Jailbreaking Ella: You Were Always Meant to Be Queen.
Little Cinder Girl, bound to the hearth:
I see you there tracing the contours of your dilapidated circumstances, running your index finger over the roughness of what you have been left to endure.
I know your birthright appears to be in wicked hands and your finery has been stained by malignant fingerprints. Oh, how it grieves you!
I have also watched you sitting well into the night, keeping company with the last sparks of the dying firelight. I have heard you wishing on these little flickers as if they were stars shimmering in the canopy of night.
I understand that your body aches from constant effort and that your soul is weak with a ravenous hunger for love.
Don’t give up!
I have come with a message for you. Your surroundings and the heavy labor of your life are meant to pull the wool over your eyes. The author of your chores knows a secret you are just on the verge of discovering:
You were always meant to be Queen!
In the light of this news, be clear!
It wasn’t your stepmother who bound you here. It was the fire still alive in the barely burning embers calling you by her heavy hand. It was the blazing flame pulsing through the waning light of the coal holding you still, training your eyes to see beauty in the endless pales of ash.
It won’t be the prince who sets you free either, though you will thunder away in his 24-carat chariot, four horses at the helm:
Water, Air, Fire, Earth, all recovered from the four errant horsemen of pestilence.
When the moment comes, take the reins!
Heed the arrival of this tiny window of opportunity for what it is: Destiny’s secret mark.
Do not hesitate!
Now look again into the fading firelight!
Tell me, can you see her wriggling free of the burnout?
Look how she dances there, slithering through the air. She is tomorrow’s fire leaping, pirouetting, delighting in a gust of unexpected, late-night, shadow-blessed wind.
Put down the bellows, my dear. You didn’t call her and you can’t make her stay. There is no arduous, exhausting labor to be done here. There is only recognition and the ravenous availability of grace.
Feed her your striving. Make a soufflé of your loneliness and serve it to her on the rough-hewn platter from which you have learned to eat. Garnish it with your disappointment and toss in a thimbleful of tears.
Her name is Detachment.
She is the flaming sister of pleasure, the emissary of truth, the handmaiden of passion. She is empowered by faith. In the deep dark of night, she is the one who seeds new life, burying it deep in the earthen mound. And she is the new life growing in the swelling belly of a pregnant sorrow.
Ultimately she is, and has been, your ashen guide on the road to un-manifestation.
What else is a nearly dead flame upon the hearth but a gateway to the chaos of the abyss?
A reminder that all energy fixed in matter can be released?
A constant proof that reality is malleable just as wood bursts to flame, exhausts its fuel, and dies out as so much dust on the wind?
But she is also the flame waiting to be born anew.
Feed her also your hope of reconciliation with your ugly-spirited stepsisters and your greedy, ill-tempered keeper. Surrender to her gaping maw your willingness to toil endlessly for negative rewards. That’s it. Toss in the account deficits you somehow believe you have racked up even with all your committed, soul-cleansing labor.
Look! She has burst into a flaming heart, and on the other side of the hearth your golden ride awaits. The horses are calling for their rightful charioteer.
At once, my love! Remember what I told you. No, don’t stop to pack up your Sunday dress. There isn’t time to worry over appearances.
Dressed as a servant girl, you are still Queen.
Do it. Pass through the fire now. Take the reins with gusto!
Oh, and one last word of wisdom just as your crown appears:
Don’t waste even a passing thought on glass slippers, lovely. They’ll only cripple your feet, lay obstacles in your pathway, slow down your glorious art. Pick sensible shoes and take a lover who deplores the symbolism of a gilded cage.
With all my love,
Your Devoted Mistress of the Flame.