Magic Hours

October 29th, 2012

Sometimes the magic appears out of nowhere, like this piece of spray-paint graffiti I found on a West Village sidewalk in New York. ┬áLike the joyous swarm of illegal skateboarders taking over Broadway one Saturday when I was entering the subway.Like wandering into the abandoned, disheveled and defunct Oak Room in the Plaza Hotel, with napkins left where they were thrown on the tables and chairs stacked by the wall…ghosts of parties past. And sometimes magic has to be manufactured, or at least helped along by intentionality. When I returned home from New York, I vowed not to be that person who complains about missing the big city, but of course I can’t help lapsing now and then. A friend suggested that I try little readjustments to make my surroundings new again. One of the things I loved most about New York was not knowing anyone or being known when I left my apartment. It was as if being anonymous helped me reclaim my truer self. So when I take a walk in Charleston now, I pretend I’m a stranger. I can feel my body loosen up, my inner gait relax, my mind loping along to my iTunes playlist, my soul out for a Walt-Whitman walk. I still hope and pray for the random, lightning-strike magic, but I know I also have to practice conjuring up some magic of my own just to stay ungrounded and surprised.

4 Responses to “Magic Hours”

  1. I find magic when I go out with my camera in my hand. I see the world differently, observe and absorb more. The familiar is never familiar when I have my camera in hand.

    I, too, liked the anonymity when I was living overseas, but there were times when I would cry unexpectedly on the subway or at a store or in other places where I was surrounded by people and felt absolutely invisible and isolated. So sometimes it was comforting and freeing, but sometimes I just longed for one person to make eye contact or say hello or just smile at me and acknowledge we were sharing a moment.

  2. nikki says:

    I agree..I’m sure I would feel very disoriented to be a stranger, anonymous all the time.

  3. Uma says:

    I’m so glad your trip to NY occurred before the storm hit. It is a magical place indeed.

  4. nikki says:

    Yes, I can’t wait to return!

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