I’ve tried a few times to write my son a poem, tried to wrestle my emotions into words that don’t do them justice. When I finally finished something it took three days and it came on the back of reading my son Neil Gaiman’s Blueberry Girl while simultaneously going on a Good Omens bender.
I’m still wrestling with it (and probably will be for a very long time) but here’s a snippet of how it stands right now;
Angel of courage, Demon so bright, each with your shoulder to guard,
First, please guide him when life is hard.
Help him to grow, be brave and stand tall,
Show him that it’s ok to fall.
With a heart that is open, a mind that is too.
Teach him the soft ways to fight.
How to ask questions, hearing the answers,
Learning about what is right (not Right).
My mum said it was good (I love my mum) then added, ‘Although it’s a bit strange to address it to fictional characters, isn’t it?’
Is it? I honestly hadn’t thought so, but then my Good Omens bender has included hanging out on the Aziraphale/Crowley tag on Archive or Our Own imbibing everything from fluff, to smut, to crackfics, to just friends, to a pure joyous celebrations of humanity. There is so much love and acceptance on that tag that it made perfect sense when the idea of the poem burned through me and I had to at least try it or implode.
Back in this version of reality I blinked and thought well is it strange to address a poem to fictional characters? Really?
This is not the first time I’ve gone on a bender following a story eating my soul. I think it’s because whatever I’m obsessed with fills a gap that I hadn’t realised was there (or been studiously ignoring because acknowledgement meant I should take action to do something about it).
In a world that I’m continually finding unsettled and angry I’d decided it would be comforting to have some supernatural beings on our side. Or for them to let all of us all be part of ‘Our Side’.
Especially if those supernatural beings know us and accept us for who we are, even if it is for the selfish (and very human) reasons that we invented cars and crepes.
The more I thought about it the more I realised that the things I wished for my son in this world were the things that I saw in the Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett story. I would like him to find the courage to be himself without apology, to be open to finding love in unexpected places and to nurture a healthy suspicion of authority. I want him to know that there are as many ways to be a human being as there are stars in the sky, and (cultural expectations on boys now being a particular worry of mine) that vulnerability is bravery. Choosing to give away your flaming sword does not make you less of a man (man shaped being or less of anything really).
So, I think I’m sticking to my creative decision on this one.
P.S If you are also on a Good Omens bender and haven’t got hold of the DVD yet here’s some of my favourite fics of the moment.
Have to mention Slow Show by Mia Ugly. Human AU were Aziraphale and Crowley are co-stars on a Game of Thrones style fantasy series called Warlock. It’s a beautiful coming out story/accepting who you are story and is nearly complete.
Ill Begotten by Hel_in_Nil is set post cannon and has amazing characterization of everyone you’d expect and some of the minor characters too. The real pleasure is the OC’s though. Especially Raphael.
Dearly Departed by aththeborder. Post Canon and Crowley ends up discorporated and trapped in Hell’s bureaucracy with only a lust demon to help him. Mean while Aziraphale has to stop a Satanist stealing Crowley’s old body. It’s soooo funny. Honestly.
Stopping at one more. Time to Leave the Garden by IneffableAlien because who knew that Good Omens needed a gritty prison drama reboot. It’s beautifully written and heartbreaking (and still has a couple of chapters to go). Highly recommended, but with this one especially remember to check the warnings.