Oh, the life of a writer. Getting inspiration from every day things and getting to put your own spin on it – even pretending you are living those lives you read about and write about.
If only I could live like this 24/7.
I guess I will just have to settle for my little bursts of writing energy when my day-job, family responsibilities, and every day tasks.
Damn these morals….
Yesterday, while on my lunch break, I found a very sad, but very interesting story on Instagram from the lovely Kristin Lisenby’s @eastandalchemy. She talked about an unmarried maid in Dartmoor, UK who committed suicide when she was found she had become pregnant with her deceitful lover’s child. Not only was sex out of wedlock a sin in these days, but committing suicide on top of that was cause for her body to be disposed of, barbarically, outside of town at a crossroads so that her spirit should never be able to find its way home.
Her name was Kitty Jay and her grave, now marked with a stone, can be found with fresh flowers laid upon it. No one knows who brings the flowers, but they are always there.
I looked this mythical story up and it’s true. Click here to see the full story and other Dartmoor legends.
How wonderfully mystical, magical, and downright sad is this story….right up my alley.
It was this story that triggered a memory of a witch’s story a little closer to home. Well, the home of my past – Saratoga Springs, NY, to be exact.
It was in Saratoga back in the late 1700’s, early 1800’s that Angeline Tubbs was also betrayed by a man and cast aside to make her own way in a very harsh and unforgiving world. Angeline first made her living as a trapper, but in the usual fashion, her solitary, independent life was misunderstood and she was deemed a witch by the cruel public.
That’s how witches are born….
She went with it! She started charging people for spells, trinkets and readings.
She was even, unsuccessfully, hung at one point for either being a witch or theft. When the noose broke nobody tried again.
It’s hard to keep her story straight. She seemed to have changed it up to keep up the mystery. She lied about her heritage and age, and told everyone she would die when the last of her 21 cats died. According to different historical Saratogian articles and her obituary, she was found in 1863 dead in her bed with her last cat.
Here is another woman, betrayed by the man she loved and finding solace in her death was able to give one final F.U. to those who wronged her.
What fascinates me the most about this story though, is the fact that Angeline’s spirit has been seen a few times – perched on the cliffs of Mt. Vista during storms, arms outstretched and screaming to the heavens or unseen spirits.
I picture her to be like Ouiser, from Steel Magnolias. Grumpy, but loving to those who have earned her trust. Her cats, for one. Also, another woman in town, ridiculed by the public because she suffered from dementia.
No man is an island, as the metaphysical poet, John Donne said.
No witch is completely solitary either, I say. I want to write about this woman, this relationship with her fellow outcast, her cats, and the storms she screams in to.
Maybe one of my next posts will be a story.
I can test it out with your guys and see if I should delve further…
What do you think?