I have always loved the appearance of almost otherworldly light on my wall that most often occurs at sunrise and sunset. The phenomenon is that much more fascinating for means of its formation, a combination of the happenstance of how I closed the curtain the night before, the slapdash of fatigue or the carefulness of an early bedtime, combined with the certain angle of the sun across the Earth’s horizon. These things, eternal and ephemeral come together to form momentary paintings on my otherwise unadorned wall.
This morning I woke to a midnight scene, reminding me of Basil Rathbone’s Hound of the Baskervilles, the first movie I ever saw that will haunt me for the rest of my life. I remember best the rocky moor clouded with fog and ringing with the bays of that hellish canine.
I can’t recall how the story ends. Undoubtedly with Sherlock finding some earthly reason for what otherwise seemed supernatural. But all his logic cannot unwind the spectral appearance of the fog across the moor, the way its tendrils take on a kind of sentience of their own, even if, as in this case, only on a movie set.
Nor could any reason fully explain the confluence of simultaneity required to arrive at this singular meaning in my imagination. Except the first I mentioned, magic.
I think it was Louis Borges who said something to the effect of magic is a causality we have yet to understand. Though I never have been able to find this attribution since reading it no doubt on a wine soaked night in the Santa Cruz mountains. Regardless of the original utterance, it is the most accurate definition of magic if only by way of its inclusiveness, its invitation to view so much more of one’s experiences as evidence of things unseen all around us.