Posts Tagged ‘magic’

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Festival season

July 13, 2018

We live at the bottom of the mountain. With the spring sun comes the winter runoff, and this prepares us, to some extent, for the deluge of summer. I don’t know how many more years we can do this though, I’m terrified that we’re running out of room. And once the mountain is full, I honestly don’t know what will happen next.

Some years ago, two men arrived at the bottom of the mountain, red car rag top dust trailing behind. Their shiny shoes matched their shiny glasses, showing only that which looked at them, not what they saw. Their smiles were broad and insincere, half hidden by well kept whiskers, and the crisp white cards they carried promised usury. We were suspicious, tried to steer them elsewhere, but old Mr. Ellis, whose family had owned the top of the mountain since way back, he was always a sucker for feeling important. Being the youngest of nine, he’d lived a lifetime of being passed over, until time gave him what he’d always considered his birthright, putting his siblings in the ground and him in charge. And those shiny men, they cottoned to that right away. It was only a matter of time before he gave them exactly what they wanted. Access.

Since then, every year they return, bringing a whole swath of folks with them. I remember reading somewhere, ‘after three, the multitude,’ as though something magical can be kept quiet until enough know about it, and then there’s no stopping it. And not everyone knows how to react to things that are magical. People are just as likely inclined to stamp it out, destroy it, as to cherish and respect it. Perhaps more so.

Sometimes I think those men were devils and when Mr. Ellis shook their hands, made a deal, that was the three they needed, and it invited a torrent of people looking for somewhere to be. Most people seem to live for escaping their lives, they work and they toil and they stress, and for short amounts of time, they escape that drudgery, they vacate. I’m not sure they think about the people who live in the places they’re vacationing to. They don’t think about the work they create, the mess they leave behind. They come with their shiny shoes and their shiny blacked out eyes and tell us of the economic growth they’re burdening us with. Oh, excuse me, benefitting us with.

Mama says I shouldn’t complain. It is how it is, and there is no reason to grumble over what is. All that does is make one frustrated and that helps no one. I try to be like her and not to worry so much, but she’s not been down into the mines and seen what goes on there after the summer folk leave. I wish I could tell her, but so far it’s just me and young Jack who know about it….

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Je me manquer quand je ne suis pas là.

November 28, 2012

I had forgotten about her. That young girl with the stars in her eyes, determined to find the Paris they used to sing about. The Paris that Henry Miller searched for, that Gertrude Stein found. The Paris that inspired painters, writers, architects to greatness. A city steeped in history, answerable to none but it’s own residents.

She walked the boulevards ecstatic. Her feet moving in the same pathways that countless before her had tread. Not the hoi-polloi, they would always be there, had always been there, but they never truly saw Paris, not the way she did.

The whole world was open to her. Seduction and adventure were the order of her days. To be seduced and to entrance were like inhaling and exhaling. When the sun shone, the city smiled at her. And when it rained they sobbed together. The masses who had come to Paris, expecting a better life and finding only more to complain about would do that anywhere. For her, the city was magic, consistently. And still is.

The nights of music and midnight bike rides. The lunches that took three hours, the affairs that lasted 20 minutes. The knowledge that no matter what happened from this moment on, she had lived in Paris and that would set a shine to any dull edge.

She is still here. She is still excited. She will still say and do silly things in the name of exuberance. She would still leap headfirst into the fray and know without a doubt that it will sort itself out. She knows that with even more assurance than she did then.

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