Exquisite, limited, eternal time
hands brushing past the hours
patient, as even as Azrael Himself.
When I have you, I don’t want you (you’ve heard this before)
I gorge on diversion, bulging outward with petty amusements.
But when you tire of my wasteful ways,
speed away –
I chase you, long for you, look for you, yearn for you.
You tease me from behind that clock
ticking me, tranceing me, flowing away.
When starlight breaks, I tell my lover I slip away to set my own stars.
Really, it is for this suspended rendezvous –
to strengthen my heart for the yearning, for the wasting, for the pushing away
in a time without time – you are with me and not
in a space without space – I am with you and not
All this motion, but time itself unchanged.
– Diana Rajchel
In a stack of magazine clippings sits a circled quote from Diane von Furstenberg, speaking to W for the December 2012 issue. “A woman can do it all – she just can’t do it all at once.” I circled this three times before ripping the page out. While part of me wants to resist – that exceptionalist North American mentality again – that particular quote has a destiny in a picture frame in my office somewhere. It might go up on my magical version of a vision board, a collection of quotes and images intended to ground me.
Even writing this blog post, writing the poem above, comes as a stolen moment. I am supposed to be reading off my review book stack right now. I am supposed to be packing box after box, wondering how I accumulated so much crap while remembering how each and every piece of it came into my hands. A giant toolbox draped in a scarf has candles, powders, oils littered across it – magic I truly meant to wrap up before moving. Demands await me on my computer – literally pages of notes for my fashion blog, multiple Google task lists, photos awaiting editing and in some cases editorial approval.
Whatever 2012 may end with on a global scale, for me it ends in massive transition. I’ve been living like a dead woman since 2009. Death did not equate with stagnation. Deep chemical changes needed to happen. Worms have eaten, sprouts have risen – time for me to breathe again. The organism I am becoming is different from the one that went underground. I’ll be just as surprised as you are. Stuff had to cook – and I overdid the busy in the meantime.
I look at this period, this suspended moment where time and I come together for a moment because I’ve been thinking a lot about my relationship with time, with age, with where I fall in the mortal coil and in the daily cog. As a magic worker, a person living in a culture that forgot how much it needs its magicians and shamans, I end up thinking about this a lot – where time for my magic, for self-purification, for basic humbling acts of awareness fit in between grocery shopping, loving and attending my partner (and teaching him how to attend me) and simply making myself present in ways that allow healthy, very necessary for survival friendships to develop.
I’ve been reading a lot of hoodoo and Conjure blogs, along with writings by what feels like the rare few other magical people that are also trying to create a symbiotic system of magic within daily life. One thing that comes up for all of us that live lives in some way dedicated to our crafts (or Craft): magic itself takes a lot of time. Cleansing the spirit to perform magic takes a lot of time. Teaching takes a lot of time. Writing takes a lot of time. Developing empathy, passion, fitness, lasting love – these all take a lot of time, total presence and an absolute willingness-to-the-point-of-submissiveness to learn.
We can’t do everything. For me the core struggle falls between magic and writing: for a few years, the universe has allowed writing to be the magic. Not only have I written some of the best spells and poetry I have in years, some of it that I haven’t released is stand-alone witchcraft, poetry as enchantment. It’s spurring my long-suppressed interest in hypnosis onwards – what else can I do with this cool stuff? But the conflict arises again: certainly I can do it all. I just can’t do it all at once. There are things that need doing, words that need writing, people that need seeing.
This is the troubling thing of all of this – I can’t do it all at once. I have to pick something and hope the energy remains to do that other something that fascinates me, builds a business, changes a mind later.
But I’m not the only one in this situation, I’m not the only one struggling between the conflict of producing all that written material for others to read about magic while actually practicing magic enough to have something to write about.