flying tiger

Once upon a time there was a girl who wanted to be a flying tiger. So she learned the magic of Transformation and turned herself into one. She never wanted to be a puny human girl again, so she remained a flying tiger for all of her days. She had many adventures, and this story is about one of them.

You see, in this time, the world wasn’t the nicest place to live. At least, most of it. And the flying tiger girl heard of one village in particular beset by a vicious Dragon who kidnapped village girls and locked them away in towers. Well, having a soft spot in her heart for girls in trouble, the flying tiger immediately set out to confront this wicked Dragon.

“Dragon,” she said when she encountered the fearsome creature. He was nearly a thousand times the size of her, with a red body and black wings and fiery breath. But still, she figured, instead of sneak-attacking him and murdering him in his sleep, she would give him a chance to explain himself. “Dragon, why are you taking the village girls and locking them away in towers?”

“Well,” said the Dragon. “I give the villagers a choice of who they wish to sacrifice to me. They give me their unwanted girls, the orphans, or the extra children. Always girls. They’re less valuable, you see. And then I lock them away in towers and call them princesses. And then princes will arrive to bring me gold and jewels to buy them with. It’s a great business, actually.”

The flying tiger girl was utterly disgusted with this of course. She didn’t think any girl should be bought or sold, but free to live her own life and make her own choices.

So she destroyed the Dragon in an epic battle which I will spare you the gory details about. She didn’t actually kill the Dragon. She used her powers of Transformation to turn the Dragon into a little Butterfly.

And then the flying tiger girl traveled to every village to the ground that sold its girls to Dragons. And the flying tiger Transformed all the princes who thought they could buy girls with gold and jewels. She Transformed all of the princes into little butterflies, flying around. She used Transformation to turn the villages into gardens and oases and safe spaces.

And then she went to all the Towers where the girls were locked away and she freed them. And she brought them to a magical, enchanted island and gave them a big house to live in. And they could choose to stay there, or to leave, or to weave flying carpets to sell at the market. Or get married to a prince or a dragon. Or to go have adventures of their own and defeat goblins and ogres and trolls. Or live a quiet life on the island for all of their days.

And then she went on to have other adventures, which I will tell you all about in time.

The End.

Door.

IMG_4133

The first time I ever had my own room as an adult was when I was living in the most expensive city in the world. My first day of having the my room, I opened and shut my door about a thousand times. For the first time in my life, I had a door between myself and the rest of the world.

If I can make it here I can make it anywhere… That’s what they say.

IMG_4536

Except now I feel like I’m back at zero. I didn’t make it. And nothing has changed. I’m still that same scared, runaway girl on the streets with only a backpack and nowhere to turn.

Everything has changed, though. I have a Master’s degree, I’ve jumped out of planes, I’ve been to three different continents, and I had my very own room in the most expensive city in the whole wide world. Even if it was only for a little while.

So even though sometimes I still feel like that lost girl, I’m not her anymore. She did what she had to in order to survive. But I’m not there anymore, and those aren’t realities in my world today. I am so lucky. I have so many amazing friends who love and care about me, and so many places to turn and people I can ask for help if I need it. And that makes all the difference.

When everything goes wrong, that’s when the adventure begins. And I can always settle down one day and have a safe, warm place to live with books on bookshelves. But I’m in the midst of another adventure, and that’s fantastic. That’s where I’m at now. Just another adventure in my life. Just another chapter in my story. Onwards!

New beginnings.

1185055_10201562748818001_563663256_n

Today is a new beginning, a fresh start, a blank page.

I get another fresh start. I’m back in New Orleans after near a year in New York City. New Orleans is an enchanted city, full of magic, mystery, and charm.

When I first arrived here to visit, back in 2011, I wandered through St. Louis #1. It’s one of my favorite graveyards still. Not as enchanting as Lafayette Cemetery, and no trees, but it feels more haunted. I did the cliche thing and marked three X’s on a vodou queen’s grave, making a wish to return to New Orleans to live one day.

My wish came true. But I made it happen, it wasn’t vodou magic. When you want to achieve something, you can. It isn’t that hard. It doesn’t take magic, other than your own ambition and how much you want to make it happen. Which I suppose is a sort of magic.

I returned to that graveyard on one of my first days back in the city to circle the X’s I’d written. And I found that someone had left Tarot cards as an offering. One of the cards that captivated me was the Queen of Swords, represented on this deck by Kali, the Hindu goddess of destruction. She looks scary and fierce, but she only hurts evil things. She destroys the things which would want to hurt or destroy us. I took the card and have kept it with me ever since. I hoped that it was a sign, that I was going to become stronger. Like Kali, nothing could ever hurt her. This was the card:

kali queen of swords

Now, returning to this city once again to live, I left my own Tarot cards at the grave. Maybe some wandering soul will happen upon them and take a card that means something to them.

IMG_6378

I didn’t draw anymore X’s on the grave. I don’t need vodou magic. I am going to make all the things I dream happen. From the small things- Write every day. Read Tarot in Jackson Square. Submit an article to NolaVie. Play violin in the Quarter. To larger things.- Publish a book. Join the Peace Corps. Be a family to someone who doesn’t have one. Start a program or shelter for girls like me. One day give back to all the people who helped me along the way.

Today is a new beginning. Everything is going to be amazing from now on, if I make it so for myself and focus on being a positive presence in this world.