May. 11th, 2009

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It’s soft, sometimes. The first breath of fresh air after heavy rain, or the feeling of a blade of grass against one’s cheek, is often all it takes. And, other times, it’s anything but soft, mixed in with the sound of heavy percussion, the physical push of anger, or sex. And even other times it comes on as a static-hiss, the reading of a certain passage, or the picture of the perfect landscape.

At first, it feels like a swelling of the ribs, like the lungs so often desperate to breathe have grown large, and threaten to destroy the body. This dizzy realisation that one is alive, that one is in the process of being. Not the everyday biological function, taking in an endless barrage of outside stimuli, but actual life coursing through actual veins. I am an entity self-contained and meaningful in its own right; the switch has been flipped to “broadcast”.

Everything has new light. The haze of sunlight dappled green against the driveway, or the wondrous terror of a thunderstorm; all amplified, electric, sharpened in this new way of seeing. The air is animated, and breathing it in I can feel myself shift. This shadow-self of burning muscles and boiling blood, a spiral of change towards teeth that are a little sharper, and eyes that are little brighter.

And the music is there, though it isn’t any music we’ve been making. It starts in the frogsong and the rain, and the birds in the nest. And I can dance to it, this body that has never danced for man’s music, it knows this rhythm, this ecstatic mayhem. It knows itself, and this identity has feet that drum like hooves into wet earth.

Magic in these moments is the being of Another, any other, to grow feathers or antlers or claws and dance our own waltz, to hear the words of songs of which meanings mankind has forgotten escape our own lips. To finally bridge the gap between man and nature by the way of myth, and to feel freedom forever bests any spell that could ever be cast by human hands.

And too soon it is over, and this clarity fades into mundane wonder at a star, or a swamp-bed. Photographs are taken, conversations are had, and within the shadow-self rolls and swells and remembers, and waits for the time when the guard will be let down next…

There was this purity, in childhood. When one found a hidden place of wet earth and green, or a farm-field, or a creek full of frogs, and it was something new and there was nowhere on earth like it; when we were free to go feral under the evening moons.

Eco-psychologists call it the “green effect”, my ancestors called it the work of the fairies, and before that they chanted and scratched it into the cave walls and gave it the shape of a woman. But at this precise moment those words don’t matter. It Is and it is right now, the most real thing in the entire universe, the purest drug. And I long

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