In the open hours, the world hums like a live wire, growls like a giant beast best left undisturbed. Cars whizz along the city streets, brakes squealing to the whims of merciless streetlights that care not for time nor missed appointments. People wade through one another, waves of bodies that roil and tumble with the passing hours. We walk our circles. We punch the numbers and calculate the odds and formulate strategies. We get lunch.
In the open hours, we are busy.
And they are all open hours now, filled up with spreadsheets and Skype calls and punchy headlines that beg to be read. We are a seething mass of newness, reinvented with every instant trend and drop of falling water turned to wine. We are searching for our own Messiahs and we are living in the background of each other’s touchscreens and we are wishing for a place that doesn’t feel so lonely, all filled to the brim with people.
Out there is where we’ve forgotten to be, the place with all the nothing.
The sea is old and boundless, its deepest glories hidden from our eyes, our cameras, our very best submarines. Beneath the surface, in a place where wristwatches hold no meaning, there are things that move without brains and swim without fins. There are beasts that know only the darkest dark, a place we’d never dare to wander. Inside the open mouth of endlessness, these things are finite and gone before we knew they ever were. Inside the ruins of our failed ships, they make a new home.
In the forests there are trees that have been climbed only by the sunlight that slides along their edges, pulls them up to greet the sky. There are hidden winds that push against whispering leaves and tell of secrets we can never hear. Outside our tiny little circles, our coffee shops and ticking walls, there are a million curling roots beneath the soil that drum a melody into the earth, sings a tune we cannot hear above the hum of our air conditioning.
We write of monsters, creatures with sharp teeth and slithering tongues. We dream of lands where sparks fly from fingertips and heroes come to reveal hidden realms, the quests we must embark upon to save the world. To save ourselves from the world.
We’ve lost the magic, but it hasn’t left us. It is out there, waiting. Waiting in the spaces between stoplights, the open roads that take us to a place we’ve never been. It is in the wisps of the rainless clouds above our heads, the gentle kiss of puddles left behind. It is the towering Oak made only from a misplaced acorn, a thing never meant to be that becomes anyway. It is in the bee that should not fly; the penguin that probably should. It is the flecks of color in the irises of the stranger we never look at.
Magic is the rush of the ocean inside a seashell and the way you can never touch a butterfly’s wings.
We fall inside our open hours, our urgent matters and tiny heads and still, we are not abandoned by the thing pulsing inside the mist along the roadside, whispering to us beneath the shadows falling across the vast mountain peaks.
We are the stardust that fell to Earth and we are the tiny things that slithered to the shoreline and grew legs and it is here inside ourselves that we can find all the forgotten rhythms that move inside those ocean waves, those untouched trees and wispy clouds. There is a song to be sung if we could just remember the words. There is majesty waiting for us, if only we could look each other in the eyes.
If only we could see.