Friday, December 21, 2007

Magic Stuff in the Woods

Well, I finally got my wish for this Christmas: a magical Christmas Tree in the woods. It has been a few weeks in the works, with the requisite drawn-up plan, and lots of back and forth about the merits (or not) of my design, which included a hanging octopus sort of thing crocheted out of rough twine with five "legs" done so that the length could be optional, by uncrocheting a foot or two of the ends which were temporarily tied off in bows. It took some days of the ladder sitting up against the tree at the entrance of the "glade" where there was to be a loop over the overhanging branch with the crocheted thing hanging down, and then the electric cord would be separately secured with the lights arranged to hang rather loosely fastened to each of the legs but not all the way to the ground. Then the legs were to be attached to the joints of five laths arranged and tied in a pentagon shape sort of offset around the tree trunk. The pentagon could be stabilized on the ground with bricks.

After summit meetings for a week or two, the Tree now stands out there under the branch above the planned branch, but with all its other original design features manifestly there, and the debut last night was just great! I got good reviews from my doppleganger, and grand plans evolved for growing the tree each year until it is so tall and bright it will be a looked-for tradition for all of Newfield NJ!!

It's so good to have someone who "gets it" about the magic of such frivolous inventions, especially if it is an otherwise pragmatic scientist type.

We woke up this morning with the usual murmurings about fragments of dreams and such, and then got on the subject of Wunks, heaven knows how. That led to the Squidgicum Squees, and me trying to remember more of the James Whitcomb Riley poem I used to get the giggles about with my little brother. I looked up the poem on Google, bless it, and here's the verse from that ever-so-folksy poem that I was remembering:

"…An' The Raggedy Man, he knows most rhymes,
An' tells 'em, ef I be good, sometimes:
Knows 'bout Giunts, an' Griffuns, an' Elves,
An' the Squidgicum-Squees 'at swallers the'rselves:
An', wite by the pump in our pasture-lot,
He showed me the hole 'at the Wunks is got,
'At lives 'way deep in the ground, an' can
Turn into me, er 'Lizabuth Ann
Er Ma, er Pa, er The Raggedy Man!
Ain't he a funny old Raggedy Man?
Raggedy! Raggedy! Raggedy Man!…"

You never know where such talk can lead! How can anything swaller itself? Where would the energy come from? What would happen to all the bones and tissue? No answer for those pragmatic questions.

It reminded me of those raincoats that you can fold up and put in their own pockets. I suggested to my physicist that maybe it was like a black hole that sort of consumes itself. My physicist wasn't buying it. He never "buys" anything at first go-round. Are all scientists like that? Maybe that is the nature of scientific thought: always ask the potent questions and find out the truth!

The nice thing about magic is that there doesn't have to be anything scientific about it -- it's just a delightful notion that may come or go like a dream or disappear in the daytime, like my Christmas Tree in the woods.

I walked all around the woods to see what our tree looked like to each of the neighbors whose back yards look into our woods. Actually that's nine neighbors. And you can also see it from the street, so that adds a few more, and then there are cars that pass by.

It's not a blazing show one sees. Just a lone twinkling tree standing in everyone's dark back yard peeking through tree trunks. Magic.

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