“I do believe in an everyday sort of magic — the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes experience with places, people, works of art and the like; the eerie appropriateness of moments of synchronicity; the whispered voice, the hidden presence, when we think we’re alone.” ~ Charles de Lint
I went in search of magic on Thanksgiving Day. This in itself is not unusual for me, scraping away a layer or two of consensus so that I can see better, or simply and reverently marveling at the miracle and mystery that is our basic existence. My brother wanted a photo of the tree out at “the Horseshoe” which is the intimidating engineering marvel where State Highway 68 finds it’s way down into the Rio Grande Gorge, heading south. From where the tree stands a panoramic view of the gorge is all encompassing, at least for me. Daunted by the needed driving skills to navigate the turns and drop-offs I missed the roadside place to pull over and park by the tree. This put me on the spot, and I had to drive a few miles down into the gorge, where I could find a place to turn around and head back. The drive, the scenery, is magnificent, but in my state of high anxiety it was anything but. All the way down and back up I was nearing the verge of a true panic attack. Even after a rest stop at a tiny beach along the river I quivered my way along, expecting the worst in spite of my attempts to lay positive thinking atop my mental and physical distress. But I managed to pull over along side the road, just across from where the tree stands. This was no small task for me. It scared the friggin bejeezes out of me.
“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” ~ William Butler Yeats
After one week of a severe down cycle, preceded by a brief, maybe sixteen hours, spell of mild mania, I finally feel I can breathe again. The mania is something rare for me, rare for bipolar 2 disorder, so perhaps I triggered the downslide by sheer trepidation alone. One can never know for sure if such mood swing are simple mismanagement rather than the product of momentum. Not that it makes a difference in the thick of it, but perhaps it does in retrospect. Learning, cognizing, and evolving, must be welcomed if finding a purpose for mental illness is the preferred goal. It’s my goal, for sure, because if there is no purpose there is no movement, and movement is the only thing that provides a road out of the deep, like the road leading out of the gorge. I had no idea that I was headed for a metaphor but there you have it. Metaphors and archetypes are fine traveling companions along that road. Now, let’s have a look, let’s head into the light.
Sure, it’s a software-produced effect but it shows how I can see things when the magic is in effect for me. Because I am aligned with the Celtic pantheon of divine beings I often need a mist to lend me access to the realm of magic, yet at times the mist is not a material weather phenomenon. Sometimes the mist is internal, an effect of the mind. This hints at a purpose for mental illness. The mind goes all hazy and stuff, then dark. My Celtic guardian angel, Brighid, usually leads me back out of the darkness, if I get stuck. She, like a good therapist, helps to scrape off a few layers of doubt and pain, revealing the magic that lies within the process, then the process enfolds the magic, which works from within to foster creativity, a drive that holds back the darkness long enough to foster emergence rather than the hidden forces that instead foster stultifying fear. That’s me today, the creative one, not the hidden one, aligned intimately with the Green Man, who met me at the tree yesterday.
Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously.