You wouldn't think that there could be so many butterflies in the world. You wouldn't think everything could change in an instant. But there are, and it does.
At the heart of his paper was the notion that fairy tales relieved us of our need for order and allowed us impossible, irrational desires. Magic was real, that was his thesis. This thesis was at the very center of chaos theory - if the tiniest of actions reverberated throughout the universe in invisible and unexpected ways, changing the weather and the climate, then anything was possible. The girl who sleeps for a hundred years does so because of a single choice to thread a needle. The golden ball that falls down the well rattles the world, changing everything. The bird that drops a feather, the butterfly that moves its wings, all of it drifts across the universe, through the woods, to the other side of the mountain. The dust you breathe in was once breathed out. The person you are, the weather around you, all of it a spell you can't understand or explain.
I thought about how the familiar imprinted itself on you...I had questioned how it was possible for this man to love me all along, but I had finally begun to understand the reason: I knew him. If he came to me as a bear or a deer, I would still know him. If I were blind, if it was dusk, if a hundred years had passed, I'd still know. That couldn't be taken away, despite ruin, despite time.
If someone had told me of her plan, I could have chased after the car for miles. But it wouldn't have mattered. She had already decided. She took one last moment of care to make certain we wouldn't be hungry when we woke. When she saw the ice she probably felt she was lucky. Maybe that was her final wish. Some luck for once in her life. The life she'd had enough of. When she leaned down to kiss me good-bye maybe I heard it in her voice. She said, Good-bye, my darling girl. It may have been easier to blame myself than to think she would leave us that way. If she came back now, I do think she would know me; she'd still recognize me.
To think, I used to be afraid. I used to run and hide. Now I look upward...I hope what I'm seeing is the ever after. I hope it's you.
Above: beautiful excerpts from Alice Hoffman's novel, The Ice Queen, and compositions by me