Like a magpie, I am a scavenger of shiny things: fairy tales, dead languages, weird folk beliefs, fascinating religions, and more. (Author’s note)
…she was the one artists would want to draw…She was the one who would someday know a dozen ways to wear a silk scarf, how to read the sky for rain and coax feral animals near, how to purr throaty love songs in Portuguese and Basque, how to lay a vampire to rest, how to light a cigar, how to light a man’s imagination on fire. (p. 24)
It wasn’t a Gothic cemetery; there were no mossy angels weeping miraculous tears of blood, no crypts or curses or crumble. No poets or courtesans were buried here; no vampires slumbered belowground. … Even the dead loitering here spoke of dull things, like the one who worried she’d left the stove burning when she died. (p. 45)
(Goblin Fruit pp. 1 – 55)
Lips Touch: Three Times
by Laini Taylor
Toronto: Scholastic, 2009
Leave a Comment
I grew up in a small town. It was four blocks wide and five blocks long and there was a forest there. There was a forest there, right there, within the city limits and it was magical. In the middle of the forest, the forest, that was right there, within the city limits was a enchanting bright white gazebo. In that bright white gazebo, in that forest, right there in the middle of town, on quiet summer Saturdays you could find me – usually lost deep, deep within the other world of a book or two or three.
It was magic that forest. Or have I mentioned that already? And honestly it wasn’t in the middle of town, it was right on the edge next to the highway that went everywhere I yearned to go. All the real places I yearned to explore were there just beyond that highway. All the unreal places, the imaginary places, were just beyond that gazebo trapped in my mind fueled and mapped out within books.
That forest was just kitty corner from the elementary schools and at the end of church row. It was called church row because three out of our five churches were along that street. The United Church, the Lutheran Church and the Catholic Church. Next to the Catholic Church was the Catholic Manse, where the priest lived, and next to the manse was the forest, my magical forest.
The Elementary schools and playground were kitty corner from the forest and during the school day we were not allowed to leave the school playground. The forest’s siren call was hard to resist. There were two elementary schools, one building was for Kindergarten, grades 1 & 2; the other school held grades 3 & 4, after that you moved up to the High School building that was also split in two: grades 5, 6, 7, 8 at the back end and 9 – 12 at the front end (there was a door between to separate us). It was the lower school that was closest to the forest.
I could look out the window all during Kindergarten, grade 1 and grade 2 and see the forest. Imagine the forest. Throughout, all my school years, I always tried to finesse a window seat. Window seats were best for escaping the dull boredom of the classroom, for watching the world and daydreaming the time away. I didn’t want to be in the classroom. I wanted to be in my magical, enchanted forest. I wanted to live in that gazebo with nothing to do but read book after book after book!
Just before school ended for the Summer, if we were lucky, we would get to spend an afternoon exploring the forest. Here was where we collected leaves that would later be ironed between two pieces of wax paper and labelled. Here was where we discussed wildlife and identified birds. The robins liked the forest too. Here we ran wild playing tag and statues. Statues is kinda like tag expect you freeze when you are touched.
Here we had a treasure hunt!
What a treasure hunt it was. At the school, we were split into groups and given maps. We were also given clues to decipher.
Look where “you can swing high in the sky.”
Round and round this circle goes.
Here there is a lot of hard wood that give us leaves.
Here the purple Lilacs grow.
This little building is bright and white.
The treasure will not be found underground.
Can you figure out where the treasure hunt took us?
To the bright white gazebo, of course, in the middle of the forest, the forest, that was right there, within the city limits, beside the highway that went everywhere.
The forest that was my favourite place. That forest where I escaped my life to read in the gazebo.
How I still long for a gazebo of my own!
I’ve given up on the highway that goes everywhere. I’ve given up on those impossible, imaginary maps. I lost the forest.
Where did it go? My forest.
It seems inaccurate to say that I lost my forest, though that is what happened.
I went away. I grew up and went away to the city. I followed the highway out of there and when I came back, my forest was gone.
They sold it. I don’t even know who owned it but they sold it and divided it into lots.
The richest man in town built his new house where my forest and gazebo used to me. The forest gone and divided up into three lots.
I want my forest back, that forest that was at the edge of town beside the highway that went everywhere. I want to sit in that bright white gazebo and dream enormous impossible dreams.
I want my forest back!
This post was inspired by this Plinky prompt.