Magic, Poetry, Time,

June 15, 2008 at 12:14 pm | Posted in writing | 24 Comments
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When I meet someone new I often wish them a fantabulous day full of tiny miracles like unexpected flowers blooming but is rare for wishes to come true. Hayley tells me that this morning the lilies in the garden all bloomed and she has had flowers delivered from Interflora from her boss for her birthday. And Hayley is a paranormal researcher. Synchronicities are signposts.

I have a theory which in my mad mind explains all such oddnesses and underpins my belief in magic and particularly in the magic of poetry. Time is not linear. Our poor human brains are linear, limited in their perceptive abilities to one chronological strand. Language (or at least boring old prose like this) is linear and so not very good at explaining what nonlinear time looks like but I imagine an old pond, frog jumps in, kerplunk, to translate Matsuo Basho. (concentric circles emanating from the tao through which ginga moves, a wave animating the human heart)

If time is not linear then all ghosties, synchronicities, nonlinear causality, miracles, inklings, become flashes of perception beyond the usual processing power of us mere humans. And poetry which works through echoes, rhythm and rhyme, confluence and divergence, intuition and the image, is how language escapes lineality. So I can make a big statement and say poetry is a better description of the world than this mundane prose because magic is a better explanation of a nonlinear universe than linear causality and poetry transcends linear time.

Oh, and in case you are thinking, my what a crazy person, with his nonlinear time, may I introduce Mr Albert Einstein, “…for us physicists believe the separation between past, present, and future is only an illusion, although a convincing one.”

Have a fantabulous day full of tiny joyous miracles like unexpected flowers blooming,
gingaTao! (a greeting, a toast, a blessing…



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  1. fantabulous writing. your prose is not mundane. you’re deep. poetry or not you manage to say so much in this. i wish i felt more linear. instead i feel circular — endlessly on repeat.

  2. have a fantabulous day yourself! may there be many tiny bubbles of miracles floating about tickling your nose and opening your eyes!

  3. No-one translates that magic better than you in their poetry. I will have a fantabulous day and I wish you a fantabulous evening.

  4. Ah, I see the endless possibilities, multiverses; varying planes of existence that are separate yet somehow same, somehow, connected. Happy Father’s Day!

  5. face blossuming into a big, big smile…
    a curtsey in my poppy colored dress…
    everything about you is magical, maestro.

  6. Have you ever seen the sort of documentary, “what the bleep do we know?” Kind of corny, but does touch on the topic of non-linear time. They forgot about themagic, though.

  7. Great piece of writing here. And I think you’re right on about the illusion business. It’s an illusion that trips me up all the time, though.

  8. Fabulous imagery and writing skills. Very nice prose, very nice. Good day to you too!

  9. Gingatao — I can’t tell you how many times I have seen your name crop up in the literary circles on WordPress. I’m glad I visited today. I can add another funky word to your “fantabulous” word-o-sphere and that is this word — “ridunkulous”. Used in a sentence it might add strange dissonance to your craft…(ie. Your thoughts are absolutely, ridunklously fantabulous today!). All kidding aside, your post resonated with my atomies today. If we are to become more enlightened and aware, it is this recognition of multi-dimension that will propel us into the sphere of energy and creativity. Einstein was right – we need to think outside of the box and take that Quantum leap of non-linear faith. Thanks!

  10. Paul…you are adorable! And you amaze me as a writer. Always.

  11. Thanks everybody. It is a favourite theme of mine. Oh my goodness, is this Amber the Angelheaded Hipster? I had best be careful in case it is another…but if it is there will be hugs…

  12. what an interesting concept to ponder. I’ll have to give it some thought in relation to my own experiences with serendipities and everyday magical happenings. Here’s one:

    Over the weekend at my boyfriends, I wanted to work in the yard while he worked on the coolest 66 Chevelle SS. I needed a hoe, actually, and none was to be found in the vast array of manitems in his garage. Coincidentally, there was a garage sale around the corner – which I decided might be worth looking into.

    “I’ll be right back, honey. I’m off to see if there is a cheap ho at that garage sale that I can bring home with me.”

    After glancing about the dusty 8-track player, the gold and puke green dishes, and a weird variety of platform shoes, I finally asked, “Do you guys have any gardening tools for sale?”

    “Honey, do we have any tools for sale?”

    “Well, not really. We have a ho and a rake in the garage…want to sell them?”


    Smiling like a Cheshire Cat, I asked, “So how much do you want for that cheap ho?”

    “A dollar?”

    Worked for me. The Ho and I had a wonderful time sprucing up the yard, and I ended up going back for the Rake as well.

    Later, cruising down PCH in the hottest muscle car ever built, I couldn’t help but think, “Life is just magical!”

    But perhaps, it’s not. It’s just simultaneously lived out 😉

  13. Ahh yes, the “tiny joyous miracles”..unfolding all around us, if only we look!

    I SO believe in count me among the “crazy” ones.

    I most certainly feel a good energy here. 🙂

  14. Good post! Mary Jane and I pondered…:)

    Linearity is also bonded to the individual, that one is one, when in essence we are the genetic repository of many. As a species, time is infinite and eternally recurring (thanks Fred) with each moment being a universe, packed with occurrences and phenomena that cannot be grasped by the illusion of self. Without the capacity to grasp the totality, we must project our false sense of self onto the objective reality that stares us in the face, always slipping beyond our grasp. Hence, the subject wraps itself around the object, ultimately re-presented by our linguistic structures, themselves only a shadow of cognition. So, by re-presenting and defining the object according to our subjective values, we are anchoring that concept to a false reality, allocating space, quantifying ‘time’ and imbuing whatever significance we desire, all of which are relative and fallible phenomena.

    Does THIS word exist here with me as I write it, or with you as you read it? Am I there – here – with you now, inside your head? Are we one, immortal?

    What time is it now?
    Ahha! Terry speaks! Wonderfully too. I am going to borrow this comment, if you don’t mind and use it to explain the More Bizarre Experiments, it’s perfect. Glad you enjoyed, your voice is immortal in a moment. Rage on,

  15. It’s bound, not bonded, former-present-concept-self!

  16. the piano drinking..??… knowing i could never draw a straight line if my life depended on it.. it is the magic of the moment that we draw from regardless of the timing of event… the perfection of a flower in it’s perfect construction constrains the very air we breathe.. the pebble thrown into the quiet still pond.. scattering the peaceful particles brings a simple smile.. yes, it is magic…

  17. Since I see a great disparity in the way an ant and mouse, mouse and dog, dog and chimpanzee, chimpanzee and human, normal human and genius are all capable of experiencing the universe I often wonder in what way we could have an expanded experience/consciousness of the universe.

    And then I wonder if my desire for a more expansive experience of the universe in any way diminishes my current experience of the universe, which I find already beautiful when I take the time to look.

  18. Is this why you are posting things from the past, which is technically not the past, but actually the present in the same context as the future, all paralell
    realities being equal that is. In other words, I haven’t actually happened yet but in fact I used to be right now. Dead people (out of body) actually use this to navigate their way to mediums and in fact, mediums use it too, albeit crudely. 😉

  19. I am just moving them to the front page, Val. Not re-posting them I hope. This is as close to a manifesto as I have ever got I think. And it marks the key point of difference between the so-called ‘post-avant’ and my work. This is a step away from nihilistic cynicism.
    Especially if you combine it with the fact that language contains all the knowledge, ever-evolving that humans have had, in the roots of words which persist through a strange process. The best ones, whose sound and meaning and structure are really useful carry on and preserve encoded in them the collective memory of the species, that is the function of poetry. Has been ever since Homer started writing it down, or the Sumerians started to make abstract designs to represent things. The post-avant are wrong Squires and you know it.

  20. how can anyone be “wrong”? i think i am an absurdist 😀

    the manifesto speaks of your convictions, and they are loud and clear and beautiful, what more of a compass does one need, amazing for you Paul :)!!

  21. Wow, your post worked magic on me. So much so that I’ve bookmarked it to read whenever I want to feel extra-fantabulous. 😀 Thank you, Paul.

  22. I have been thinking about this for ever – the perception of linearity. Most things are merely perceptions and not real (such as colour – is something still colourful when the light goes out?). I believe circularity and spheres may also explain the inexplicable – how can there be a beginning and an ending to the universe? What came before the beginning of time – the end maybe? In fact I am working on a poem about this at this very dip in time.

  23. Homer!! How preposterous! Everyone single person on this planet knows for a fact that it was Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble! You, a cynical nihilist? Post Savant avant maybe, but nihilist with cynical leanings? Never! Seriously, it was a wonderful post, even Fred and Barney liked it.

  24. […] Five hundred and nineteen years later, bringing various fellows named Paul along for the ride since “time is not linear.” GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); […]

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