Photomanipulated woods with stars and galaxy, a ghostly unicorn in front

Would you rather see a unicorn, or be a unicorn?

I think it’s always been the second choice for me. As a pre-teen, I used to say, “I’m half unicorn, half horse and half girl.” My math was bad, but the sentiment was true. I lost track of my unicorn nature through my teen years, but I remember vividly the moment I was able to reclaim it. This might sound silly as I describe it, but I was playing a MUSH1, and given the opportunity to play a unicorn character2. The moment I connected to that character it was like something inside me broke open. I remember dashing around the world in a glorious, magical high — I mean, sure, I was sitting alone in my room in front of a computer terminal and that world was nothing but glowing words on a black screen, but inwardly I was transformed. I hadn’t felt so happy in such a long time! I was, at least for a little while, my true self.

It’s not always an easy thing, being a unicorn. The world (the mundane world) doesn’t know how to deal with you most of the time, and so you have to dampen all that otherworldly energy in order to fit in, so that you can function, really. Because even unicorns have to eat and sleep somewhere, and they have people that rely on them, who want them to be here, in this world, with them. No matter how much that otherworld is calling to their souls.

Unicorns live between this world and the otherworld. We need both, so we wander back and forth, carrying magic and dreams across bridges made of rainbows and stars. Sometimes, we lose our way, get stuck in the muck of the ordinary, forget the paths that lead through the darkest woods and over the trails of moonlight on the water. Which is not to say that the ordinary isn’t also beautiful — there are such joys and delight to discover in everyday living! But sooner or later, the call comes once again, and it’s time to discover the magic within us once again.

  1. Multi-User Shared Habitat, a text-based multiplayer game popular in the 1990s.
  2. It was Narnia-themed game, so unicorns were quite respectable!

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