I wrote the above quotation to describe the relation between pixies and fairies in the Fairly Stillwart Chronicles. But the truth is that it’s actually based on people. I was recently reminded of this when I posted a picture of a local cemetery, which for a couple of weeks every year blooms pretty in pink. I found it a beautiful and uplifting image and thought others might find the same. However, I had underestimated people’s inherent repulsion of cemeteries and anything relating to death. The posting had the worst interaction of any posting I’d had for a long time. I think there was only one other dark soul who saw the beauty I did.
In my other book, An Eagles Heart I have a character who can’t handle his wife’s cancer. So he leaves. In the sequel he’ll feature again, it’s good to have a character evolve a bit, because we all do. Having had cancer myself I found that many of my friends stayed away for a while when I was being treated. They didn’t want to be depressed. Some came back when I’d recovered, some never did, as though I was somehow tainted with memories they found too depressing to handle. I can’t judge anyone for this, everyone is different. I was glad when a few of my glittery friends returned. But I was also glad of my darker and stronger friends, who hung around when things weren’t so nice. Thank heavens too for a wife who had been a nurse, and has that mix of glittery and golden but with strength when needed.
Some of us darker souls must be puzzles to our fellows, and yet with all the movies and books about vampires and zombies you’d think not. But those aren’t real - they’re fiction. Apparently a picture of a cemetery is a bit more than most can handle. It’s the difference between the imagined and the real. And it’s no coincidence that vampire and zombie movies appeal to the young. When we’re younger some of those imaginings blur, but as you grow older, and your friends start to pass away, I think some would rather not know. Their own mortality comes into question. Zombie’s and vampires are put aside, as the reality of what death really means takes hold. We change.
But for some of us a cemetery doesn’t hold any ill feeling. I find such places are often very green, quiet and relaxing. I’ve always felt that my life gave me more than expected, so when I found I had cancer (and before we found out it was a very treatable one) I didn’t feel any fear, or any sense of denial. I think there are meant to be five stages of emotion for those facing death, I went immediately to ‘acceptance’. I think many people found this strange, but it’s just the way I am. There’s a very good book by Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross about the stages of grief and the preparation that we go through, for those who are interested.
The lighter souls bring us all a bit of happiness, and bring a smile to our faces. I think we darker souls have our place in the world too. In earlier times when extended families lived together, and life was a bit shorter than it is now, everyone was exposed to death, very few could escape having experienced first hand the death of someone they loved. We darker souls were probably more plentiful then. Nowadays, we live longer, and we’re further afield from each other. It’s a lot easier to be glittery and golden and avoid all that depressing death stuff. Perhaps us darker souls are there so that when the time does come, not just for death but for other tragedy too, there are a few of us to help and support when needed.
The world is made of all sorts of people, some glittery and golden, some dark but strong. I think that both turns of the leaf are needed. Oh, and I still like vampire books, sometimes zombie ones too.