The Mad Hatter: Have I gone mad?
Alice: I'm afraid so. You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are.
Willow would be your favorite. If we are a forest, she is the sky. Her soul is too big to be contained. It cannot help but to burst forth, scattering the stars. They say that artists are driven by the tension between the desire to communicate and the desire to hide. Willow is an artist. Her art is a house striving to be haunted. She is the voice of sanity in a world that has gone insane. She is my greatest piece.
We all have the choice of living a life of active happiness or a life of introspective sadness. She is the bouncy ball that she played with endlessly as a child, bouncing back and forth, living in the in-between, nestled in the madness. She is my nextdoor neighbor. Alice and the Mad Hatter.
Music speaks to her. It is her first language. She hears in notes. And where most people see with their eyes, she sees with her heart. When you are the sky nothing gets past you.
Unfortunately the universe requires us to have equal parts darkness and light. She is the stars in the desert sky. She is the darkness before the dawn. And, like God, she will spend her life balancing her universe: the stars and the sky, joy and suffering, life and death.
She believes in hell. She knows of its existence because she has been there. I have seen her struggle her way to the surface, gasping for air, fighting off demons with words and a paintbrush. They whisper in her ear. They grab at her ankles. I have held her as they tried to carry her away. I believe in hell.
I believe in her.