Monday, September 06, 2004


Times I might have believed in magic:

1. When I was growing up, we would often spend a portion of the summer - anywhere from a week-end to a month - in a friend of the family’s summer house near a town called Tupper Lake. The house stood at the top of a hill. At the bottom of the hill stood a tall forest of pine trees. When the wind blew a certain way, the trees would sway in a disconcerting fashion. The summer I was eight, I developed a horror of this woods. At night I couldn’t bear to look outdoors, for fear of seeing the trees move against the starlit sky. In the morning, I would avoid looking at the trees, for fear that they had advanced during the night.

2. When I was very small, I can remember making a sandcastle (in reality, it was more a mound of sand, dumped out of a pail and patted into a rounded hump). In frustration, I tried to remember how to make rooms on the inside of the castle. I was convinced I’d done it before, and had made a home for a small farmer.

3. Walking in the woods with my dog, I thought I heard a noise. It sounded like a single note, played upon a flute or recorder. I quickly hurried home. Even in the suburbs, the sound was uncanny.

4. If my boyfriend goes to bed before me, I always have to turn on the light before I lie down next to him. Some primitive part of my brain is not convinced that the sleeping hump beneath the blankets is him, and needs reassurance.

5. Despite ample evidence to the contrary, I believe I can 'sense' the future.

Things I wish I haddn’t said:

1. To my mother (age 13): “Up yours.”

2. To an ex-boyfriend (age 19), when told he missed me: “Get a dog.”

3. To a prospective landlord (last week): “This storage space is so large, I could take in a family of refugees”

4. Numerous other things that require a lifetime of context for their true horror to show.

Things I saw this afternoon:

1. A wonderfully ancient woman meditating. Her face was unwrinkled, but she looked as if she’d seen eons pass before her.

2. A moth dying in a pond. Its wings seemed motionless, but a multitude of tiny ripples radiated out from it, evidencing a stuggle just below the surface.

3. Three grouse, hiding beneath a bush.

4. A bride and her bridesmaids, having their photos taken in the park.

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