When we tell children stories they listen and they learn and they process. As I have been living my life and planning for my ordination over the last (almost) 7 years I have been thinking and talking about shoes for the journey.
I always remember my first time hearing the story of La Celiscieta. The story of that young orphan girl who lost her shoe at a party. I remember thinking no way could that ever happen to me…and then there was the night when my shoes went home with a friend and I went home in flipflops. Yeah! It can happen to the best of us!
In Europe, I spent time travelling the Fairy Tale Road, and so like a good reader I went out and purchased the Complete Works of The Grims Brothers:
My copy became worn and tired. Can you imagine my surprise to realize that trying on shoes…getting them to fit meant cutting off parts of the foot. Because getting the guy is worth the bleeding and discomfort. Breathe.
We like to imagine the white, Americanized, sanitized, Disneyvised, cleansed version of the story. We dream and teach and learn that it is the only version…
I found a book in a used bookstore called: Glass Slipper-Gold Sandal: A Worldwide Cinderella by Paul Fleischman (2007). If you have never read it know that you need itin your life. It is another telling of the story of the girl and her shoes INTENTIONALLY naming some of the ethno-cultures that have given birth to this same narrative!
And then one day, it occured to me to ask Google what other cultures outside Germany and Disney-America told stories of girls and shoes. And a whole new world opened up [see what I did there]!
“A whole new world. A new fantastic point of view. No one to tell us no. Or where to go. Or say we’re only dreaming”
The narrative of the girl with a missing shoe appears all over the map. She was not birthed in Germany or America, rather she was birthed in Germany and America and everywhere in between. Her story has been our story and we just never knew it. We can breathe her in: complicated and mystical and ever present. We exist and coexist. Together.
Imagine what would happen if children: boy-children and girl-children and children trapped in bodies and stories that they know don’t fit, who live in THIS world could hear that the Disney princess can exist in the same world, sharing space and time and worth with all the other versions of the princess with the missing shoe?
Imagine the world WE could create simply by hearing that welcome isn’t as complicated as we have been told that is. If we hear with our hearts wide open to the ❤️LOVE🖤 of all GOD’s creation.
And here YOU and YOU and YOU are each welcome.
Consider reading this post: https://www.bustle.com/articles/61053-9-things-about-the-original-brothers-grimm-cinderella-story-that-are-nothing-like-the-disney-version