Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair

In the currently underway Voice II class, one of the exercises is to come up with your favorite fairy tale.  (From Julia Cameron’s Right to Write, btw.)   We are working on themes and ideas in our work, and the favorite fairy tale is one way to think about what themes appeal to you.

My favorite fairy tale–by far–was always Rapunzel.  Maybe this has to do with my long-hair fetish (I grew up in the Long & Silky era, and there was serious competition over who could grow the longest hair.  I might not have been the very longest, but it was very, very long, and if I do say so myself, quite splendiferous.  Certainly Rapunzel-worthy.)

But the idea of favorite fairy tale is to see where the metaphor leads in terms of theme and ideas we return to in our work.  So, Rapunzel…

….is Rapunzel.  A woman’s hair gives her the means to escape the confining tower of her life.  LOL

A woman’s hair gives her the means to escape the confining tower of her life.  Hair as a shining badge of self.   Ah–that’s it.  You have the means to save yourself, and once you figure that out, you’ll get your reward.   That sums up my books, all right. Every single one of them.

What is your favorite fairy tale? Can you see a metaphor in it about your life-theme or writing-theme?

9 thoughts on “Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair

  1. I don’t know that it’s my favorite, but “Little Red Riding Hood” came first to mind. I suppose it’s the one I can relate to the most. I’m going to have to think about why.

    You always ask the tough questions, Barbara!

  2. Gail Clark

    Well, as a child I loved Sleeping Beauty, which fits with my childhood ideas of the perfect prince finding me and giving me the perfect life. But now I think I like Beauty and the Beast the most. Perhaps the idea of reaching the kindness behind someone’s pain, of seeing the real inner person and being able to heal them with love . . . yeah that really speaks to me.

  3. Denise

    My first thought is that I was always drawn to the artwork that illustrated the stories. The settings were magical and I wanted to jump into the scene.

    I don’t remember having a favorite fairy tale, but I do know I liked Hansel and Gretel because I wished I could eat that entire gingerbread house and all the candy stuck on it. I have always loved sweets and would skip a meal and only eat desserts if I could get away with it. Maybe that means I like to eat my way out of my problems.

    But the witch locked the kids up and fattened them up in that story. Sounds like a common problem in America. Locking up emotions in a personal “jail” inside us and eating ourselves to death. Geez, that is not a positive way to look at that fairy tale. I started out thinking how fun it was to eat sweets,… and end up fat… and dead. I’ll have to think more about it. Interesting question.

  4. Or it could just mean you have a sweet tooth, Denise. Sometimes we skip dinner here and just eat crumble or chocolate cake. We’re adults, we aren’t growing anymore. Eating dessert for dinner once in awhile feels like a wicked delight.

    It does sound like that metaphor went pretty deep for you. Lots of material for you to think about.

  5. Thank you for this little taste of Voice II Barbara. I loved reading these. Because of my name, Cinderella has always resonated for me. What I think about that fairy tale now is that some people labeled her. Believing them, she labeled herself. Nobody saw the person under the layer of cinders. These days I’m trying to be my own fairy godmother and let go of the roles I’ve assumed like writer, teacher, wife, mother and just BE. When the outer layers peel away, inner strength and beauty shine.

  6. Cindy, what a beautiful post!

  7. Yvonne Erwin

    This is tough and I thought about it for a long time and this is what it comes to for me.

    As a child, my mother indundated my sister and me with fairy tales. Who knows why, except maybe as an escape from the dreary “thou shalt nots” of our daily lives.

    I didn’t like any of them. Couldn’t stand Snow White, Cinderella, and the whole lot. It made no sense to me. However, I do see in “Sleeping Beauty”, a moment of perfect clarity when the Prince kisses the sleeping Princess and she awakes to the possibilities beyond the existence she had. I see clarity and purpose. And I see possibility. That’s about it for me on fairy tales. I still don’t particularly care for them.

    BUT, I do believe in clarity of vision and purpose. Still.

  8. cactusrose

    I had to think for several days before I finally realized my favorite was one that gave me a fantasy sister, a twin no less-my longing as a child. Snow White and Rose Red, opposite sides of the mirror and I was, of course Rose Red. Out and about in nature, not inside with mom. I had even forgotten the story, so thanks!

  9. Oh! A fantasy sister! That pierced me clear through. Maybe someday I’ll have to write that one, just for you.

    You are so going to love the next book. Love. It. 🙂

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