae may have strict adherence to basic and romantic courtesies, they are masters of satire and wit.

As a child, how often did I wonder when someone would show up and lead me to my real family, my real people, my destiny. Whether this person would be a bald man with telepathy in a wheelchair or an owl with a letter, I suppose it depended on what fantasy I was escaping into at the time. Although to say I was purely escaping is incorrect; I was bathing in myth, which is the stuff in that cup which the Aquarian Fae bears to the rest of humanity. Symbols take on a life of their own for the Fae, so that a child might hear a pig’s head on a stick talk, or might have adventures with a stuffed bear.

How many young Fae have been rubbed out by the harsh realities of life before their special gifts can be shared with humanity? How many have despaired over the fact that they exist, overlooking the fact that they may have a genuine purpose in said existence?

I call on my fellow Fae, the autumn people, to rise up proudly and give voice to their haunting promise of a better tomorrow. Of all the directions, it is the west that graces the hairless monkey with psychic awareness. It is rare to find someone with Alien and Witch in their makeup who does not have some measure of clairvoyance, telepathy, nor precognition. These intuitive gifts must be fostered and trusted, for like Fiver from Watership Down or Obi Wan Kenobi from Star Wars, those touched with Fae blood may just get us to where we most needed to be.

Perhaps, that is why we Fae never feel at home. Perhaps some intuitive part of us recognizes that we haven’t got there yet. It isn’t a place or a time, but a general state of being, and with their understanding of the web of life, or the wyrd, the Witches and the Aliens know that if we don’t all get there together, then we haven’t got there at all.

Sometimes, for the Fae it is enough to beat back the dark and proudly say that we are still standing. We are here to witness, to give testimony and to dream of a better world. We must repeat a mantra ceaselessly to remind ourselves that we aren’t alone.

Because you are here with me, and wherever you are, sweet universe, is home.




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