flax-golden tales: the best revenge

best revengethe best revenge

I made lists of meanings and astrological correspondences but now that I’m in the store I feel lost.

There are so many shelves and faced with all the ingredients in separate jars and bottles I’m instantly overwhelmed trying to remember how they’re supposed to be combined and what everything means and what it is I need.

And I don’t really know what it is that I need so I stare at the faded label on a jar of white sage and try not to cry.

The shopkeeper, a tall guy with cobalt blue dreadlocks and a nice smile, asks me if I’m okay and I manage a nod.

I expect him to ask me what I’m looking for so I try to come up with a proper answer. Protection, maybe. Or revenge.

But he doesn’t ask, he just offers me a cup of yerba mate tea with lemongrass and suddenly we’re talking about how tea tastes better when served in proper cups rather than paper ones and discussing literature and cinnamon and fate.

I don’t end up buying anything, he won’t even let me pay for the tea.

As I’m leaving he gives me a single violet from a pot on the windowsill and tells me that living well is the best revenge.


About flax-golden tales. Photo by Carey Farrell. Text by Erin Morgenstern.

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natural history

One of the things I love about living in NYC is that there are entire other worlds here, where you can forget that you’re in the middle of Manhattan and feel like you’re somewhere else entirely.

We went to the American Museum of Natural History today. I haven’t visited in a very long time and I’d forgotten how wonderful and maze-like and fascinating it is.

We saw a lot of whales in a fabulous exhibit that we were not allowed to take photographs in. (The whales kept reminding me of The Rathbones which I can finally tell you to read in about a week and a half.)

I learned that sea otters have the densest fur of any mammal. I became enamored of a tiger and a fluffy-footed owl. I found things that inspired writing ideas in shadowy corners when I wasn’t even looking for them, but maybe they were looking for me.

And of course, we only managed a fraction of the galleries, so we shall have to go back.




lynx and bunny

kitty friend

(All photos are Adam’s, he brought his camera and I just had my phone, though I did get a good Instagram of the lynx.)

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flax-golden tales: undisclosed intentions of departing angels

departing angelsundisclosed intentions of departing angels

The angels left the cemetery yesterday, I don’t think anyone saw them go except for me. There were other people around but they all seemed preoccupied with thoughts and stones and flowers.

The angels stepped down from monuments and mausoleums and walked quietly away.

One of them passed by where I was sitting and left a single feather in its wake, soft but cold and grey as stone. I pressed it carefully between the pages of my notebook but it was gone when I got home.

Today the news is calling the disappearance thievery or vandalism or performance art.

I doubt they’d believe me if I informed them that the angels left of their own accord.

Besides, it’s not my business. I’m sure the angels had their reasons.

Perhaps they were needed elsewhere.


About flax-golden tales. Photo by Carey Farrell. Text by Erin Morgenstern.

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a bunny and a raven

So remember back in May when I fell in art love with Ellen Jewett’s sculptures?

I ordered a custom one.

It arrived today.

Bunny Raven 3She does what she calls “creature stacks” so I asked for a raven and a white bunny and mostly left the rest of it up to her interpretation. I could not possibly be more delighted with what she came up with.

Bunny Raven 1They live on the mantelpiece now. Maybe someday they’ll tell me their names. I have a feeling they have a story.

Bunny Raven 2(More of Ellen’s creatures can be found on her websitedeviantART & custom work is available from her Etsy store.)

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flax-golden tales: lights that guide the way to destinies untold

destinies untold

lights that guide the way to destinies untold

The path is there, somewhere.

Or so they tell me.

I suspect it is a gentle lie to strengthen my belief.

Sometimes it works.

Sometimes I can trust that there is a path set out for me to find.

Obscured in thorn-laced wildflowers and twisting vines.

Hazardous to navigate.


I believe in the lampposts more than I believe in the path.

Because I can see them in the dark.


About flax-golden tales. Photo by Carey Farrell. Text by Erin Morgenstern.

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now we are thirty-five

Today I am thirty-five years old, which means this blog is five years old (and flax-golden tales are four).

Five years sounds comparatively short but July of 2008 feels like a lifetime ago. More than a lifetime.

I’m not the girl I was then. I don’t think that girl could have imagined this particular version of “where do you think you’ll be in five years?” and that girl had a very good imagination.

I don’t think she even would have believed that I live in Manhattan.

And as much as life is overwhelming at times and I’m still figuring it all out, I know I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.

At some point over the last couple of years I starting posting less about personal things and I know that was partially because more people were listening and also because there was (and is) a good deal of negative personal stuff that doesn’t warrant talking about.

But somewhere in there I stopped talking about the positive stuff, too. And I think it’d be nice to start this fifth year of the blog, this thirty-fifth year of me, with something positive.

This is Adam.


We met at the International Festival of Authors in Toronto while I was on that first whirlwind of a book tour in October of 2011. We got to know each other through emails and Skype chats and visits and vacations and then he was my date to my sister’s wedding last summer and I never gave him back.

He does handstands and takes fantastic photographs and reads more than anyone I’ve ever met.

I know I don’t have to tell the internet about my personal life and I won’t be oversharing or even sharing all that much, really, but I’m tired of saying “I” when I mean “we” and he makes me happier than I have ever been. He’s a gigantic, important part of my life and I love him. He keeps me steady on the crazy roller coaster that is life right now so that I can actually enjoy it. I thought the internet might like to meet him.

So this is thirty-five. It sounds strangely round as a number. I have no idea what the next five years might bring but I’m sure there will be reading and writing and cocktails and cupcakes and birthdays and stories and unimaginable adventures.

We shall see.

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flax-golden tales: the cat and the fiddle


the cat and the fiddle

I was tasked with finding that cat who could play the fiddle because the band needed a proper fiddle player and the sheep were lousy at anything but percussion (including running their own errands). I asked around at pubs and shoppes and fairy markets and several questionable sources pointed me in the same direction but when I got there I only found the cow.

I asked if she had really jumped over the moon and she said yes but technically it was a moon and not the moon.

She told me that tale-tellers are prone to hyperbole, especially when rhyming.

I asked after the cat, hoping that part wasn’t also a rhyme-necessitated exaggeration. I explained how I was searching for a fiddle player and she told me the cat did indeed play the fiddle once but she gave it up, something about no longer finding the instrument challenging. The last the cow had heard was that the cat was studying the harpsichord, or at least that’s what the little dog said.

I told her that was a shame as I had been sent in search of a fiddle player and not a harpsichordist, and thanked her for saving me the trouble of looking further. She told me the cat always declined invitations to join bands anyway because the fiddle thing had given her a bit of a reputation and she preferred to be free to follow her muse.

Then the cow added in a whisper that the dish really did run away with the spoon but the fork was the only one who didn’t see that coming and he’s still in therapy.


About flax-golden tales. Photo by Carey Farrell. Text by Erin Morgenstern.

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Cancer Horoscope for week of July 4, 2013

Thomas Gray was a renowned 18th-century English poet best remembered for his “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard.” It was a short poem — only 986 words, which is less than the length of this horoscope column. On the other hand, it took him seven years to write it, or an average of 12 words per month. I suspect that you are embarking on a labor of love that will evolve at a gradual pace, too, Cancerian. It might not occupy you for seven years, but it will probably take longer than you imagine. And yet, that’s exactly how long it should take. This is a character-building, life-defining project that can’t and shouldn’t be rushed.

Thank you, Rob Brezsny, for making me feel better about this not-yet-novel-shaped thing taking so long.

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