Evening Will Come: A Monthly Journal of Poetics (Issue 30, June 2013—Buch Märchen Issue)

The words “everyday” and “magic” are redundant. You need only lift the everyday object or subject from the tepid bath of received wisdom in which it lies submerged, and it begins to shimmer with the numinous. To be sure, I enjoy witches, trolls, and dragons as much as the next person, and wise birds even more so—but I am partial to the strangeness of the plain. Is anything more suffused with enchantment than the apple turning color in your kitchen? Can there be a scenario more ensorceled than that of a mother or guardian telling a child a tale? Have you ever encountered a human being who was not a shape-shifter?

As a writer, I tend to view my eraser (rather than my pencil) as a wand, eliding context and time-telling convention to liberate the odd, the essential. The inter-subjective fairy tale manner of marking time’s passage is realer to me than the movement of hands on a clock.

Great visual artists, freed from chronology altogether, reveal the gorgeous, scary enchantment of a face, a tree, a still life ripe with mystery—uncanny, divine. As in a fairy tale, everything happens “once upon a time,” and magically, that time is now.

Dawn Raffel

[Everyday Magic]