Expanse and magic
I read once that art is in the gut. Is that right? I dunno, this evening, it just sprung up on me, a fantastic breeze of a surprise. It swept with the woosh of full bodied air. I breathed so deep my lungs were bigger than ever and before I knew it I was full to the brim with art! It is and was thoroughly expansive. I’m sure it’ll be gone soon but now its coursing its way through my body, with the energy of a centenarian, a youthful one. It’s leaping and bounding without any difficulty. There is no trying, even in the act of some machination of the body like t y p i n g. It feels for want of a less abused word like magic. Like U. le Guin’s magic. A quiet and modest, austere magic that only lets itself be seen when it is absolutely necessary. Magic magic magic. It breaks the modern prejudices of top hats and wands, or public schools and blessed children. Use of the word that it. Use it til it works again. It’s just like she said! Its stuck in the mud so crawl on your hands and knees through the tunnel and set it free! Magic magic magic. Does it work?
I saw it once. In Scotland. That tide that goes out for a mile and a half was there and it was out. It was looking out to see rather than the business on land. I followed it and it’s gaze also. I had to walk over the mud first. The lugworms and their castes, house signs. Past shallow shallow rivers with mud that sank to the centre of the earth - don’t step on it! It took ten minutes at least to get to where the surf broke its shallow way without looking. There was foam and mess where the tide had stopped concentrating. The magic still came though. I walked into the sea in my trousers, rolled up til they were fat below the knee. the sea ran so so shallow, no bank, no stones. The same mud I’d been walking on for over ten minutes could be felt. My gaze followed the sea’s and I looked up. There was a huge expanse of sky with enormous clouds. Clouds with edges rounded and neat, mountains upon mountains but without looming, just climbing ever higher, on and on and on, without tiring. The sea also saw in the distance an island. It was too far to walk, or swim, but definitely close enough to feel. Something warm and good came from the island, something un-patronising and earthly. But beyond was where the sea’s gaze truly lay; another island of cloud.
It lay offset from our view, mine and the tide’s, to the right of the verdant isle. It was of the same airy breeze as the clouds searching for the stars to my left and right. But it was so low. On the sea, rooted to the earth. A meeting of the sky manifest and the ocean surface, the great blue stretch. Shaded in the blue of deep distance it marked the border of having feet on the ground (even in the sea) and soaring off, flying away to full magic.
An almost terrible longing was how I felt except it wasn’t terrible at all; it was beautiful. Someone one day would reach there and they would be so fully completely joyous and buoyant that everything wouldn’t matter. No jealousy just... magic. The feeling was quite indescribable.
The sky open so far and the sea spanning so wide. The wind rushed at my back and was trying so hard to take me there. Thank you. It didn’t but it doesn’t matter! Thanks anyway.
I wanted to walk then swim to the next island. I could walk out the same on the other side and then not even land would be there. Just an enormous swim. Tiring i’m sure, but with the wind behind me?
However I turned, as did the sea. Did our attentions get pulled elsewhere, celestial influences plumbing and sparking their way with us? I don’t think so, I think perhaps the earth was just calling us back. The magic I, and perhaps we, felt was awesome. What would have happened with anymore?
That however seems like something else talking. It seems like the voice of missed opportunities.
No regrets though eh? Whatever, both the tide, the surf, the sea and I all left and turned back away to the shore. We would go on to share this with friends and strangers.
There will be a time however when we go back. I’m sure our hearts sway the same and yearn the same. I would love to go back.