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  • I: Tiny Turtles and too much water

    I am very excited to discover a hatching of tiny turtles, the size of small ladybugs. In fact, at first, I think they are insects, and then am amazed and excited to see that they are turtles. I put them in a bowl with shallow water and a few days later, they have doubled in size and are now the size of large ladybugs. I come back late and someone has filled up their bowl with a lot of water. I carefully drain it out and get a piece of paper, with the intention of writing, "It is essential to not give the turtles too much water, as it damages their shells if they cannot dry out”. But as I am bending over to get paper and pen, hundreds of small things fall out of my pockets including bunches of little Allen wrenches and other small tools and I kneel on the floor to pick them up. Meanwhile, I get distracted by noticing that one of the plants on the windowsill with the turtles is almost out of water.
    * *
  • At the age of 69 and 1/2, I am still looking for magic in my life. The tiny turtles in my dream were magical.

    Question: how can we create a sense of "magic" in our lives? Happy surprises? A sense of wonder?

    Alone at Pier Park, I lean over the edge of the observation tower looking at the way the ice has cracked and refrozen like pieces of a puzzle, with raised ridges between them. The sun shines through hazy clouds, reflecting on the broken and rippled ice and I feel a sense of peace, contentment and aliveness reminiscent of that which I experience in my best dreams.
  • The feeling is both fleeting and pervasive, fleeting in that when I resume walking, I have the pain in my hip (though it seems somewhat lessened, knock on wood), and the worries about the things I need to accomplish, but pervasive in that it informs my thoughts, my heart, my day and makes it easier to have similar experiences. It opens the heart-mind, and now I feel tearful. I sit in a cushioned chair by the Pier park building and the low sun glances along the patterned bricks with their salt stains and I feel so very much alive and opened. It's almost painful. A sort of joyful pain.
  • And then a voice inside me says, you can't stay here; you have stuff you need to do.
  • And the magic and deep awareness fades. But I don't go. Instead, I look at the brilliant green of the moss between the bricks, lit by the low sun, the tiny abstract shadows from the slight unevenness of the bricks and minuscule movements of the erect strands of tan grass in the bitty breeze, vibrating as if touched by the faintest breath. And the magic returns.

    This is the magic, I think, this opening of heart-mind, of awareness that fills me with a rush of pleasure and pain. It is like the feelings I get in my best dreams, and then there are the spilled tools, the scattered Allen wrenches, the too much to do and the too little water or too little time, and I have to get up and go do what I must do. I will take with me mental snapshots of joy and hope that continue to bubble up and inform my day and my life.
  • Images: A quick mouse-sketch of a ladybug-size turtle on the end of a finger being observed by a "giant" (to the turtle) eye, and the patterned ice today at Pier Park.

    This, I think, is the first of the three "magic" stories for January 2016. The third one is here.


    These experiences remind me of a story I once wrote for Sara that I want to rewrite and illustrate for Frankie and Alden. The Golden Box, or something like that, I wonder where it is. I'd like to work on it.
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