overhaul / undertow

Monday, May 20, 2002

Jacaranda trees all over LA are blooming, irrespective of appropriateness of place. The scariest neighborhoods, by the most tortured asphalt, to the bourgeois streets near me: they're suddenly bursting into crazy purple clouds, chrysanthemum-firecracker-pops of violet and amethyst and lavender.

My birthstone is amethyst. Psychologists who study the sociology of color say that purple is supposed to be a color of change, of the ephemeral realm of dreams where nothing is knowable or permanent, a color of magic and enchantment. Impermanence, the shift in tide, the change of direction, the fork in the road where you waver--that space in time when you go both ways at once, leaving both paths traveled but both roads not taken. Me as a little girl, the only child playing in the backyard, amusing myself for hours with imaginary friends, magic potions brewed from the backyard plants, seeing faries in the grass and hidden doors in the walls.

I kinda left behind my childhood fascination with magic. I dabbled in Wicca during high school, but mostly out of dissaffection for my catholic high school, and within a very brief time I decided it was bullshit too.

But still.

The trees all blooming now, no matter how crummily decrepit or blandly homogenized the neighborhood, remind me that magic is where you find it.


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