I began writing many years ago. I studied it, took classes and used writing as my spiritual practice. Each morning I would devote my first 30 minutes after waking to writing my dreams. I took a legal top spiral pad of paper with me everywhere I went, and if a spare moment came up, I wrote any thoughts, observations and ideas that came to mind. I used this type of notebook because I could write to the very edge of the paper, front and back.
After many years of doing this, one day I quit. Just stopped. I didn’t feel the need to live like that any more.
When I’d lugged this huge box of 79 note books packed full of words one too many times, having stored this huge box without even peeking at my words, I hefted it over my head and tossed it into a dumpster.
A few journals survived and I read one the other day. In all those words the one thing that stood out was my fascination with magical realism.
Magical Realism, “Magical realism is the most commonly used and refers to literature in particular:1–5 that portrays magical or unreal elements as a natural part in an otherwise realistic or mundane environment.” Wiki
One of my favorite author of magical realism in story telling is Alice Hoffman, how she believably weaves unbelievable elements in her stories.
Making soap, a mundane utilitarian tool, into something other, something that tells a story, is now my passion. Like many soapers I think about soap, possibilities, recipes and dream about soap to the point of elimination of all other thoughts.
Strawberries have been on my mind; inspired by the a fragrance I purchased, I asked the question, “Can I make a strawberry pie?”
As I made this pie the name “Hansel and Gretel” came to mind. I thought about how Hansel and Gretel thought the witch in the woods was one type of person but was actually another type. I wondered at the illusion of sugar and how it seems so alluring until too much, over time, is eaten and clothes, magically, no longer fit. I wondered at the illusion of this world, how reality isn’t want it presents…
As I created this soap pie, I realized I didn’t want it to look really real, but super real… Unbelievably real. The words came, “magical realism.” My writing came back, and remembered how I struggled to create tell a magically realistic tale, but now can strive to do the same with soap made me laugh.