Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Story and thoughts on "Mother Holle"

Barb majored in theatre in college. After graduation, she waitressed and auditioned, auditioned and waitressed. She got small roles but never broke through to the top tiers of local casting.

The years passed quickly. Barb continued to waitress. She got married, had children, and shelved her dreams, “until the kids were older.” Depression haunted her days.

At 39, feeling stuck, Barb took up playwriting. Perhaps this would be the vehicle for breakthrough. She wrote diligently and networked. She won some contests but never achieved commercial success.

Now, at 49, Barb tells me she’s “stuck.” She dreams of flying and freedom but daily life offers no such liberty. She’s been a good mom, a good wife, a good neighbor. She performs a litany of daily tasks and ignores her frustrations and envy. She tells me “it’s too late, my dreams are finished.”

Fairy tales often show a hero lost, or stuck in an impossible place, with an impossible task. Then, a friend emerges or a door opens. What door can open for Barb (or myself), stuck in similar ruts of middle age? Where will the breakthrough emerge? Will it come from plunging deeper into the mundane duties of daily life?

Today’s tale, “
Mother Holle,” is similar to “The Three Little Men in the Woods.” Both stories show heroines performing mundane tasks. We can see these tales as simply instructions to young girls—“be good, work hard, and good things will come to you,” But if MLVF is correct, these tales concern the psyche. The hard work of sweeping, cooking, or cleaning, is a metaphor of tending to our moods, feelings, and thoughts.

Today, I’ve thought of Barb as I journaled about my own regrets and yearnings. Like Barb, I long to burst through the requirements of daily life.

Today’s tale encourages me to keep working on my inner self and trust the process.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Take a walk in the scary part of the woods at night.