Week five already. Whoa. Actually the first spreads from my journal are for last week’s bedtime story prompt. First, the Dreams side:
Sleeping Beauty is my favourite Disney movie. The images are so beautiful, the songs and the story really appealed to me as a child and even now as an adult.
I was ecstatic when they made Maleficent because she is my favourite villain as well. I added some Alice in Wonderland references to my lovers because roses. Always roses. They are from another childhood story: the Little Prince. I identify 100% with the rose in that story.
Now the Nightmares side:
This is the real ending to The Little Mermaid. A horrible, sad, there is no more hope for you unless you don’t mind becoming an air spirit type of ending. She sacrifices everything, endures a lot of physical and emotional pain and still doesn’t get the prince.
When she heard the prince whisper the other woman’s name in his sleep she didn’t even plant the knife that would save her in his breast. I remember being so angry at him for not noticing her. It is a story of sacrifice for sure.
The other pages for this week relate to the prompt where we ask if our childhood dream came true. Mine did.
When I was 10, I wrote a composition: ‘Femme du futur’ where we were asked to write about ourselves in the future. I wrote that I would be an archaeologist, that I’d have a dog named Rex and a husband and two kids. That I would travel a lot and make many discoveries.
The big differences are that I said that I’d be finding dinosaur bones and that I’ve never had a dog! I started in Archaeology in 1996, after changing abruptly from Fine Arts Photography. I took one Anthropology class and knew it was for me. Not long after, I found that composition in my old papers and was amazed at how accurate my wishes were!
It was hard to think of a Nightmares side for this prompt because I love my job so much. I was going to do a page about how it’s the worst that I can’t be an archaeologist while we are on post, but I think I’ve done a lot of that. So I went with this:
Last year, I worked as a forensic archaeologist, finding and identifying Canada’s missing soldiers from the First and Second World Wars. When I supervised the recovery of Private Duncanson, it was the first time that the remains I was recovering had a name and weren’t in a funerary context. He wasn’t buried, we was left there because of a hasty retreat and his body wasn’t recovered at the time.
So the Nightmare aspect of this is how hard it must have been for those men, those soldiers on both sides to live the last of their days in this way. To sometimes still be missing 100 years later. The nightmare of no closure for the families.
These images are of carvings in tunnels in France made by French, British and American soldiers during the First World War.
So it is a difficult part of the job, especially if you are sensitive and there are signs of violence and trauma on the bones, but it is something that gives you so much validation. You definitely feel like you are a part of a project that brings good to the world. No matter how settled I am in my life in Beijing, I miss working there terribly.
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