buoyant solidarity

I like to let my balloons go. Release the string and let them fly.

They clearly want to fly.

I know, it’s bad for the environment. They likely end up broken and sad, tangled in trees.

But I hope that they don’t.

I hope they fly towards each other. Lost balloons and released balloons and rogue balloons, all finding kindred souls on untied strings.

I like to think somewhere they cling together, in a kind of buoyant solidarity.

Tangled bits of rainbow on blue sky.

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

safe passage

The train is the only safe passage through the forest.

The conductors are armed and trained in combat should there be any… incidents.

(It is a rare journey that passes without incident.)

Looking out the window is inadvisable. Not because of what you might see, but what might see you.

There are things that lurk on the ground and in the trees. There are the trees themselves, which will not let go if they catch hold.

The river, should you make it that far, is cold as ice and deep as death.

During the day, the train is the only comparatively safe passage through the forest.

After dark there are fewer options.

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

the magic business

My father says the secret is making the audience think there’s a trick when there isn’t, really.

The magic business is all about misdirection and flashy handkerchiefs and sparks because real magic is boring if you let people see it without all the flashy stuff over top. People pay for tickets to see the spectacle, not the magic.

You have to make it look difficult, because if it looks too easy the audience thinks anyone can do it and then it’s not special and ticket-worthy.

But never be too good, he says. People don’t like it when you’re too good.

It’s harder than it sounds, to be good enough to be impressive but not good enough to be unbelievable.

Especially when it’s so easy. It’s like trying to make tying your shoes look mystifying.

Maybe it is, to people who don’t have shoes.

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

simple as kisses

People say he used to be a prince. Probably because it seems appropriate and romantic, traditional for tales about frogs.

Neighborhood girls dare each other to creep through the brush into the yard, to tangle the ropes of his swing or kiss the top of his green, frozen head. They run off in screaming giggles, leaving him alone with his sorrow and no way to right himself.

The rules are not as simple as kisses, not these days.

He is part of neighborhood folklore now, the Prince on his swing. One Hallowe’en someone placed a paper crown on his head but it would not stay, carried off in a rush of midnight leaves by a cold November wind.

But he was never a prince. Just a boy. A stupid, stupid boy.

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