Months later, sitting in her kitchen Caroline still had not decided. She had at first not put a lot of stock into the idea of a secret society. That is things that movies were made of, not reality. However, the idea did make her do her research and she was surprised to learn about groups such as Bohemian Grove whose motto ‘Weaving Spiders come not Here’, from Shakespeare Midsummer Night Dream Act 2, Scene 2. Societies with names like Skull and Bones founded at Yale University based on a German occult society and the famous Illuminati and Freemasons. The world was shrouded in the mystery of secret societies it seemed, without them really truly being secret.
She ran the gauntlet, obvious choices such as Henry David Thoreau, she had always admired his desire to embrace of living a purposeful life. His desire to learn what life wanted to teach him. For a week in the fall, she thought she had settled on Maeve Binchy, one her favorite authors. To read one her books was to be enveloped into a village; where everyone who lived there had something to contribute that not only helped an individual but left the world a better place to live in at the end of the day. But in the end, she realized she would only be pretending to be the writer named Maeve Binchy and that would never do. You cannot wear a costume and be yourself at the same time. Sadly, she crossed Maeve off her ever-growing list.
It was, ironically, the night of one of the worst storms she had ever experienced. The wind was so fierce that the trees in her backyard bent sideways as if they appeared to be kneeling in prayer. The rain didn’t just hit the windows, it crashed into them. Nature creating noise that evolved into a symphony. The lights flickered throughout the neighborhood as she watched the power of mother nature play out. And then complete darkness. With no power, the night took on a personality that threatened the very boundaries of sanity.
She fought back the darkness with a candle and her writing tablet, and settled comfortably on her favorite plush seat with a throw that her grandmother had made her when she first moved to Boston to become a writer. The colors were of blues, greens, and grays…the colors of the sea that her grandmother had loved to live by. She had learned her love of writing along the backdrop of the sea, creating stories of underwater cities and Gods that protected a secret world that no mortal was allowed to see. Caroline had found comfort in the ever-changing personality of the sea.
She had meant to write about the storm, to adapt its nature into a story. Instead, she found herself thinking about the Raven Society meeting which was happening the next evening. She toyed with the growing list of favorite books and characters of her childhood. Her pro’s and con’s list were pages long, each character’s personality an extension of who she was or what she wanted to be. She didn’t want to take on the identity of a real writer or real personality, she wanted to take the freedom of possibility. She wanted a character that was a reader, a writer, and a dreamer. As the storm raged in the background and her candle grew smaller, her list was finally down to the last three:
Scarlett O’Hara: Warrior for Love
Scarlett O’Hara, the fictional heroine of her own war. The girl who battled courageously for the right to want a life seemingly impossible to own. A woman who loved on her own terms.
Francine Nolan, The Reader.
Francine Nolan, the fictional girl from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. A girl who loved to read, not to just escape the cruelty of living, but because reading defined her. She could no more separate reading from who she was than she could amputate her heart and still exist.
Morpheus, God of Dreams.
Morpheus who she confessed to knowing the least about but needed the most. If you were going to join a secret society, which meant of course, that you were about to open doors that you didn’t even know existed that by golly you better bring along The Dreamer. Seemed as essential as water. If you were going to step into a secret society, you must be accompanied by someone who has great tenacity. Someone who has the strength of character to not question their right to pursue an extravagant life, even when the cupboards are bare and war is in your front yard. And she always wanted to own a beautiful red gown.
She fell asleep that night and against the backdrop of autumn storm, wrapped in the comfort of her grandmothers throw, and dreamt of stepping through the threshold into a world of imagination.