Sunday, April 16, 2017

I Believe in Unicorns

This week we're asking the question: What's the Greatest Myth or Legend You Wish Were True & Why?

My reply to this sort of thing, deep in the still idealistic abyss of my heart - which I've carried surprisingly untainted by collisions with reality since my childhood - is "what makes you think they're not true?"

I believe in unicorns.

So, there you have my secret: I believe that the great myths and legends are true. I can't even tell you where the conviction comes from - it just feels like something I know. I see so-called imaginary beast in my head like they're memories of something I've witnessed in person.

Call it having a great imagination. Call it a kind of insanity.

For me, it's understanding that there's more to the physical world than the frenetic boundaries the small-minded and power-hungry draw around it.

I believe in unicorns.

I believe in them all, quite honestly, but unicorns are emblematic of the rest. The above is a book I've had since I was eleven or twelve. It's one of many books about unicorns I collected during that era. I made a somewhat exhaustive study of them, throughout all the cultures.

In seventh grade, we had to do a five-page research paper, with footnotes and everything, which sent my classmates into a tizzy. I went into a similar frenzy, but of excitement. An excuse to look up everything the school library AND public library had on unicorns! Plus my own considerable library. I turned in a nineteen page report. I also learned not to answer my classmates with literal truth when they asked how long my paper was.

This might have been an early clue of my eventual career, though none of us noted it at the time.

When I was thirteen and my family visited New York City (a world away from our home in Denver), my one pick was to see the Unicorn Tapestries. When they turned out not to be at the Met but were instead uptown at The Cloisters - too far to go on our schedule - I had a meltdown of disappointment, totally bewildering my parents. They'd had no idea of the depths of my obsession. Why would they? Not many people wanted to investigate those tapestries as research into proving their own deeply held beliefs in the actual existence of unicorns.

More than thirty years later, when it finally worked out for me to visit The Cloisters and I got to see those tapestries, it satisfied a deep thirst in me.

I still have all those books.

I believe in unicorns.


  1. Somehow, I am not surprised. It makes you an amazing fantasy writer.

  2. I believe all myths and legends came from a truth. I've always loved studying myths and legends and hypothesizing how they started and what pieces are the truth and what is the embellishments. I love that you believe in unicorns...and that you wrote a 19 page paper on them ;)

  3. "There has never been a time without unicorns."