Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Conjurers

Among my sister's gifts, received over the years, is a handmade wooden sign, suspended from a length of barbed wire, that says:

EXPECT
MAGIC

I forget how prevalent true magic, the magic of poets and poetry, of everyday life, of simply being and breathing and staring for a long time at the sky, is.

We are, in any moment, creatures bewitched. Without spells, without potions. What greater conjuring than to take the alphabet, shape it into words, the words into images, emotions, landscapes, journeys; the soaring and plunging of human - or not-quite-human - experience. Is there any source of wonder to equal the power to sift and sort what our hearts and minds contain and make it manifest, give it form, remove its invisibility? On the previously bare page now rests a thought or insight or attempt to interpret the ineffable.

A friend/angel/guide sends me a poem every day. Today brought this:

PENNILESS LOVERS

They had faces open to whoever passed.
They had legends and myths
and a chill in their heart.
They had gardens where the moon strolled
hand in hand with the water.
They had an angel of stone for a brother.

They had like everyone
the miracle of every day
dripping from the roofs;
and golden eyes
glowing with
a wilderness of dreams.

They were hungry and thirsty like animals
and there was silence
around their steps.
But at every gesture they made,
a bird was born from their fingers
and dazzled, vanished into space.

Eugenio de Andrade

"...at every gesture they made, a bird was born from their fingers..." was the phrase that reminded me of our ability to embroider what we consider ordinary, based entirely on the intensity of being here now, into something richer, finer, transcendent.

Our walls are leveled when we root among the tricks in our roomy satchels of self to pull forth something clear and true, not before spoken or told. We levitate, assume unfamiliar guises, expand, burst forth like a bouquet from the magician's sleeve, when we surrender and follow where the words lead.

They belong to a club of masters of the craft, those who allow their souls to materialize as we look on. I would remind myself more often to expect magic, were it not for the delirious pleasure of coming upon it by chance.

12 comments:

Robert the Skeptic said...

Having now studied magicians (who prefer to be called illusionists, by the way), I have a great appreciation for the apparent ease at which they ply their craft. In reality, this illusion of "ease" comes at great effort, in costs of time and practice.

I know this must be true also of the writer's craft as well; the ease at which words are manipulated into images and thoughts clearly is not acquired casually or without great practice.

Claire Beynon said...

Thank you for yet another gift, Marylinn. . . what better way than to live life in anticipation of magic.

This poem sent by your friend/angel/guide is something very special, too. 'They had like everyone the miracle of every day dripping from the roofs; and golden eyes glowing with a wilderness of dreams. . .' and on. . . to the silence. . . and the bird born from their fingers.

_/\_ to you and our friend xo

Erin in Morro Bay said...

'delirious pleasure of coming upon it by chance" - once again, a beautiful turn of phrase. Thanks for the magic, Erin

Marylinn Kelly said...

Robert - I think any craft which appears easy is made that way through great patience, work and practice. I may have mentioned before, a friend who is a member of The Magic Castle has treated me to many fascinating demonstrations of illusion at the club. Admirable skills.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Claire - It was just the poem to spark a turn of mind and a post. And why not expect magic, which may be as simple as remaining open to its existence. The miracle of every day. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Erin - Thank you. Hoping the arrival of December brings bonus magic, more than one could possibly have anticipated. xo

Donna B said...

i have said it before, and I will say it again...you are a weaver of magic...your words inspire, bring me ponder and soothe me with your magic. Its been awhile...but wanted to pop in and say hello and send you a hug.

Laoch of Chicago said...

Well said.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Donna - Thank you and a big hug back. Saw you over at Kass'. Please keep popping by...most of us know those times of not quite being sure what is what, of needing to respond to pulls in other directions. Always glad to see you here. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Laoch - Thank you.

susan t. landry said...

this discussion opened doors into the potential of two words. i love how both MAGIC and EXPECT were significantly broadened. how cool!

Marylinn Kelly said...

Susan - Your new profile picture is quite wonderful. Ah, yes...expect and magic. Well, why ever not? So much time invested in expecting the wrong or impossible things, of looking over magic's humble head to find that 'something bigger' we think awaits. xo