I Don’t Recommend Creating an Entire World

I can make a cage beautiful.

Childhood disorientation in Cajun Country, Louisiana late 90s isolated Family Trauma I struggled to understand what was happening around me so I created imaginary worlds: paracosms, something I could understand, somewhere beautiful and just for me to organize and create rules and guidelines which brought other children to me through creating myself as strange and shocking in the conservative Southeast.

Ability to turn inward from the external chaos, a choice to live in stories live in imagination so the dive into storytelling was natural. I created imaginary worlds with these complex narratives and characters and creatures and whole generations of royalty and history that went back hundreds of years. Saturday nights were for staying up late drawing maps of the kingdom and creating poetry of their hero’s tale. There were wars to mediate and rally my classmates to join. I created special devices that were handheld and carried creatures from class to class tucked under my arm and more and more to create and expanding this world of endless possibility. Other children were drawn in by the bizarre and the ones that were repelled, I never liked them anyway. There was a rush, a power in the polarization I manifested.

As an adult I thought, well, who do want to be? I want to be a witch. I want to be a poet. I want to be this weird, ethereal thing that lives in this strange, fantasy aquarium, a fairy terrarium. Almost a thing of myth, a semi secret character who is shut off from everything and you can look in this regular, inconspicuous home and see this strange little world that just takes your breath away that is decorated with moss and lavender, ivy and animal skulls adorned with black roses it’s like a secret discovery I’m always looking into a weird little world of sorts, usually hidden in plain sight if you just know where to look in the palm of my hand and not only am I gazing into and feeling pulled in deeper especially to care for this world and these creatures, their pure survival dependent on me.

But the truth is I have placed myself into that world so not only am I looking into it, holding it in my hands but I am physically trapped in that world too which was created to understand something, anything in the chaos to feel a shard of agency it is Mine created in beauty and wonder, created in a last ditch effort for salvation. This I can choose to share or define there is a clear idea of my role and my expectations, I am needed and important. And yet it is simple that as I stare as a zombie into this small treasure, eyes in a mirror stare blankly back into me. For I created myself in my perfect image, in my perfect imagination. For I am trapped here as well, trapped into my own perfect creation.

I can make a cage beautiful.

Fall 2019

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