"Those who seek elves have minds so full of preconceived ideas about what they are looking for that they no longer see anything."
- Pierre Dubois in The Complete Enclyclopedia of Elves, Goblins, and Other Little Creatures
We become so caught up in the trappings of Faery that we have lost any real conception as to what Faery means in the first place. The visual shorthand, articles of which may have once housed deeper, more profound meaning, is now mistaken to be the genuine item to such a degree that Faery is now often defined as the shorthand itself. The trappings are no longer seen as a vehicle for representation but as the reality itself.
In a recent article in a popular fairy-enthusiast magazine, one woman essentially used an entire page of type relating to her readers her favorite faery attributes: she's enamored with the work of Amy Brown, Jessica Galbreth, and David Delamare (she has such shocking and original preferences, I know!). She loves their fairies' romantic garments, lean figures, pointed ears, and diaphanous wings; she was even adventurous enough to admit to indulging in the sultry gazes of so-called "dark faeries" from time to time. All in all, she basically wastes a full page on superficiality, blithely frolicking with her one-dimensional visages while gleefully steering clear of any hint of substance. Why does she love faeries? The answer is simple: because they have great fashion sense and cool, fanciful accessories (i.e. wings, ear attachments, etc.).
I stumbled upon an Amazon recommended reading list today which made me smile. I wish the author of the list would have had more recommendations and some specific commentary for the books he suggests, but some comments in the first paragraph are worth repeating (I didn't fix his spelling errors):
"If you are brave...really brave...and find the 'status quo' a bore...then perhaps you are ready to learn about the REAL realm of fairy. Not chicly dressed fairy's in thigh high boots with coordinating hose...but REAL FAERIES -When I manage to accumulate some extra money, I plan on purchasing a number of R.J. Stewart's books
Then read on...
There are places on this earth where it is common knowledge that the realm of fairy is very real, very present and waiting to connect with their human cousins...us. Be open minded because real fairys do not shop at the mall for their wardrobe but are more akin to nature spirits…and are not something you see (although some can) but something you sense."
· originally posted to sphinxmuse