"The Princess and the Pea," illustration by Edmund Dulac, 1911
fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen
Dear readers, I did not know that my writer’s retreat was going to turn into a mysterious disappearance. I am so sorry. It is all the fault of something as tiny as a pea. A little pill, no bigger than a one-half of a pea, has literally brought me to my knees.
It is very hard to arrive in one’s sixties without having to take one or two tiny little medications of one sort or another. I have not managed to escape the physician’s prescription pad, try as I might. And this one teeny tiny pill keeps me up all night and yet will not let me quite wake up all day. We are searching for an alternative, but until we do, I find myself without the energy to do much of anything.
I so much want my blog for poetry, not for something as prosaic as a pill. Then I thought of Dulac’s enchanted illustration for “The Princess and the Pea,” and found a way to fleetingly see my situation in some of the old fairytales.
You might wonder why I am having to take this little pill in the first place.
Well, I would have to go back to 1998. No, better go back to when I was born in 1943. No, wait. Because my father was born in Germany and was so very Germanic, I
really think I have to go back to the Brothers Grimm to find the answer. I must go back to the very moments when they were writing down all of their versions of the old
fairytales, especially that one about the little girl with the red
If I could think clearly, I know I could put my finger on something in “Little Red Riding Hood” that explains everything.
I'm quite sure it all started right here, faraway and long ago, in the deep dark woods. One thing led to another. The domino effect. But I haven’t been able to sleep properly, you see, and so I can’t think clearly. As soon as the fog in my mind clears, I will pounce upon the culprit in a nanosecond.
In the midst of my inability to sleep, we have decided to repaint our old house, both outside and inside, and to rip out the carpet in the bedroom and the boxroom, and the linoleum in the kitchen, so that we can reclaim the old wood floors throughout the whole house. I don’t know if this is the worst possible timing for doing this or the best possible timing, but it pretty much means boxing everything up and getting it out.
I know that some of you have done major renovations and managed to keep on blogging without skipping a beat, but I do not think I am going to be able to. Even if I could sleep properly, I still might not quite have that extra bit of ooooomph.
During the worst of the renovation, I will probably spend my days at our little neighborhood castle. Yes, I have a castle almost in my front yard. The castle, otherwise known as the Elisabet Ney Museum, is open again after being in a state of renovation itself this past year, and I’ve been meaning to take you here on a tour.
I find it incredible that a castle is alive and well only four blocks away from my house. I walk past this wild wonderful landscape nearly every day of my life, and bow my head to Elisabet Ney who lived here and perfected her sculptures here. She is on my list of posts that I want to do for you. I can’t possibly get too very lost when all I have to do is walk one block to the corner, turn left, and then three more blocks due east, and there it is, a castle in a field of wild grasses.
Our little old house, being made of wood rather than medieval stone, is built on what is called “pier and beam,” and so before we can start to paint, we must have the house “releveled.” Perhaps that is what I need the most: a house that is sitting level. Am I unable to sleep at night because I am living in a tilted house? Now that I think of it, not one doctor has ever asked me if my house needs to be releveled. It might be the most important question!
I should tell you that paper girl and rabbit are not happy about not being featured here on a regular basis. They have found an old typewriter, and I can hear them typing away in the middle of the night. I found a discarded scrap:
Oh dear! When I confronted them, they pretended to be made out of paper and unable to speak, much less operate a typewriter.
I don't know yet when I will start blogging again, but I will check back here in September and let you know how things are going sleep-wise and house-wise. Until then, dearest ones, please bear with me. I am trying to get back to you. With all my heart and soul.