But where can warp drive take us, except away from here…?
A bit of a geeky reference, yes (it’s from Star Trek: Insurrection), but serves as a fairly equivalent statement to all those things I feel about San Francisco. It’s not a Dorothy’s-back-yard thing nor fear of itinerancy, not even xenophobia, but if you so love the place in which you live what purpose is there to travel, what impetus to improve means of travel?
To outsiders this particular bent in my geographical sensibilities would conflate xenophobia and agoraphobia to the point where the Dome of the Sky is so obvious as to require no belief system in place at all.
Still, the jewels adhered and embedded in the Dome of Sky are the same that all see except domeless, wide open; no context. And no context = no story and no story means no magic.
And we all have to have at least some magic in our lives. It’s everywhere, in everything. Some people assign all things magical to one true source, others find magic to be oddities of nature and the beautiful light cast upon the walls by a candle being filtered by irregular weaving within the fabric of Nature. Still some others find the unexplainable to be sinister, dark, evil, no good. Spirits here! And magic for them is just a gateway to paranoia. Piteous, yes, but those deserving of the most sympathy are the ones who refuse magic. Refuse its benefits, its entertainment value, its very existence!!! Those are the dry and rational, staid and stolid individuals who must explain away every waveform, every molecule, every action, reaction, cause, effect, correlative and causal in order to exorcise magic any given day.
Magic is not easy to find, until you find it and realize you’ve known all along that it was right there in front of your face. “Right there”; “RIGHT there”; “Right. There.”
It’s getting harder and harder for me to find magic here in San Francisco, fewer and fewer reasons to leave the warp drives dismantled. More and more refusers of magic spinning their wheels more and more feverishly to get away from the magic they don’t believe in anyway. More and more refusers finding less and less interesting ways to distract themselves from the demanding presence of magic. The magic of an orgasm as a cheap substitute and as a relentless way to contrive a society which expects less magic, expects less in others and in themselves.
For myself, I have found that paths to the best, most powerful magicks follow deep roots and deep fault lines to inhospitable places requiring work you can’t outsource, strength you can’t employ machines for, and commitment so deep and pensive and single-minded it sparks the first lights of honor and good will. Sparks which then fund a hearth, a hearth which eventually ascends to light the skies: the sunlight by which these best magicks can be seen.
But for a while now, the furrows and cracks in the earth, the places where oddity and life might have found purchase are paved over with the even, non-porous surface of acculturated sameness and so there is less and less access to the kinds of magicks my life requires. Dissent, conflict, even ridicule are unnaturally ineffective, as the sameness has lost the ability to adapt, to learn, to abide.
Yes, an arable for magic is no longer in this place. At least not in my traditional potreros.
So the piece of the puzzle that can’t be moved must now be moved. Towards, away, forwards, backwards, down or up, near or far. Or surrender to cacophony of the denial of greater things and welcome in the death of hope.