Wednesday, 27 June 2007

The Feather of Bright Finist the Falcon

As a child I was fascinated by fairy tales. One year, Father Christmas bought me tales from all over the World.

The book from Africa was especially strange as, due to a printing mishap, one out of two pages were blank and I couldn't understand any of the stories. I thought it was due to some kind of secret magic. As of today, tales from Africa make me slightly nervous at first (must be a trick from my reptilian brain). But through this I learnt that you sometimes find mistakes in books. Much later I found out that fairy tales are meant to be told rather than read.

Shalabhajinka (tree spirit) - Bhubaneshwar (Orissa)

Stories from India disconcerted me at first. Especially the ones where at some point two people go to sleep in the forest, have they heads chopped off by a twist of fate, and some goodwilling passer by tries to tidy up the mess but puts the wrong head on the wrong body. I guess this is the root for my political conciousness. As of today I'm still intrigued and thrilled by India and trying to understand their Gods but wouldn't like to wander alone in a forest over there.

I loved the Arabian tales. "The Arabian Nights" was beautifully translated into French in the 18th Century by Antoine Galland and my parents had an old paperback edition with a yellow cover and very soft paper, which I regularly stealed from the family bookshelves. I wished I could have been Sinbad the sailor and wondered about all these palaces hidden in the earth.

One of my favourite books however, was the book of Russian fairy tales, and my favourite story was "The Feather of Bright Finist the Falcon". This one made me cry night after night.

The other day I got this CD by Clarissa Pinkola Estes : "Warming the Stone Child". I was terrified by the stories, especially the one about Mother Moon disappearing in a dark bog. I realised I couldn't turn these stories into something else, yet. Then I found this white bird bead, so American and un-French in my favourite beadshop. It reminded me both about Acey's work on Raven and about my old friend Finist... of course one may say it is a version of the animal-fiancé, just like the Beauty and the Beast or Love and Psyché. Reading it again I found there was an embroidery motive... How interesting !

Illustration by Ivan Bilibin
From this blog

No comments: