Sunday, April 20, 2008

And Exactly Who is the Green Woman?

The Green Woman is everything I'm not. She's fearless and fun. She does what she pleases without at all being concerned for what others think. She has an adventurous spirit and loves nothing more than to try whatever new strikes her fancy for the moment, without caring one bit if she's actually good at it or not. She's comfortable in her own skin and can't imagine why anyone else wouldn't be. She is pure energy and freedom.

The Green Woman is a fey nature spirit, who lives somewhere outdoors, although I'm not sure exactly where. She's certainly covered in sticks and leaves every time I see her, and she thinks nothing of tracking mud all over my floors. I've seen her become totally engrossed in watching a flower push through the earth or in listening to birdsong. She's responsible for the tiny redbud that I can see out my back window as well as for the dandelions which my daughters delight in. She laughs during thunderstorms and she dances in the rain. She is the earth and she is wild.

However, the Green Woman is also fascinated with my life. She loves to follow me around, feeling free to comment on anything and everything. She pokes and prods me, laughing when I fail and growing grumpy when I remain stuck in old patterns. She grieves for my sorrows, and is confused by the fears that hold me back. She can be a horrid distraction, an inspiration, a comfort or an annoyance. She drives me nuts, and yet I would be lost without her.

Born during a writers' workshop, and heavily influenced by the work of Brian Froud, Charles De Lint and Cathy Johnson, the Green Woman quite easily flowed onto the page one afternoon in a handwritten essay. Just a single page long, it was the best thing I had ever written - intensely personal and not at all constrained by my usual perfectionist tendencies and self-doubt. (Not to mention a bad habit of over-editing.) I loved that essay, and I loved the Green Woman.

Then I did a really dumb thing. I gave my only copy of the essay to a friend of mine - a published author - to read. She never gave it back, and never commented on it. Instead of pushing, I let it go - perhaps out of fear of the review I expected.

In retrospect, though, this was the best thing that could have happened. Instead of having that page to pull out and critique, I have the Green Woman in my heart. She hasn't diminished with time, as have other characters of mine, because she isn't trapped on the page. True, for years she was relegated to the corners of my mind as a regrettably lost idea....but she wasn't forgotten, and she certainly wasn't lost.

And lately I have heard her knocking again. I believe she was responsible for my renewed interest in journaling six months ago, and I think she is the one who pushed me to change the way I used my journals. I can hear her voice as I reexamine my old expectations for life, and I find her influence in new found curiosity about things I never thought I would try.

Every time I hear the Green Woman knock I find myself dreaming of possibilities.

1 comment:

Chandra said...

This is a beautiful piece of writing, Kristin. I loved reading it. I am drawn to the Green Woman... Who wouldn't be? - Chandra