One year ago today, I wrote a blog post on aging and about being a woman living in a land in between the ages. I quoted a line from the musical Peter Pan, channeling Neverland. In honor of that post, this is my perspective one year later.
I am a fifty year-old Tinker Bell. My shortly cropped hair stands haphazardly, sharply framing the twinkle in my slightly wrinkled eye. I tell the children that the wiry silver threads piercing through my blonde highlights are tell-tale evidence of flying through fairy dust. But don’t let that fool you. I am all pixie and no fairy, so you can forget the gossamer wings and sweet disposition. Some see me as a bright light, streaking by, quick as my wit while others swat at me as if I was an annoying gnat circling and biting the tops of their ears.
It is no secret that I have a penchant for men that refuse to grow up. Their boyish energy and impetuous decisions create a wake of high adventure as well as a parallel need for a heavy dose of Dramamine. I am always quick to win their admiration, but rarely their heart. That is reserved for the Wendys of the world. I’m afraid she is winning the war with nurture over nature, and supplanting childish fantasies with worldly wisdom. Truly, she is much more a pirate than she lets on, willing to stop at nothing in order to win these boyish hearts. Imagine tricking them into thinking that a kiss is a thimble. She can take her thimble and stick it you know where, since she was the one that reattached Peter’s shadow to the bottom of his feet. I locked it in a drawer for a reason. I was looking forward to showing Peter that I was his conniving equal. I’d flit by his side without ever having to worry about being lost in his bothersome shadow again.
My fury has been well documented, but over the years I stamp my foot a little softer and pout a little less. I haven’t mastered overcoming stubbornness, I’m afraid that is just part of the pixie DNA. True to form we pixies are neither cursed by God nor especially blessed, but we certainly can make life interesting. I no longer need to fly on a wire like Mary Martin, modern technology allows me to virtually go anywhere I please and my flying days tend to happen when most are not looking. That was me streaking to a finish at the Boston Marathon, and fleetly finishing fifty random things during my fiftieth year. Wings have their advantages.
I still live in danger of having my light go out. You remember, in order to keep a fairy alive (it works with us pixies, too) you need to believe and to show that you believe; clap your hands. Affirmation is a powerful elixir. There have been many times when I was close to extinguishing that light, but then I heard two palms come together and I found my spark. Today, I spend many nights in a dark theater. After each performance, I imagine that all that applause is about people believing and I can feel my light getting stronger. These days I am surrounded by grown-ups that tend to think that monetary policy and austerity programs that take away more than they give will be a lasting legacy. I wish they could have the perspective of us other-worldly characters: All that is remembered is that which transcends the mundane. Silly asses!
I have always felt that I live in the land of in between and there is a reason for that. Perhaps this unattributed description of a pixie says it best:
“Pixies dwell in the twilight, between day and night, between the heavens and the earth, between the conscious and the unconscious… where all things are possible, where our past and future meet, where we meet ourselves coming back. When we dance with the pixies, we dance with the reflections of our true selves and the true nature of the world.”
Want my advice? Put your dancing shoes on, look to all things possible, and forever be true. And if that doesn’t work, clap your hands, look for evidence of fairy dust in your hair, and don’t be afraid to say “Silly ass.” It worked for Tinker Bell and it just might work for you, too.