Little magics

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I don’t like to to dwell in the past.  That was then, and this is now.  You can never go back. All those other phrases that good writers don’t use because they know better than to employ tired cliches which mean nothing at all – but I’m a mediocre hack at best so I figure I can get away with it.

I am very happy to be where I am now.  That is to say, back in Florida, living near my family and friends and in a healthy relationship with a wonderful person. The time I spent in New Jersey was a strange, sad period in my life and I don’t wish to go back -ever- but there are some things I find myself missing.  I don’t know if this was true or not, but I do really feel as if I were utterly alone there.  And it’s funny, as I child I do remember that being my dearest wish – that people just live me alone.  In peace.  To read, to daydream, it didn’t matter…I just wanted to be left to my own devices in my own company.  And it was during my years in New Jersey that I got that wish and it was more lonely and more terrible than I could have realized.  I have never been good at making friends and the situation I was in made it even harder than it might have been otherwise.  I had nothing, and for a time, no one.  And for the time I had someone, it was the worst someone who could have happened to me.

As one could imagine, then.  I had a lot of time on my own,  And being a homebody by nature, I spent that time in or around my home.  Experimenting in the kitchen, decorating (in my small, weird way) gardening, exploring my little neighborhood. I taught myself how to knit, I made butter from scratch, I photographed lovely things on long ambling neighborhood strolls, I grew vegetables, I became comfortable with myself and what I could do.  I learned what I like away from external influences.  The unhappier I was, the harder I tried to conjure those little magics which make life bearable.

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I suppose it is the passing of the summer solstice yesterday without ceremony or ritual or so much as “how do ye do?” which causes me to realize how little time I spend in these pursuits now.  I have social engagements and obligations, I have a home which is a secondary priority to the person with whom I am living in that home with, I read and listen to music and knit, yes, I do these things, but I feel like I am almost programmed to do these things now.  I have done them so long so, I don’t feel a whole person without them.  But those little things I sought out to elevate my existence to something more than survival…I seem to have forgotten how to do these things.  Or they have lost their importance to me, buried under the responsibilities of a real person, whereas before, I suppose I felt as if I were a bit of a ghost; a being on whom no one relied or noticed.  A sad, invisible, selfish thing.

I’d like to enjoy these things again, the seeking out and practices of little daily magics.  My life is so much richer now, fuller and more exciting it ever was before. I think this is a perfect time.

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How do you keep the little magics alive in your daily goings-on?  How do you elevate your day-to-day existence to something beautiful, special, sacred, worth remembering and dreaming about?  I’d love to know your secrets, if you are up to sharing them with me.

11 Comments on Little magics

  1. Lisa
    June 23, 2014 at 6:44 am (3 years ago)

    One of my big regrets about my time in NY is that you and I never got around to meeting…we were so close to each other!

    I don’t know if I have any magic to share because I basically feel like I’m still in my existential New Jersey (I wonder if maybe that’s the time in life when people like us take up knitting?). I especially identify with your old feeling of “being a bit of a ghost…a sad, invisible, selfish thing.” That’s me now.

    It does give me a lot of hope that you got out of that funky stage in your life. As for your desire to keep a sense of magic and self-exploration alive in your daily life…perhaps writing offers a new avenue for that?

    Reply
    • S. Elizabeth
      June 23, 2014 at 12:39 pm (3 years ago)

      Lisa, I have had the desire to write since I was maybe 4-5 years old. I remember writing about a little girl named Jenny and all the big-girl adventures she had – it was all very silly, but I thought I was doing excellent work. As I got older I lost my enthusiasm for the practice of it…I love the *idea* of writing, but the reality -not so much. So much of what I want to say ends up on the page as a parroting of someone else’s words; sometimes I wonder if that’s all I am, just a laundry pile of other people’s leftover, moldy ideas and opinions and thoughts. Then again – are there even any original thoughts out there anymore? Hm.

      And YES, I wish we had gotten together as well when we lived closer. I suspect though, even if we had made a playdate, I might have backed out at the last minute with some excuse or another. I would have been too nervous! Now I am in a different place in my life, and while things like that (yes, even things I REALLY want to do) still cause me anxiety, I have learned to work through them much better. I am not great at it yet, but at least I try now! And now, of course, you’re on the other coast!

      Reply
      • Mel Wandering in the Desert
        July 2, 2014 at 6:08 am (3 years ago)

        Do you remember this thing that Middle Sister had? I think it was from the San Francisco Music Box Company or one of those temporary mall stores at Christmas, and it was a ceramic statue-figure-thing of a Victorian lady sitting at a desk, scribbling away at something. She was writing, and it was romantic beautiful and magical and elegant.

        Yeah, guess what? That’s not writing. That’s not reality. There is nothing that is pleasant or romantic about writing–it’s painful and dreadful and terrible. The reality of it sucks–the process is agonizing, and the results–well, they might be the next work of Great Literature, but writers are plagued with insecurity and self-doubt and shit, so end up questioning everything they write. And yet, they must write it–it would be like a woman NOT giving birth to something after 9 months. It must come out, no matter how it looks initially.

        Are there any original thoughts out there any more? Perhaps not, but your experience of them IS original. No one else will see or hear or taste or observe or feel the moment in the same way you do. And that’s enough–more than enough. It’s magic of your own making.

        Reply
  2. Shana
    June 23, 2014 at 3:29 pm (3 years ago)

    Oh I really feel like you explained the time towards the end of my marriage perfectly. I sought out magic, I sought out the internet (and made friends like you) and I spent my time lonely and doing solitary things such as knitting, gardening and letter writing.

    I am so much happier and spirited in my life and want to revisit the magic and keep it alive. Sometimes I pull out my Tarot cards and sometimes I recharge my crystals on the full moon…but it is if and when I remember and not out of necessity and certainly no longer to keep my sanity during the sinking ship phase of my life.

    Reply
    • S. Elizabeth
      June 23, 2014 at 6:44 pm (3 years ago)

      Yes, I too made so many wonderful internet friends during that time (as bad as I am about making friends “in real life”, I am really great at doing it online!) and I will admit, that is one thing that I continue to do. But like you said, if I try to call upon those magics now it feels rushed and hurried and half-assed. I would love to find a way to strike a balance. Perhaps it is as simple as setting aside specific time for these things and doing them with some real intent. But that sounds a lot like WORK, doesn’t it? 😛

      Reply
  3. Diana
    June 24, 2014 at 3:25 am (3 years ago)

    Hi S. Elizabeth, I think I might have a few ideas.. Last year I took in a kitty that was homeless and very ill. I never rescued an animal before and at first wasn’t sure about how to help the little guy. I’ve always loved cats and had a special bond to them. But the closeness I feel growing between me and my rescue cat is pure magic. He is almost like a little man. He’ll look up at me and it’s almost like I expect him to open his mouth and start talking- that’s how clear I can read his facial expressions. We have a bond that I just never had with any other cats I have lived with in the past, even though I loved them all very much. And to know you saved an animal’s life is an extraordinary sensation that can’t be described well with words. I know rescuing an animal isn’t always easy- especially if they scratch and bite a lot out of fear if they’ve been treated badly. It’s hard work helping them learn to feel safe again. But the results do add a layer of magic to your life- to know that you saved an animal’s life. If that is something that for any reason wouldn’t be a good idea for you now, I also recommend studying the Tree of Life. Not because I can personally vouch for it because it is still on my list of things I want to study later on.. But because it is a spiritual school of thought which can be intellectually connected to any and all aspects of life- all the way from picking out your groceries to trying to decipher the meanings of your dreams. And the reason for that is because it is supposed to be an actual metaphor for life. It illustrates how life is spiritual from the very basic and boring all the way up to the mind blowing and mystifying aspects of human experience- and all of experience for that matter. So I would guess that if you took up studying the Tree of Life, you would start to notice the spiritual thread that runs through your day to day events. It’s possible that would open your eyes to a new way of perceiving reality, despite how routine or non-eventful certain experiences may seem on the surface in everyday life. The other thing that is great about the study of the Tree of Life is just that it’s really complex- so the more you learn, the more you’ll find yourself asking questions. At least that is what I’ve heard from other people who’ve studied it. It’s kind of like a mystery novel where the more clues are unveiled, the more avenues of possibility suddenly open, and you go deeper into the mystery the more you accumulate knowledge. Anyways I hope this helps.

    Reply
    • S. Elizabeth
      June 24, 2014 at 3:35 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you so much for taking the time for this heartfelt and truly fascinating reply! I have had feline companions before and yes, they certainly create an interesting and magical household dynamic! Unfortunately, it my currently living situation, my partner is terribly allergic and so no kitties in the ghoulhaus for the time being.

      This Tree of Life business sounds insanely, fantastically intriguing. My curiosity is tremendously piqued! I shall look into it immediately.

      Reply
      • Diana
        June 25, 2014 at 1:07 am (3 years ago)

        one more thing I recommend is to watch the following 2 movies: “They Might Be Giants” ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067848/ )and “Being There” ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078841/?ref_=nv_sr_1 ). In my opinion, they’re true magic – just as much as picking up a book about Kabbalah. Interestingly in the movie “Being There” some masonic symbolism is used and the main character played by Peter Sellers can be linked to the meaning of the tarot card “The Fool.”

        Reply
  4. lau
    June 26, 2014 at 8:00 pm (3 years ago)

    i’m working on trying to find the time to make the magics happen as well. it’s a constant challenge, but totally necessary. too much work, not enough creativity and personal projects. if you learn the secret to that balance, please to be teaching your ways…

    Reply
  5. Angeliska
    August 18, 2014 at 5:50 pm (3 years ago)

    My dear, I’ve had this piece of your up in my tabs since the Solstice… Which tells you something how how bad I am at the internet these days…! But, I love your writing here, and am glad you are keeping this blog… Little magics is hard sometimes. I got out of it for a while a few years ago, but it helps me so much to come back to it… My advice is: don’t be pedantic or hard on yourself about any kind of routine, but just let it flow instinctively. Little altars, lighting candles, honoring sacred days and turnings helps me immensely. I love the Pagan Book of Days, but there’s always something to celebrate or be made aware of. Being in nature and writing down your dreams are the best ways to open it up. Setting intentions. Pulling a tarot card every day. Wow, even writing this down makes me realize that I’d like to be more in practice myself! Hit me up anytime to talk magic stuff – I’m always down! I know I don’t make it obvious (because I hardly ever comment on stuff, or even respond to comments, gaaaaah) but I think you are wonderful, and I hope we get meet one day!

    love,
    A.

    Reply
    • S. Elizabeth
      August 24, 2014 at 2:33 pm (3 years ago)

      “…there’s always something to celebrate or be made aware of” is such a lovely way to look at the world. I think it is a marvelous good start.
      Thank you.

      I remember when I first discovered your blog, and you; it was 4-5 years ago and I was researching a fragrance I had stumbled across, Neil Morris’ ‘Dark Season’. How it was inspired by cold winters in Finland and the silence of the forest and the dreamscape of the the stars, and most specifically “Pohjanakanpolku” – The Path of the Northern Hag. Seeking out reviews of this magical sounding scent, I found you. You, who turned out to be such a brilliant bounty of magics! It’s all a lovely jumble after that and would you believe I still have yet to sample or sniff this scent?

      When we discuss our future travel plans -my gentle man and I, that is -your neck of the woods is always the first place we bring up. One day soon, I promise! Sometime within the next year or so, for certain.

      Reply

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