On Becoming the Labyrinth Slayer

It’s no surprise by now how much I love Jim Henson’s Labyrinth. In my last post I wrote about inadvertently finding myself there, but I didn’t say what happen. I was going to wait.

Well, I’m not.

My friends had gone into the next room in the Jim Henson collection to look at the Muppets. I followed, but kept glancing back at the world I’d dreamed of since I was 5. While they watched the video about Jim and his career as a Muppeteer, I snuck back in the Labyrinth. I passed the latex hands that asked Sarah which way she wanted to go. I chose forward. I walked past the Door Knocker, who may have seen me but didn’t hear me. I look at Sir Didymus, on his saddle, but without Ambrosius. When I turned, I faced the Red Door Guards.

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In the most surreal moment of my life, I stared at this figure from my childhood. I pressed my hand to the glass that separated us. I knew it was insane, but I expected them to move, to ask me a riddle, to offer me a choice. For a moment I was Sarah. We were the same.

One of them leads to the Castle at the center of the Labyrinth, and the other one leads to certain death.

But I’m not Sarah, and reality shattered my daydream. Still, I looked at them, willing them to be alive. Of course they didn’t speak, but at that moment, I made a choice.

My world had been falling down for years: stuck in a job I don’t love because I couldn’t find anything else, the divorce, the drama, the negative energy. The struggle between doing what I felt and what was expected of me.

There was no ruffied peach dream, no gilded ball filled with people playing at being goblins. No overly dramatic and glittery entrances.

The world fell down and in that moment, standing before the Red Guards, I chose.

To be the person I am, without fear of judgement. To be in love with myself again. To put myself, and my writing, out into the world. To defeat the Labyrinth. The film is about taking responsibility for your actions, and I’ve been hiding for too long.

Certain death is remaining complacent. Fighting for my life as a writer, fighting get my stories out in the world is fighting my way to that castle.

And I fight every day.

Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, I have fought my way to the castle beyond the Goblin City. For my will is as strong as yours, and my kingdom is as great.

They have no power of me.

One day those words will be etched into my skin, as they are in my heart.

Just never utter the words, “It’s a piece of cake.”

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