It doesn’t really matter all that much what I’m doing or where I am; two things almost always grab my attentions, whatever I was supposed to be focused on at the moment. Is it a shiny, twinkly, sparkling object? Oh, yeah, that’ll catch my magpie eye. I adore that kind of stuff. But I love its polar opposite, too. I am as easily distracted and attracted by rusty, crusty, crumbling, peeling, decrepit things as by the polished and gleaming ones.
Inside my skull’s a fizzing insectarium
of mystic, magic, merry little things
so wildly pretty that my brain can’t carry ‘em
without the power of all their tiny wings,
Abuzz with sparkling brilliance and their fleeting,
so speedy that they’ve utterly forgot
regard for gravity or need for beating,
become instead bright vestiges of thought.
Now, you may think I’m just a bugged-out entity
with not a thought for anything of sense,
but every person has his own bugs, hasn’t he,
and with their glittering gleam, the joy’s immense;
I never really cared that much for images
or what all others thought my problem was,
but just embraced my inner insects’ scrimmages,
Miss Magpie here, reporting for duty. I have been out and about doing errands and chores, being an everyday sort of person in my everyday sort of way, but as always, I am in a constant state of watchfulness, snapping to attention at the slightest glimmer of a sun-ray zinging off the corner of the windscreen, the flicker of movement that snags my eye (ouch!) on a brilliant yellow
weed wildflower (and yes, Steve, it was tiny but beautiful), the broad gleam of a hawk’s white underside lighting up like a beacon as he banks away from the sun over our ravine.
While I harbor my exceedingly childlike admiration for the wonderful works of intentional glamor and glitz without any hesitation, I am all the more moved by those things that through their very nature or some moment of perfect serendipity become jeweled treasures to be savored every bit as deeply and wildly. The crinkled aluminum foil from last week’s roast (seen here) becomes in my eyes a stolen bit from the vault of the Crown Jewels; the bottom of an empty jar and its creased shadow on rough concrete is transformed into an alchemist’s beaker bearing a mystical, nearly invisible elixir for eternal romance.
Even the most mundane of things can–and should–be able to become beautiful to one with a practiced magpie eye. Thankfully, those around me have patience while I crouch at the curb picking up bits of broken glass and shreds of steel that have fallen off of passing vehicles (probably spaceships, to be sure), while I lag behind on a walk to pick up opalescent beetle-wing shields and bent pins and uselessly blunted coins. And the smallest scrap of Japanese tea-chest paper or damaged disposable pie tin or leftover curling ribbon, the parts from a broken watch, keys and candy-wrappers and bits of metallic thread–these have no need of monetary weight, if they can spur the heart to visit places it’s not gone before.