Wednesday, May 27, 2009

We are still golden

Recently I read that during the anti-war activities of the late 60s, or thereabouts, a group gathered and attempted to levitate the Pentagon. This may or may not be true, but I love that even as a rumor it has been carried forward so that teenagers 40 years later can understand the sense of wonder, of power, that we once felt was in our grasp. In my mind I hear the words to Joni Mitchell's song about Woodstock, telling us that we are "...stardust, we are golden, we are billion year old carbon and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden."

A book which has great resonance for me is Thomas Moore's "The Re-enchantment of Everyday Life," for in it he (I greatly oversimplify) reminds us that we lose what is most valuable in ourselves when we lose touch with magic, or enchantment. The fact that the Pentagon, in all likelihood, did not levitate is not the important part; what is important is that people came together and shared their belief in what was deemed impossible to see if it might happen. What if it actually lifted an immeasurably small distance for the shortest recordable amount of time? We can't know that it didn't.

What becomes of a society that abdicates its sense of wonder? We are in what are being called hard times; for some among us they are intolerably hard with no respite in sight. But without wonder, how do we find hope? In 1968, to name a year that holds enormous significance for me, I really believed we were in the midst of revolution. I see us wearing our peace symbols, a universal talisman, dancing by candlelight to The Doors and Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix in a way that could have been called tribal (which I guess was what the musical HAIR attempted to tell us). We knew the world could be different.

We need to resume our practices of simple magic. We need to accept that much of what is truly real remains mostly unseen and it will take intention and energy for us to regain that sight. We need to perform or witness impossible things every day. Our greatest challenge is to live not from our heads but from our hearts; to listen to the voices that urge us toward love and creating and healing, unfamiliar though they may be. In doing so, we will receive assignments that make no sense, that our so-called logical minds will hurry to argue away. With attention, it is not difficult to recognize the intense suggestions that come from hearts connected to other hearts, connected to source, to our divinity. For today, I say the larger, immovable objects can wait. For today, shall we see if we can levitate our spirits, find joy and peace and mystery in what appears to be the ordinary world?

I think of Dr. Lizardo from BUCKAROO BONZAI, a poster child for those seeking the miraculous outside themselves, and want to be sure that I end up with my head and my ass in the same realm, this one, magic enough for any of us once we know where to look.


Lisa Hoffman said...

This is a great place to come and relax. Lean back into some great perspective, wise words and even greater writing.

Anonymous said...

it is vital for me to witness a sense of magic in the everyday world..and that requires placing oneself just a fraction outside the margins of the everday...the mundane.. even when that tide pulls you back.