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Posts Tagged ‘magic’

 

 

And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.

            —Meister Eckhart

 

 

And suddenly you know it’s time

to shovel the drive. For though snow

still falls, at this moment it’s only

 

three inches deep and you can still push it easily

with your two wide yellow shovels.

Yes, it’s time to start something new—

 

though it doesn’t feel new, this

shoving snow from one place to another.

In fact, your shoulders still feel

 

the efforts of yesterday.

But with each push of the shovels,

the path on the drive is new again. At least

 

it’s new for a moment, new until snow

fills it in. Then it’s a different kind of new.

How many beginnings are like this?

 

They don’t feel like beginnings at all?

Or we miss their newness?

Or they feel new only for a moment

 

before they’ve lost their freshness?

There is magic in beginnings, says Meister Eckhart,

and sometimes we see beginnings all around us,

 

a new path, a new promise, a new meal.

A new prayer. New snow fall. A new song.

Is it too grand to call it magic, this new calendar year?

 

Too grand to call it magic, this momentary

clearing on the drive? Too grand to be magic,

this momentary clearing in my thoughts?

 

Or is it exactly, perhaps, what magic is—

something we allow ourselves to believe,

despite logic, despite reason, something that brings

 

us great pleasure, makes us question

what we thought we knew, our sense

of what is possible changed.

 

 

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Mom, she says, I don’t know what it was about that book,

but the pages were falling out and it smelled old

and I think it cast a spell on me.

And I recall the first time I read Emily,

an old cloth book with the text debossed,

how I ran my fingers over the words

and felt them as I read them:

“As imperceptibly as Grief

The Summer lapsed away—”

Mom, she says, I didn’t even understand

a single word I read, but I couldn’t stop reading.

And now, I think that book is haunting me.

We are making her bed just before she sleeps,

and I tug on the covers to straighten them.

Yes, I say, her words are like spells.

I memorized that poem, though I was

too young to know of “courteous

and harrowing grace.” I knew only

that when I said the words, they gave

me such an openness, a wideness, a delight,

as if morning found its way into my chest,

and now, thirty years later, the early light

still touches me, still thralls.

The bed remade, she slips beneath

and I lay at her feet and for a time we read.

I want to talk more about Emily,

but the spell is her own and I don’t

want to trespass her magic,

the wonder she feels.

Perhaps someday she, too,

will read these lines,

“Our Summer made her light escape

into the beautiful.”

and know herself more beautiful

for having let them touch her.

 

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fairy house on the san miguel

Will it work? says the girl,
when I hand her the magic dust
to sprinkle on the fairy house we’re building
out of sticks and stems and rocks.

Why wouldn’t it work? I say, dropping
more of the tiny red weed seeds
into her open hand. She doesn’t argue with me then,
only keeps her hand extended so I will sprinkle

more magic dust into her palm.
I can tell she doesn’t totally believe me.
I can tell that I wish she did. Oh the sad advent
of being purely practical. I am open

to believing improbable things.
I am tired of math and the same problem
never adding up. I could use a little magic.
I don’t mind if I need to make it up myself.

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