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The Magpie's Nest
Musings of a Closet Madwoman
I've had a lovely time over the past few days. Last Saturday, I was fortunate enough to attend an 18th Century French Festival at the Hillwood Museum and Gardens (the estate of the late Mrs. Post.) Given my intense fascination with this place and time in history, I was thrilled with the opportunity, and relished it a great deal, as the day easily surpassed my expectations. There was Baroque dancing and etiquette lessons (with beautiful costumes that seemed spun of sugar candy; I'll try to post a photograph later...) One comic dance really stood out from the rest. I thought the duel between the two dancers, one using a sword, the other only a lace fan snapped shut, was especially charming, but lest you think it was all elegance, there also was a section in which they became intoxicated, and shed their balletic gracefulness as if casting off a moth-bitten coat (quite refreshing :).
*I will finish this entry soon, I must go now*
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Today I looked at my book of writing and art, and I am glad that I did. Some poems I had previously written that I utterly despised I have come to peace with after reading once more, months past their birth. (I suppose I shall have to admit, however grudgingly, that the passing of time does have a few meager advantages ;) Perhaps I will post some of them, over the next few months. This one is one of the most recent, and like all of my writings, it is a fragment:

A True Story
The doll lay frozen beneath the glass of the grandfather clock, the blankness of her eyes echoing the constant ‘tick-tock’ that permeated the air. How long had it been since she had passed away? How many years since the shattering hour...to be glued and twisted into the shell of a indifferent toy, a person, no, a doll. If one of the others, wandering into that moth-chewed corner, had held her fingers, they would be firm, like eggshell, but not as fragile. Eggshell shatters, as does thought and flesh and dreams in the call of morning, but never porcelain. Porcelain only breaks into smaller pieces. If they had, in some strange fit of empathy, grasped her hand, they might have noticed something very strange as the tips of their fingers ran down, butterflies fleeing from what they might find. The hands were warm, and smelled of camphor and of black holes, of fossilized cobwebs, whose spiders had long since been slaughtered by the sun. But they never did, if she was a live doll or not made little difference to them. They cared not. The doll paused, her tongue pushed hard against the four china teeth that had been inserted, ever so long ago, between her smiling mouth. That was also china, and painted red, but the doll liked to fancy them as two orange slices withered and molded, burned and grated, ground and gritted to powder by the kiss of the prison which she lay trapped within. Shattering was a slow death. It is imperative to realize that. She liked that word, imperative. It’s irony seemed to mock her, as she mocked herself. It was not a cruel mocking, and seemed done for her own amusement as well as that of the audience. Not that the audience ever was there, of course. Or perhaps they had been the smoke, wafting through the window, a life cord cut from the stillborn sky.
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I dreamed a dream last night... I don't recall what it was about, but in it, I was searching for an 'atmosphere' (for lack of a better word), the sort that I can't really explain, that I used to feel when I was younger and still had my synesthesia, except even more beautiful. I just felt a hint of it, in that strange sleep. Like the faery music of lore, it beckoned to me. If I had known how to follow it I would of. It is so painful, doubting that I'll ever feel free again. I am caught in so many cages...most of my own making. I want to walk in the snow at midnight, to feel the chill air's kisses on my skin, but this dream I am not able to fulfill except, when the season cooperates, on a literal level. In elementary school, I used to dream that I would sprout wings and fly away, my heart soaring away from that schoolyard prison, the other students momentarily devoid of their indifference as I rose, light streaming from my ribcage, into the skies. I do so need to escape. As a small child, I believed that anything could happen. As I skipped through many a year, I held faith that I too could fall down a rabbit hole into Wonderland, that I too, might find a world of my own tucked inside a wardrobe... and the smell of mothballs would turn to the freshness of ice. I guess I must, to some degree, make the 'real' world my Wonderland. I want to bring my internal world into reality, yet I do not know how, and when I try, too often I only end up feeling hollow. I miss believing so much. Sometimes I feel that I am drowning in my own little bubble. I am accustomed to being lonely, but I do wish that someone from the outside would reach out, and promise that life outside my prisons, and even within them, can be as beautiful and worthwhile as the dreaming I long to, but cannot, make 'real'.
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I really am fascinated by taxidermy, which I feel guilty about because I love animals and hate to see them harmed. Like pressing flowers, the idea is something of a paradox. The killing of something in order to “preserve” it, and give the illusion of eternal life. I sometimes think that a few historical figures have been pressed in the pages of their biographies, subjected to a fate similar to those of flattened plants. This perspective could similarly be applied to the death icon; in death, gaining a strange sort of immortality.
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Here is a little sketch I did at the end of last summer.

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I keep on thinking about the pretty thought-dream I conjured a while ago. In it a ragdoll lay sleeping, her eyes sewn shut with jagged stitches of coarse thread. In between the stitches were more strings of thread hanging down, upon which buttons, needles, and other sewing supplies were strung. While she slumbered, the needles and buttons frantically sewed material replicas of the strange dreams that tangled her mind.
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Today I looked at some exquisite examples of Victorian hair jewelry. Partly because of the high mortality rates, the hair of a deceased friend, relative, or famous person was curled, braided, and woven into beautiful and often very intricate ornaments. Most people of our time see this as disgusting, but somehow it strikes me as very natural and quite touching. As silly as it sounds, there is something very spiritual about hair. I love to think that a brooch or a ring contains a part of someone who lived over 100 years ago, a person whose thoughts and wonderings have all but faded to oblivion.
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