“Femella is girl. There is beauty in simplicity.” – Lasara Firefox Allen
Every time we move I am tempted to donate the remains of my once vast stuffed animal collection. And every time I find myself unable to let them go. A row of fuzzy faces with glass eyes has no place in a grown woman’s closet above her sensible suit jackets. But that closet is also full of faded band t-shirts and dresses that have seen the inside of more smoke filled clubs than sunny days. Why should I rid myself of things that make me happy just because I am starting my thirties? Instead I keep a small private zoo of fluff which grounds me to my youth. The Femella is not becoming, she just is.
Places where I truly live as is:
- swimming pools
- zoos, aquariums, museums
- by the sea
- solo long distance driving
When I think of these places, I feel free and fully present in the experience. I don’t second guess my decision to dive deeper, linger at the lion cage, or buy a book. When I am alone in my car I choose when the motion stops and the direction forward. I don’t second guess the ocean, where her waves break or why she too follows the moon. And while I have become more critical of exhibitions it is only an extension of my unabashed joy for discovery. I will always be the little girl who loves dinosaur bones, sting ray touch tanks, and butterfly gardens.
If I need a quick fix to find my divine child, I turn to cartoons. I have a ritual around mid-terms where I go see a children’s movie by myself at the theater in the middle of the day. I give myself a break from being right and indulge in penguins and puns. Unlike a documentary which I hold in me to unleash at the right moment to prove a point, a children’s movie embraces emotional boundaries in ways we do not appreciate as adults who value control. Children’s movies help me escape if only temporary back to that place.
Journeys and escape from reality were heavy themes in my childhood reading: Alice in Wonderland, Dorothy in Oz, Milo and the Lands Beyond, Tommy Stubbins boy companion to Dr. Dolittle, Max and his Wild Things. Away they went but home they returned. Why, oh why, would they come back?
In her recent novel, Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire addresses this childhood longing to stay in magical places. These doorways, mirrors, toll booths, and tornadoes were not happenstance, but desire made life. The moral of many of these tales when analysed by adults focuses on growing up and the end of childhood fantasy. The Femella does not accept these terms and conditions.
Imagine if these doors to impossible were not closed to us completely but are available when we need them again. Unpossible by Daryl Gregory reveals the rusty Wonder Bike in the attic that will take the divorced man back to the place where he was a boy-hero. Is adulthood the trap at the end of the adventure or the goal of the journey? The Femella says NO! asks us to abandon our linear notion of age. My next Jabberwocky may take the form of student debt. Will a white rabbit lead me to my Vorpal Sword? Or am I going to have to find it myself? Either way, life continues to be the adventure.
The Femella is one of five new archetypes created by Lasara Firefox Allen in her book Jailbreaking the Goddess. This post is a free write as I embrace her renvisioning of the feminine divine.