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That Feeling

Sometimes it happens when I look up at the sky.  The clouds are 3-D paintings, airbrushed on a canvas of royal blue, with just a threat of thunder, some mild promise of rain hiding somewhere in the mix.  Maybe the air is hot, like a distant forgotten summer day, and I am transported back to a time when I was a little girl running wild and free through the Florida brambles and courting the nagual at the edge of the black lake which nestled up close to the house on the land where I grew up.

It's a feeling that's occasionally evoked when storms are traveling outside of time.  Or when I am driving through farm country surrounded by endless groves of oranges or almonds or walnuts.  Groves where the trees grow together at the top to form a canopy of shadows, an unmarked doorway to the nagual, a conduit to some past self.  For a moment, I am 7 again, gazing deep into those groves to imagine what strange and wondrous beings might be hiding there... waiting for the little girl to come kicking her way through fallen leaves and the sweet scent of orange blossoms.  Not waiting to cause her harm - it was a different world back then, when children could run through groves or forests with their imagination unfurled like some crazy banner of undefined but infinitely potent intent.  No fear, but wonder.  No worries, but simply an unbridled love affair with the unknown.  Tangible.  Like a drumbeat felt in the soles of the feet.  Far more real than stuffy textbooks or Sunday School teachers, it was a genuine mind meld with the sensuous fabric of the sentient universe.

It was a time when anything could happen.  One might turn the corner at the unmarked intersection of Mystery and Imagination to find oneself in a world of fairy lords or the elfin kingdom, or even on board some wayward starship passing through the neighborhood of a Dream.  

Sometimes I was gone for years, though only moments had passed in the mortal world.

At least that's how it seemed.

Magick was all around, there for the harvesting, like the ripe fruit of early summer, the bounty spawned by a personal relationship with the ineffable, and nurtured by a hardcore Knowing that literally anything was possible if one could simply believe it enough to call it into being out of a desperate love/hope/need for it to simply Be.  Yet, it is that simple.  Yes, it is that complicated.  No, it is not difficult.  Yet, it is the hardest thing you will ever do.

Some would say it's where invisible friends come from.  Others might say it's a position of the assemblage point where the child can simply see and experience things which adults will no longer permit themselves to see and experience because of their agreement with the Agreement.  It is the place where muses are spawned and courted - with the unshakable Knowledge that muses choose their mates for life and death and all places beyond or in between.  It is the place where the double is created out of unspoken wishes and the unspeakable Knowing that the only way out of the matrix will, at some level, involve the ingredients of unconditional love, altogether irrational beliefs, and the spark of a lustful passion for life to jumpstart its heart so that, in turn, it may turn and jumpstart your own.

Some would say it cannot be reasoned out.

That's okay.

It's a feeling.  That feeling.

So easy and natural when we were children, but a feeling we tend to become distanced from as we grow older. Silly, but the old song, Puff the Magic Dragon always makes me cry, and I do not cry easily.  Puff still waits by the sea, but the little boy has grown up, grown older, and no longer has time for the silliness of youth.  

We grow up, and yet in doing so, we grow apart from our own magic, it seems, until one day we find ourselves staring deeply into the mirror, wondering who we are, who we were, and how we might find our way back to something that holds just a tad more meaning than corporate mission statements or what brand of diapers to buy, or what we need to remember to ask our doctors this week, because clearly we are sick to the soul, unable to maintain an erection, unable to digest our food, plagued by the fungi on our toenails and the cellulite on our thighs and the fact that the guy next door has a bigger car than ours and... and...

By the time we realize we're running in place, we've been going nowhere for so long that it's hard to remember a time when we thought we were headed toward some grand destination of... what?  Success?  Achievement?  What does that look like?  Is it an island somewhere in the Caribbean or a mansion in the Hamptons?  And, even if we were to achieve those things, at some point along the way, it begins to occur to us that we can't really take any of it with us, and so we either will it to ungrateful children who will grow up, grow old and make the same mistakes we made, or it passes to the State, who will sell it to  line the pockets of stuffy officials smoking cigars in dark hallways while swapping slobber with lobbyists and cronies.

It's all for naught.  No exceptions.

If we're lucky, we wake up one day and realize that, and then we set off on this strange and wondrous quest for knowledge... until we smack our heads squarely on the realization that it was something we possessed quite naturally when we were children.  

Aha.

That feeling.  Now think about this, and ask yourself a couple of questions.  When you encounter one of those "memory triggers" - whatever it is that evokes something from your childhood that is bitter and sweet and alluring and terrifying and perfect - do you find yourself leaning
toward it, or do you somewhat instinctively shy away from it?

Most of the folks I've talked to about this recently readily admit they will shy away from it.  When asked why, most will mumble something about "responsibility" or "obligations" or whatever it is that keeps them rooted in the (dis)comfort zones of their mundane tonal existence.   "It's too painful," is one thing I hear repeatedly.  

Too painful?  Hmmm.

When I hear this, something in me rises up, rebels, tilts its head sideways like a confused puppy, and says, "What the hell is the matter with you?"  And this includes myself - because, at times, I realize I have also shied away from "that feeling" - until I began to realize that the shying away is little more than a preprogrammed response handed to us by our parents, teachers and other well-meaning folks who encouraged us to "Grow up!" and "Get with the program!"

So... I began experimenting with this feeling again.  Instead of automatically listening to The Voice of Reason - which touts such things as, "No time to dally with the impossible when there is work to be done in the real world!" - I essentially gave it the middle finger salute and gave myself permission to go against all the rules and see the world again through the eyes of that little girl who not only believed in magic, but who held the power to actually manifest it (as all children can).

Instead of turning away from that nostalgic feeling, I have decided to visit Puff whenever possible, to lure the sleeping dragon out of his cave, to court the shadows of the nagual with the fierce heart of a lover, and to dive head-first into those dark groves with the same fervor and passion I held as a child. Even making the decision to do that is fraught with voices from the past.  My mother:  "You're only setting yourself up for disappointment.  The only thing in that orange grove is oranges!"  My 10th grade physics teacher:  "Everything can be explained rationally and logically, through mathematics."

Bah.

So much of this path is learning to unlearn the crap we have learned from those who have sought to teach us responsibility within an agreement which is as insane as any street person mumbling the beatitudes to themselves while standing ankle-deep in their own urine.

Today I will be irresponsible.

Today I will believe in magick and throw my arms around the nagual even if it devours me.

Today I will tell "the real world" to go fuck itself and hand it an instruction manual if necessary.

Today I will believe in fairies and elves and trolls and dragons and immortal vampires and Vulcans and Jack Sparrow and whatever else is considered to be altogether impossible and foolish.

Today I will embrace that feeling and no longer run from it.




Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
  And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee

Little Jackie Paper loved that rascal Puff,
and brought him strings and sealing wax and other fancy stuff. Oh

  Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
  And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee
  Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
  And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee

Together they would travel on a boat with billowed sail
Jackie kept a lookout perched on Puff's gigantic tail,
Noble kings and princes would bow whene'er they came,
Pirate ships would lower their flags when Puff roared out his name. Oh

  Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
  And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee
  Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
  And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee

A dragon lives forever but not so little boys
Painted wings and giant rings make way for other toys.
One grey night it happened, Jackie Paper came no more
And Puff that mighty dragon, he ceased his fearless roar.

His head was bent in sorrow, green scales fell like rain,
Puff no longer went to play along the cherry lane.
Without his life-long friend, Puff could not be brave,
So Puff that mighty dragon sadly slipped into his cave. Oh

  Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
  And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee
  Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
  And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee

Song Lyrics: "Puff, the Magic Dragon"
Recorded by: "Peter, Paul, and Mary"
Written by: (Leonard Lipton, Peter Yarrow)
Album: "Moving" - 1962
Hear Peter, Paul, and Mary at nuTsie.com

 


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