Real magic has the quality of knowing. By paying attention you get to know things and when they will happen. With this knowledge you can create the illusion that you cause the inevitable to happen. Real power is when you have people convinced that they can’t get along without you. But there are other things, things beyond people. Once I convinced the wind that it couldn’t get along without me.
I’d go out to the top field where the horses ran free. Where they worried themselves only with petty grievances, grazed as they wished regardless of day or night and sometimes lulled by whatever dreams it is that horses dream. lay like dead things strewn.
On a grey out crop of lichenined stone I’d stand, turn my face to the sky and say:
“If I could be anything in the world
I would be the wind.
To kiss the sea.
Embrace the sky
Caress the earth.
Come wind I call you
Bring the rain, bring the storm,
The lightning and the thunders roar.
Come wind I love you!”
I tried this several times and sometimes the wind would come up strong while other times calm and quiet. In other words, I made no impact what so ever. But I did not give up. By now the horses took notice of my antics and drew around as if seeking inspiration from my sermon on the mount. Perhaps they found some but the wind did not. Once I got so angry this is what I said:
“If I could be anything in the world
It would never be the wind,
Insignificant bastard of the heavens
Ignorant victim of a manipulative earth,
Carrier of piss spit bird droppings
Owner of dust and ashes….”
At this did the wind hesitate even for a moment before it went back to ignoring me?
Eventually the horses too lost interest in my daily ritual. After all I brought no carrot or apple, I didn’t respond to their sparing for attention and I was as bored as they with their rearing, bucking, bluffs.
Finally, I decided to give up. I decided that if I couldn’t be master then I would surrender. So when the wind was quiet, I’d say,
“As the wind is quiet and still, so am I.”
And too if the wind moved from the East I’d say,
“As the wind I too move from the east.”
So it was with every direction and with every temperament. As gentle breeze or herald of the storm and too through the seasons such as that of summers comfort or raging winter’s howl. For a whole year this was my daily practise. There were times when I thought I ‘d be carried away, dragged along the ground or else motionless so long I ‘d drop from fatigue. this did not happen. But I did begin to really know the wind, a scent on the air, look of the sky, temperature from yesterday compared with today, slight almost invisible trembling of leaves – all were signs. So closely did I follow that I became as if a shadow to the wind.
In time my movements became just slightly ahead until it was I who cast a shadow called the wind. Until once more late autumn and, I could say “Follow my hands as I have led you this way forever.” And the wind, having no memory of forever, believed that this was so and therefore had always been so. How could it doubt I was who I claimed to be? After all, had we not moved together and had it not now been reminded that this had always been?
So once again I spoke, my purpose being to keep my image in its fragile memory,
“I have known you with whisper, shout and breath,
Shared with you submission and mastery,
Shared with you the gift of motion and stillness
Now remember me!”
And the wind enveloped me and inhaled and from the breath of my voice to the scent carried on every hair of my body – I was known!
Quiet then rocked with shivers head cradled between my knees, my own steamy urine pooling around my toes before trickling down to where a bald faced chestnut mare stood watching like a ghost…