Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Legacy XI: From Her to Me and Back Again

Almost the New Year, and I am thrilled that D Smith Kaich Jones is at the Magpie's Fancy to share an extraordinary post.  It just seems right that she's the next writer for the Legacy Series, and the one to help wrap up 2010.  There's a quote from Katherine Mansfield that's been running through my head all morning: "The more you are motivated by love, the more fearless and free your actions will be."  This describes how I feel when I read the posts of this gifted photographer, painter, and writer.  Her blog, Emma Tree, is a touchstone for me and for many other bloggers.  It's a joy to welcome her here today.




First – to Gigi - thank you.  For including me in your wonderful Legacy series, and for making me realize a few truths about myself, all good, including the fact, that I do, indeed have something to leave behind.


There was once a fan”, she told me, “that blew magic instead of air . . .”   She was four, and I was enchanted, and it was a long time ago, on a hot Texas summer afternoon.  We were spread across the floor of my mother’s living room, playing games, aunt and niece, she, cousinless on my side of the family, forced to endure as playmates us grownups, I more than willing to be a child again.

She was a born storyteller, a conjurer of magic and witches, and she believed - once upon an Easter time, upon being told we thought we’d spied the Easter Bunny hopping across the backyard, that perhaps he’d left an egg or a basket, she asked if he was white and was he wearing a vest? -  because that’s how the real Easter Bunny dressed; her eyes lit when I told her yes.  She knew.  She believed.


And so the day of the story.  That hot day, the fan blowing air in lazy semicircles back and forth across the room, she weaving a spell with words, spinning yet another of her tales.  I don’t recall the details beyond that opening line . . . “there was once a fan that blew magic instead of air . . .”   What I recall is thinking this will end.  She will grow up and she will lose this just like the rest of us lose it.  The magic will fall away from her; never mind that it is still out there, she will grow up and the workaday world will take her away and she will lose it.


I have a degree in photography and almost an MFA and have been writing for as long as I can remember.  I help run a small business and when you are exhausted and the clock moves too swiftly, it is hard to find the magic.  You live paycheck to paycheck as far as magic is concerned and you forget that it is free, that it is out there waiting for you, that it is sending signals and voice mails and you stop seeing it; you trip over it on the street and don’t even bother to look down to see what caught you.  That is where I lived when she told me her story, and my heart broke when I realized that someday, she, too, would maybe, possibly, live in the same place.


And so a painting came to me, as paintings often do, just a moment of a moment, just a bit of nothingness, a hand held out to catch magic.  An open palm and magic falling from the sky.  I found the time to paint it and called it When Emma Still Believed in Magic, and told no one about it, I just propped it against the wall and went on about my workaday life.  But I was ruined – she’d reawakened within me that desire to run out into that falling everyday magic and play and get soaking wet, drenched by its downpour.  And the magic felt me looking its way, and worked another spell, directed me to a magazine called Artful Blogging, said look here, see this, don’t you want to ?. . .  you should try . . .

And so I did.  On a Saturday morning.  I opened with that painting.  And I told myself the blog would be about painting, but in truth and in my heart, I knew it would be about magic.  Everyday, plain ordinary magic.  That stuff that surrounds us, even in the bad times, if we but choose to look.  I showed paintings and photographs, but I mostly wrote, and almost 3 years later, I am still writing, and I am still finding the magic.  I write for you, to show you, to slow you down, to say see? isn’t that amazing?, and I write for me, to slow myself down, to make myself step out under moonlight and listen for the whoosh of owl wings, to put pen to paper or fingers to computer keys and type out words that spell magic in languages understood by flowers and storms and little girls and grown women.




And I write for her.  She is almost 14 now and at 14 the magic has begun to slip away; it makes her laugh when I tell her tales of her childhood.  But the day will come when she is my age and she is caught in that workaday world and she will feel that there is nothing there but the going and coming and the paying of bills and there will be tiredness waiting for her at the end of the day, and maybe then she will take out my words – she will need something to read over a cup of coffee – and she will understand again.  She will remember the magic, she will realize it is waiting for her, it has been so patient.  My words will suddenly make sense.  You have to grow up a bit to become a child again.

It is all I have to give her.  My words, and that painting.


31 comments:

  1. She was so right . . . “there was once a fan that blew magic instead of air . . .” and it was blowing all the while I was reading this post. Thank you

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  2. So very lovely......the last line says it all...xv

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  3. that was a beautiful story. i am 36, and i do still see it...it is possible!

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  4. That has got to be THE most lovely thing I've read all week. Although I am "all grown up" now, I have never stopped believing. My own children are believers, and I am quite certain, for my older twins, that magic may begin to hibernate if I don't act quickly. You are truly an inspiration, Miss Jones. And thank you, Miss Gigi, for sharing her with us.

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  5. Thanks, I needed that this morning. Deb is who I turn to when I need magic and I so needed some today.

    Peace, Love and Magic,
    Rhonda

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  6. This is so beautiful & true. THANK YOU for being the scribe of magic & beauty for us, Debi! And thanks so much for hosting her, Gigi!!

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  7. y'all are the best. thank you so much!! and thank you again, gigi - this was so much fun and as i said, opened my eyes to a few new things.

    xoxo
    Debi

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  8. First...the photos are magic themselves! and then that first line...."there was once a fan that blew magic instead of air..." Those two things were all it took to blow me away:)

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  9. And what better gift is there to give? Your words are always magic, you are that fan, always blowing words out softly onto the page, words that spin fairy tales out of the imperfections of this life, and make them into something gossamer and wonderful. You do have to grow up a bit to become a child again.
    Here's to that old laughing lady...
    xo

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  10. That is so beautiful! Love the line "you have to grow up a bit to be a child again". Happy New Year, dear Gigi! xxoo :)

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  11. i am happy to be here today .. your such a very special writer .. magical you are in ways that make such a difference to the girl ..no matter the age...

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  12. Oh, I didn't think I could say this, but this is my very favourite post of this series, in a truly amazing collection of writings, Gigi.
    I think it's my favourite simply because it speaks to my heart so.

    "You have to grow up a bit to become a child again."

    The magic really is there waiting. And yes, blogging is a most unexpected way to capture it, isn't it? It's why I blog. And why I know I can't stop, not just yet.

    Thank you, both. C x

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  13. exquisite.

    and so beautifully said by a woman who has so very much to give. to all of us.

    thank you, gigi, for hostessing the ever-lovely, debi.

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  14. Great legacy post! Wishing you a Happy New Year! :)

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  15. i read something once that made me feel sad; it was along the lines of how as children we see the world, and everything in it, the way it's meant to be seen, and if that means that cows can be purple, and cats have red spots, then so be it. and if there are fairies in the garden and yes...a fan that blows magic...then that is the way of it. but as we grow up, we're taught, even conditioned, to lose that. start to question it all and as such life loses some of the innocence and promise.
    but i think some of us lucky adults get that sneaky peak back into the world we moved on from - and through you, her losing it might happen less...i love your post (and the picture you used in an earlier vision and verb post - how lovely that she'll have them when she's older).

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  16. Oh that is so lovely. It captured me from that sentence about the fan that blew magic, and for a moment I saw myself as a child, and now all these years later here I am, at my desk, deep within my workaday world. I can feel the magic waiting for me, as it waits for you, as it will wait for your niece, for everyone. Lovely painting as well. I might just go catch me some magic. :)

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  17. She is one of my favs too. I just wanted to stop by and wish you a Happy New year. I know that finding your blog has been one of the best moments in 2010. YOur words and photos warm my heart . You are a born writer and photographer and I know that when I see your feed pop up in my goggle reader it brings a smile to my day.

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  18. ...i was feeling a bit of a letdown today...you brought back hope into my heart....

    kary

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  19. Oh, Debi. I don't even have the words to respond to this. YOU, my friend, YOU are full of magic. Thank heaven it overflows onto us.

    And, Gigi... what gifts you do bestow. Thank you.

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  20. Thank you for bring us this series, Gigi, with stories from so many gifted and beautiful spirits--a blessing to read and delight in! :o) We're slowly emerging from being wonderfully wrapped up in the holiday spirit and glow. Wishing you & yours much PEACE, LOVE & JOY in 2011, my friend! ((HUGS))

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  21. To Gigi - Thank you for this. Thank you. When I said you made me realize some good things about myself, I meant it. A wonderful gift - bless you.

    And to everyone else - thank you all also. Even more gifts. Y'all have made me cry and made me happy.

    xoxox

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  22. Ah, Debi, it was a true joy to have you here. As you can see, your post touched many hearts. Thank you for all that you do. xoxo

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  23. Thank you, I just found this blog today. It is truly touching to know I am not alone out here catching magic as it falls.

    cyn

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  24. Yes, there is a simple place in my grown woman's heart that says, I Believe in Magic. That's for sure. Your legacy is just beautiful, a gift to each of us and to Emma.

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  25. And it is, without a doubt, a priceless and marvelous legacy. She is so lucky to have you as her aunt, to have all the incredible wonder and indescribable enchantment of your words waiting for her at the end of some future workaday.

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  26. Debi...you are magic. will it be true to meet you?

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  27. Beautiful painting..beautiful words. You live a life filled with magic.

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  28. ~and what a gift you are or will be giving her...may it ingnite her magic that resides deep within...rising up slowly to come out and play...beautifully written and a gorgeous painting...much love light and blessings

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