flax-golden tales: the leaf painters

the leaf paintersthe leaf painters 

Sometimes the leaf painters are overly enthusiastic.

(They only get to paint once a year, after all.)

Sometimes fragile leaves are covered with so much color that it overexcites and overwhelms their already temporary leaf natures.

Some freshly painted leaves let go too soon, seduced by the promise of a dance with even the gentlest breeze.

For other leaves the new colors are so bright and hot and strange that they burn out like flames.

They fall to the ground, crisp and brown, faded and exhausted and confused.

(Leaves are sensitive things.)

But once in awhile the painters get everything right.

Reds and russets and oranges and golds gently applied and perfectly balanced, dancing with the lingering greens, not too much or too bright or too fast.

And the painted leaves just glow, warm and surprised and delighted.

 

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

flax-golden tales: pumpkin picking

pumpkin pickingpumpkin picking

You must pick a pumpkin.

You are not allowed to leave without one.

(And trust us, you don’t want to stay here.)

The pumpkins are more or less identical, relatively similar in size and shape with subtle deviations in stems and shades of orange.

Their contents… vary.

Three contain fulfillments for wishes which must be wished immediately or the previously pumpkin-contained opportunities will vanish into the autumn air, forever lost.

A few are occupied by tiny creatures, each unique and some more tamable than others.

One holds instant death.

Take your time, but you have to pick one.

That’s the rule.

 

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

flax-golden tales: broken horses

broken horsesbroken horses

broken horses are still wild
only worn and wounded by time
no amount of harm can diminish their passion
their spirit will remain even if hooves and hearts and memories are lost
being trapped in stone is not the same as being tamed
it simply makes them stronger
changing form cannot change nature
even broken horses run
so fast and swift that the pain
disappears in the wind

 

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

flax-golden tales: hardest truths from softest wool

hardest truthshardest truths from softest wool

You will not want to consult the lambs—no one truly does—but the opportunity cannot be resisted if given.

So if the sun is right and they are waiting for you, ears alert and listening, you will enter their field under many small watchful gazes.

You will lean close to a single lamb and tell it your troubles.

And in return it will give you the truths that you do not want to hear.

That you are better off without her.

That it is not yet over.

That what is holding you back is yourself.

That you can only wait.

Then you will pet the lamb who has given you this burden and you will notice the softness of its fleece beneath your fingers.

And things won’t seem so bad.

 

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

flax-golden tales: to the ones who do the leaving

the ones who do the leavingto the ones who do the leaving

This is an ode to the ones who do the leaving.
The ones who dare to break ties and hearts
because they know they are not princes in disguise,
are not one true loves,
are not cursed.
Those who cannot be anything but what they are
no matter how they try.
The ones who know that they are swans
even if they pretend to be princes for a time
out of politeness,
out of fear,
or to meet expectations.
Because it felt easier,
or safer,
to be something they are not.
The ones who told themselves lies
and sometimes even believed them.
The ones who have come to learn that staying is the cowardly act
and that running away can be brave.
The ones who find their voices,
find their feathers,
find their wings
and leave the familiar in favor of the unknown.
The ones who realize
they can be something true
somewhere else.
And to seek it
they must leave
the place where they were.

 

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

flax-golden tales: lucky

luckylucky

Most patrons assume the name doesn’t actually mean anything, but establishments are not permitted use of the word “Lucky” unless they have approval from the Board of Fortuity.

The Board of Fortuity prefers to keep such things regulated, though the regulations are hardly public knowledge. Often the assessments are performed without the proprietor’s knowledge, but they are always assessed if they dare to use the L-word.

(Venues that do not pass assessment meet with unfortunate ends and are often deemed “unlucky” in headlines reporting their passings with predictable lack of creativity.)

To ensure approval, something provided by the Lucky-monikered establishment must provide legitimate luck. The assessments are quite thorough and only a few pass with colors resembling flying, most barely qualify and many of those will fail future reassessments.

Lucky Cat is the most popular though the only item on the menu that contains a significant amount of luck is the Jungle Bird, rarely ordered and even more rarely imbibed properly.

Once, someone ordered every lucky pastry at The Lucky Fig and managed to cheat death three times on his way home afterward, though he didn’t notice.

The luckiest of Lucky establishments is a Board of Fortuity secret but some suspect it belongs to a jeweler who unknowingly crafts her wares from extremely fortuitous metals, as her supplier has kept this information to himself.

No one will confirm or deny this, but it has not escaped notice that every member of the Board of Fortuity wears at least one piece of Lucky Stars jewelry.

 

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

flax-golden tales: a welcome from the watchers

welcomea welcome from the watchers

Welcome, new neighbor!

We would like to offer you a few reminders about the building.

Outgoing postal mail may be placed in the marked basket in the front hall.

Cardboard and glass recycling is sorted in the basement.

Please do not enter the hallway between the hours of 3:05am to 4:47am, no matter what you may hear.

Never, ever feed the sparrows in the backyard.

And please refrain from doing laundry on days with an “e” in them.

We wish you sunshine and happiness, even when it is raining.

We hope you will enjoy living here.

And we remind you that even though you may never see us, we are always watching.

 

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

flax-golden tales: over land or over water

over land or over waterover land or over water

they make you choose before you depart

you cannot see the paths

they ask only if you prefer to travel over land or over water

(they are considerate enough to ensure that if you choose the water route, you have appropriate footwear)

you will think, as you attempt to navigate the slippery rocks with your rugged yet soggy boots, that those who choose the land route must have it easier and you will be certain that you chose badly, but this is incorrect

those who travel over land will seethe with envy as they remove stones from their boots and curse the birds that swoop down and peck at their ears

even as the fish nip at your heels

the choices are neither good nor bad, they are only choices

you could have chosen not to travel at all, to remain as you were

that wouldn’t get you anywhere.

 

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

flax-golden tales: the floral post

floral postthe floral post

I thought the box on the fence was a proper mailbox because it said “post” but the first outgoing letter I put inside reappeared on my windowsill the next day with a key on top that kept the wind from carrying it away and a solitary indigo-and-yellow pansy.

I knew the key would fit the box but I tested it anyway, just to be sure.

It still took me awhile to figure out how it worked, at least in concept.

Sometimes it’s a single blossom waiting inside the box. Other days the floral post brings full bouquets or potted orchids.

Often there are roses–white or red or yellow flame-tipped–in shades that always seem to suit my mood.

Once there were only petals, a rainbow of color that fluttered to the sidewalk like the misplaced feathers of countless tropical birds.

I haven’t figured out how they get there, though I’m not sure I want to know. The flowers don’t appear every day but they arrive quite frequently and I’ve never seen anyone go near the box.

When there’s something inside to find, the yellow painted flower glows a little brighter.

 

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

flax-golden tales: we cannot see our destination but we can see far enough to get there

destinationwe cannot see our destination but we can see far enough to get there

When we reach the shore we debate whether it is a lake or a pond or an ocean or a sea or a large puddle and we decided to call it the briny deep even though we can’t tell how deep it is because it sounds appropriately mysterious and a teensy bit dangerous.

We can see the path curling up the hill past the opposite shore and the briny deep is in our way so it is a challenge and together we shall overcome it.

We do not have a boat so we build one from wood and wax and wishes and we fashion sails for it from scraps of silk though they are mostly for show as there is not much wind and we paint little wings on our oars.

(We make wheels for the boat so we can continue to sail-row-roll along the path and we will not have to leave our boat behind.)

We stomp and splash at the edge of the briny deep where it is not so deep before we set sail.

(Things that can be stomped upon and splashed do not seem so scary after they have been stomped and splashed.)

We row onto the briny deep and we sing songs and then the clouds begin to roll in until they are one big cloud covering the entire sky and the wind comes and tugs too hard at our silk sails and waves splash over the boat and then the boat is upside down.

When the sun comes out the boat is on the opposite shore in broken bits and the sails are tangled shreds of ribbon and there is sand in my pockets and I am soggy and alone.

I yell and cry and no one answers except the birds who cry back and tell me not to fuss so much and help me gather up the useful pieces of the boat and braid the ribbons of silk into my hair.

I keep going, following the curly path up the hill, because we always promised we would keep going no matter what sort of challenges the wide world sent to us and I want to keep our word.

 

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