See The Magic

713. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

Today I saw thousands of geese fly over the fields at sunset. They were going back to the river for the night. From a distance in the pale blue winter sky, they looked like shimmering strands, forming and reforming, I had the impression that I was looking through a microscope at DNA in flight. And then they flew closer, took on another shape, more dense, all the strands coming together en masse, morphing like magic into a congress of geese. Flying directly over my head their wings took on the gold and purple of the setting sun, shocking me in their transformation. Their direction was specific, intentional, with no visible leader or apparent decision maker; they were of a single mind.

Magic is not the illusion of sawing a person in half; it is not a man who seems to disappear from a locked box. Those things are tricks. Magic is a relationship to something vital and alive. Who would choose to have a relationship with an illusion when it is possible to have a relationship with the setting sun or to participate if only as a witness to a migration that is centuries old? This is why we go to the theatre or visit an artists’ studio; the arts are not illusions they are a relationship to something ancient, a deeply unique human impulse that reaches back millennia. The arts are at one moment both a personal and a shared experience. There is a reason why dictators clamp down on the arts when seizing power: a community with vital living art knows its direction and intention with no visible leader; the decision makers are the stories we tell relative to the actions we take: there is no gap between interests and values. The arts hold the center and when they are lost, the community begins to legislate rather than communicate. Entertainment is, after all, the least of the functions of any art form and become ascendant when rules have replaced stories as the societal glue.

4 Responses

  1. David, this is enormous. I will think into this definition of art, seen today with new eyes. I love the metaphor with geese; they will never seem the same. (Maybe geese will be your new logo!!)

  2. FYI (I just looked this up): collective pronouns for geese are: ‘blizzard’, ‘chevron’, ‘knot’, ‘plump’ and ‘string’ of geese. Ha! I think I like blizzard the best…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: