Friday, April 8, 2011

Falling Houses

I got this nifty little sign a few years back on a weekend trip to St. Augustine, FL.  There's a great little store down there full of fairies, witch paraphernalia, spells, incense, and other goodies catering to the darker side in all of us.  If you're in to that sort of thing.  And I'll admit, every now and then I am, or rather, there's a part of me that always is.  And every now and then, I let it surface.  Yes, that sounds more like it.

This particular signage is a charming reference to the Wizard of Oz.  It cautions the viewer, namely the person who bought it - me, to beware of "falling houses", and it clicked after I bought it, that that would lend itself to me admitting to be particularly "witchy".  Now, I am not a witch in terms of modern day terminology.  I'm not even a witch in terms of historical terminology.  I'm just not a witch... not that there's anything wrong with it.  When I was younger, say middle school or so, I remember going to sleepovers and egging everyone on to play "Light-as-a-feather,-stiff-as-a-board", engaging in seances, and seeing if a Ouija board would actually work.  It's something that I've always been interested in, but looking back, I think it was more interest in the theatrics without really knowing what was going on.  I was a kid though, and I don't think I understood the implications of what I was putting out there into the world.  These days, I am very mindful of messing with the universe... and I think my Religious Studies has made me that way.  I have issues with people that participate in religious rituals without knowing what they're doing.  Yes, there is a point of following directions in order to perform a ritual, but to that religion/ spirituality/ belief, it means something serious.  And for a person to participate, I think there should be an understanding that you are participating in something that is bigger than you.  I'll admit, I went into that store in St. Augustine because I was enticed by the theatrics of the materials... but to some people, this stuff actually means something serious.  I could look at the spell books, and the oils, and things, but I would not buy them because I am not going to put that into my hands if I don't know what to do with it.  I understand now that some things are "bigger than me" and that I'm not going to mess with it.  You never know what can come back onto you...

It's like telling a lie.  It's something that we've all done.  I remember one time I had woken up late for work, and I was supposed to be across town with all of my supplies for an off-site even that I was hosting.  I had to go to the store (which was about 30 minutes away), get everything and then head to the off-site.  Well, not only was I late, but I realized when I got to the store, that I had forgotten the key to get in...  it was awful.  Talk about a bad way to start your day.  Luckily, the owner lived close-by and was able to come to my rescue.  When I called the site to tell them that I was going to be late however, I included some story about car trouble and that being the reason that I was running behind.  Well low and behold, later that day, my car over-heated and I was stuck on the side of the road.  Eventually, everything was fixed and I was on my way and back to normal.  When I was telling my mom about it later, she made a point that has stuck with me... don't put anything out there in the world, without expecting it to come back to you (or something like that).  I think that there is a direct correlation between me using "car troubles" as my excuse and me having car troubles later that day.  I believe it.  And now, I am very aware of those sort of excuses and I have become much more truthful.  I don't like telling lies for the fact that those stories could become reality... and that could be a bad thing.  I think for the most part though, it is a very personal thing.  I know that there will be people who disagree, and that's great!  But for me, I think I've become a better person because I am aware of what I am putting out there.

And I also think it has a lot to do with interpretation.  Like I was mentioning earlier, I bought the sign because I appreciated the "Wizard of Oz" reference.  I didn't understand that I was inadvertently taking claim of my withcy-ness.  But with the addition of Gregory Maguire into my literary world, my perspective has changed, and so has the meaning of "witch".  In the book "Wicked", Maguire provides another viewpoint of the classic "The Wizard of Oz".  Elphaba, the wicked witch of the west, is merely a misunderstood person.  Yes, she is green, but she handles it.  The story even makes Glenda (the good witch) appear arrogant and snooty.  The whole book revels in undermining the preconceived notions, and spinning a new perspective on the lives of the "witches".  Suddenly, the sign saying "[Caution] Falling Houses" seems ordinary, and something that could be applied to anyone.  You don't have to be a "bad witch" to be scared about being caught underneath a house that has fallen... you basically just have to be a person.  It's ::almost:: saying that it could happen to anyone.

And for that, I am grateful. 
I am not a witch, I'm just a person.
And I can appreciate the classic story (The Wizard of Oz) even more with the addition of a twist (Wicked).
It makes the story/ sign/ fear of falling houses even better in my eyes!


I was relatively lax when it came to photo taking today.  I only took two pictures, and when I got home, I really didn't like either of them...  I hate it when that happens.  So, I used a photo that I took a couple days ago.  I'm going to the market to the morning, and it should be a pretty busy day, so I'm hoping to have some better opportunities for pictures tomorrow.  :)

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