Everyday Enchantments: Musings on Ordinary Magic & Daily Conjurings

Everyday Enchantments: Musings on Ordinary Magic & Daily Conjurings

by Maria F. DeBlassie

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Overview

Spellbinding meditations on conjuring your own bliss. Everyday Enchantments is a love letter to the magic of everyday life, the sweet moments and the profound that we often overlook in our hurry to get from one place to the next. This collection of essays reminds us to escape into the ordinary, find beauty in a simple cup of tea or rereading a beloved novel and joyfully let our world turn upside down when synchronicity strikes in the form of wrong turns down forgotten lanes and unexpected midnight conversations with the moon. Everyday Enchantments is a study in what it means to live deliciously, joyfully, and magically. And it’s an invitation to conjure your own bliss, because, let’s face it, we could all use a little more magic in our lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781785359231
Publisher: Moon Books
Publication date: 10/26/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 200
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Maria DeBlassie, Ph.D. is a native New Mexican mestiza blogger, writer, and award-winning educator living in the Land of Enchantment. She is forever looking for magic in her life and somehow always finding more than she thought was there. Find out more about Maria and conjuring everyday magic at www.mariadeblassie.com.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Everyday Enchantment

ENCHANTMENT: A spell wrapped in a noun. Three syllables. One state of being.

To live with Enchantment is to see beyond the bricks and mortar that make up your home and into the magic infused within its frame. It is made up of stories and dried bay leaves and dreams whispered into the heads of dandelions. Of bare feet on carpeted floors and the smell of burning sage. Crystals – amethyst, citrine, amazonite, smoky quartz – winding in and around your books; all the better to magnify their magic. It is to peel back the layers of your day-to-day and search for that elusive energy that winds its way up your spine and outward into your life. Let the snake at your base wriggle free of its coil to climb up to your shoulder blades and across your open back. There is no room for tightly stacked discs here, just the taste of joy when the sun licks your skin.

You might find it at the bottom of an empty teacup. Your future written in soggy leaves or in the whisper of trees, their leaves rustling and murmuring secrets only they can understand. Sometimes they are kind enough to translate for you – if you listen long enough. If you shower their roots with distilled love songs and feed them the black earth from your compost. It's there, too, when you run your tongue along the grooves and ridges of a well-loved sentence. It's everywhere. Even in the spaces you think have lost hope, like the junk drawer where you keep your faded dreams, stray screws, and half-forgotten heartbreaks along with wine corks and a few rubber bands. They're not lost, just resting like seeds in the earth before they are ready to break open.

That is the first syllable.

The second is to learn from Enchantment, to listen to Coyote's call when he plays his tricks. Coyote loves his tricks. And you should too. What delicious messages wrapped in matted fur and a lolling tongue! All he wants is for you to take that leap of faith when only you can see the soft earth on the other side of the cliff. Don't you know that you have wings? They are just rusty from disuse. Just listen to Coyote's long-winded stories (he does so admire himself) and watch the flick of his tail. All he asks is for you to trust him, even if he can't be trusted; his lesson is real, hard as onyx in your palm, ephemeral as the desert rain that you feel in your bones when all you see is a cloudless sky. No weatherman can ever map the storms and sunshine working their way across your body.

Coyote has no room for logic, just the reason in his unreason.

Just those perfect coincidences set in motion by the padding of his paws. You are raw power, he says, a spark of the universe set in motion. And you must trust this power that is you, that is the earth, that is the beating of your heart. A rhythmic tattoo forever pounding out your path, however many times you try to stray from it. All Enchantment asks is that you absorb the wisdom of the moon and the stars, and the prophesying of the seeds burrowed deep in the dirt. Coyote is there to make sure you listen, even when the rest of the world prefers your ears stopped with cotton and your heart beating as slow as melting snow in winter.

And the third syllable? To conjure. Here you weave your spell with vowels and consonants and beeswax candles. You seal them with pure starlight and a handful of chamomile. Then you burn away the dry brush and the brittle ideas that don't hold up against the moonlight. There is no room here for literal ... things or the people who think them. Not if you want to create. Not if you want to believe that the most important part of your everyday occurs in the moments others can too easily overlook. (Seldom can you find a person strong enough to brave the stillness or wade into the bottomless waters of imagination.) You make your life here, in the infinite potential of seconds and minutes and hours unfurling into vines and roots. Because when you are looking for everyday enchantment, it finds you. Always. And if you let it, it will settle inside your skin and feed your soul with dreams grown ripe under the sun's caress. It drops you deep down into the rich earth and forgotten caves buried between heartbeats – places that many are too afraid to venture inside. For how can you absorb the marvelous, if you do not recognize it reflected in yourself, feel it settle in your bones like so much calcium?

That's Enchantment.

A three-syllable spell wrapped in a noun, planted in the earth and nourished with moonlight. Let the roots stretch to the underworld and the leaves unfurl toward the heavens. Walk across the star-kissed bridge made of hollyhock seeds and strong will. There is your passage into the unseen universe.

On Double Yolks

The skillet is hot – hot as the bluegrass playing in the background, hot as the black lightning coffee in your cup. Today is a day for a bold breakfast. You shake off your usual weekday oatmeal in favor of eggs over easy, chorizo, and toast. A small-town desert diner breakfast made all the better coming from your kitchen. You could get drunk on the scent of burning cedar in the air, that fireplace smell more evidence than anything that summer has faded into fall, though the trees have not yet turned their green leaves to flames.

There is an air of abundance to your morning. A welcome feeling after the exhaustion that seems to have settled in your bones with the changing of the seasons and the week's intense demands on your time and energy. Sometimes you feel as if dusty souls want to suck away your light, or at the very least, pile their debris upon you, since to them you seem so weightless. They don't know the work it takes to keep the corners of your mind free from grime and your schedule clean of mindless busy.

But forget all that. Today is a day for a hearty breakfast and devotion to your craft. You will fill yourself up with words and coffee to assuage the thinness that has crept into your soul, as if you are an empty cupboard, save for a few crumbs. You crack an egg over the sizzling pan with these thoughts heavy in your head, despite your attempts to fill your mind with the sunshine that saturates your home.

And there it is: a fat, golden double yolk.

The orbs sit piled atop one another as if caught kissing. You marvel at how so much yolk could fit into such a little eggshell. The broken pieces in your hand hardly seem capable of cradling such gold. They appear too fragile and yet birthed more than others thought they could hold. You can't tell where one yolk ends and the other begins; you are mystified by this anomaly.

You watch your eggs cook, and a sly voice inside your head – the one who loves a good story, the one who can't resist the lure of superstition – coyly whispers that double yolks are good luck, harbingers of double the grace, the plenty, the fortune. These are the stories of old wives, crones, and witches that you are half-tempted to believe, if only because these fat yolks nestled together in front of you seem nothing short of magic themselves. Another part of you – the one descended from those old crones, healers, and potential witches – knows it would be foolish to ignore such a gift. And it is a gift. A reminder.

You flip your eggs and decide to let your fanciful imagination run away with you, feeling the tension loosen from your shoulders as you do so. Yes, you commit to the idea. Double yolks are good luck. All at once, you are grateful for this message. This little sign that you are not a bare cupboard after all, but a fully stocked larder – if it is ever appropriate to compare yourself to food storage. No matter.

You are abundance. You are luck. You are double the fortune. Hard week be damned.

On Synchronicity

It is the moment between thinking of moving in one direction – perhaps I will rekindle that relationship after all – and then being stopped by a red light at the crosswalk – don't go down that road. In truth, you know how it will end, although you can't help toying with the idea. It is the ladybug that lands on your porch as you turn your thoughts to a new piece of writing. Yes, it says. Yes.

You are grateful for that flash of insight helping you hone your creative path that has long since diverged from the mainstream. Grateful for your fluency in a language too few know how to speak. Your day is nothing without this never-ending conversation between yourself and the universe or the clap of thunder that punctuates your off-the-cuff revelations. You cannot speak your truth without lightning striking both in your blood and in your sky. It is terrifying consciousness. Pure insight. And sometimes it is just the song that blares from your car radio when you key the ignition – there's no going back, the lyrics roll out – just as you marvel at how your life is a series of forward moving steps, though it sometimes feels like more of a cha-cha.

The clock ticking in the middle of the night, its hands pushing you out of sleep with their hushed staccato, asks you what is worth your time, and sometimes, why you continue to waste it on unimportant things. You cannot hide in the darkness. It only serves to illuminate what matters. Like the clicking clock. A mechanical heartbeat sounding from a relic that you know doesn't work in the light of day. There are no plugs or batteries to operate it, and you have long since given up winding it. But in the moonlight it still ticks, as if charged by electric dreams.

It is everywhere and nowhere. A wisp of silk that guides you if you know how to unravel the spool. A collection of signs, like cards in a tarot deck, meant only for your eyes. Understood only by your gut. You allow this skill to blossom inside you, the ability to translate these letters from the universe that will only reach you if you leave your mailbox open. Ask your questions without censor or clear reason. Just be ready for answers.

Synchronicity is the roadrunner that greets you one morning as you head to your office. You pause to enjoy the beautiful morning, the way the mint green of the trees highlights the rich purple of the mountains, the turquoise sky a perfect backdrop. A thought flits through your brain – an old, worn thought that has outlived its welcome. It has muscled its way in nonetheless, no doubt from the backdoor you left open from overwork the day before. It is a thought from a past self, a small shadow of a doubt on an otherwise gorgeous day. A tiny little question mark that almost suffocates your latest pop of inspiration.

And then the roadrunner crosses your path. It darts past you from bush to rock to dry brush as you lock your car, confusing evil spirits by its X- shaped feet, leaving them unable to tell in which direction you are moving, casting away darkness and welcoming light. All is well, it says. Follow the inspiration and all is well. No darkness can find you while you cultivate the light. So you turn from that shadowy thought – it is irrelevant – and wrap your inspiration around you like a leather coat protecting you from the inconstant weather of your thoughts, too often tainted by what you absorb from others. These are not your feelings, you realize, not your burden, nor your path to untangle. You must go beyond the white noise and recognize yourself in the early morning hush and quick dance of this long-tailed bird. You thank the roadrunner for his visit. You thank the universe for sending this message. You thank yourself for listening.

Crocheting Infinite Blankets

Each stitch is a piece of woven intention. A slip of yarn looped around another to bind your thoughts into the blankets you create. Healing, nourishing, abundant thoughts. They are tapestries of a happy life you conjure every time you pick up your needle and yarn, a comforting hug you can wrap around yourself when the night is cold or the day long. They have no beginning or end. Just the soft ridges of braided cotton.

Your first was a monstrous purple affair, crocheted with only a series of what you now know are half-stitches. But you and your sisters were set on crocheting your own infinite blankets after watching the heroine in Like Water for Chocolate knit an endless blanket and ride off into the sunset with her creation blazing behind her. Yes, you needed blankets like that. You needed proof of your story. And so you rustled together old crochet hooks from your mother's abandoned stash and bought skeins of multicolored yarn and crocheted for years and years. But while the heroine of that story poured her grief into each loop and tied it off with despair, you created joy through each imperfect stitch. And you left plenty of room for your desires to bloom in between the loosely connected loops. It's never a good idea to hold on to anything too tightly, after all, nor map it too precisely.

Together, you crocheted hopes for love and adventure and deep living into the folds of your blankets. You used the yarn to cast out lines for the lives you yearned to grow into once you left home. With each stitch, you freed yourself from the burden of your ancestors' stories, and the narratives they felt you should live out – those hollow, empty things like graves or debilitating traditions. So much made with a self- taught half-stitch. Not even a real stitch at all, some said. That didn't stop you from making a whole story with it.

That was your blanket woven with sister love and the unburdened glee of youth. None of you even minded that your blankets were a mishmash of colors and textures as you learned how to loop a proper, even stitch. Tried, anyway. After two or three years of busily working on your infinite blanket, while watching old movies or over long conversations, you decided your masterpiece was finished. It sits folded at the foot of your bed now, twice the size of any normal blanket, and twice as full of history and love.

Your second infinite blanket came to you in graduate school. This was your one and only attempt at knitting. It was a wish made of mustard and cranberry yarn, warming stripes that reminded you of red chile and yellow butter melting on fresh-from-the-skillet tortillas. It would keep the darkness away while living in the land of the cold and the gray. Like your school experience, knitting was less forgiving of your mistakes as you fumbled your way through these more sophisticated stitches. There was no do-over like with crocheting. No re-knits to iron out the kinks. Your only option was to start over completely if you lost a stitch or to keep blazing forward, uninhibited by the lack of perfection.

You chose the latter. Looking back had always seemed like a waste, precision seriously overrated. No, you preferred these flaws and holes in your blanket. The better to let bad spirits escape, according to an old legend native to your beloved Southwest, learned from your mother and practiced each time you wound the wooden needles larger than your forearm around each other. Relearned again and again, when your pages came back dripping with micro-aggressions and cultural superiority. Four years down the road, this one was three times the length any proper blanket should be; you had a lot to work through. A lot to conjure. You could almost trail it along the perimeter of your apartment twice over if you wanted, but you'd much rather snuggle into the all-encompassing folds of that comfortably imperfect and utterly complete blanket. What mattered was that things got done. Perfect stitches are for people who don't want to move forward. So much safer to fuss and dawdle over one precious pattern than to allow yourself to create without censor.

You are working on a new one now, this one moving slower than the others. Almost five years in the making and still only a fraction complete. But you want to take your time with this one. A bright turquoise, crocheted in a series of shells. You will always favor the more forgiving stitch, as you have learned the power of generosity and gentleness. It is longer than the others, and it will be the strongest. The most infinite.

It is your New Mexico blanket; each stitch infused with your love of the desert, begun with the intention of weaving together a life you always imagined living. A teacher. A writer. A living story with roots firmly planted in the Land of Enchantment. Yes, this one is still in progress and may always be. There is no rush. You feel no pressure when you set it aside to craft yet another infinite blanket, this one a twin of yours, though it is not for you.

This next blanket is hot pink, a bold sister to your turquoise, and synonymous with your desert aesthetic. A fearless color bound together by those forgiving crocheted shells, so that your niece may live and love and be in the world boldly. This is her blanket. She will know that she is surrounded by warmth and affection conjured from years of her mother and aunts weaving the future together. This is a blanket for the new generation of women in your family. A new generation that, like you and your sisters did together so long ago, will learn the power of the infinite as a series of loops and pearls that spread out behind you in your journey toward the sun.

She will know the power of the infinite.

She will be infinite

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Everyday Enchantments"
by .
Copyright © 2017 Maria DeBlassie.
Excerpted by permission of John Hunt Publishing Ltd..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Everyday Enchantment 1

On Double Yokes 4

On Synchronicity 6

Crocheting Infinite Blankets 8

Routine as Ritual 11

On Chamomile 14

On Long Walks 16

My Joy Is My Resistance 19

On Dreaming Deeply 21

Burning Old Man Gloom 23

On Belief 25

Descending into the Underworld 27

Life Is a Celebration 29

An Unexpected Afternoon Tea 31

On Hot Air Balloons 32

On Home 34

Cooking an Onion 36

To Be Still 38

Grocery Lists 40

A Conversation with Coyote 42

Early Morning Yoga 45

On Being an Amateur 47

On Being an Expert 49

Tasting the First Tomatoes from My Garden 50

A Love Letter to Summer Monsoons 52

On Wild Hair 53

Everyday Conjuring 55

A Love Letter to Pleasure 57

What Writing Looks Like 59

The Bookshelf 62

La Llorona 64

On Bravery 68

Grounding and Gardening 69

Letting Go of Past Lives 71

The Apple 74

On Gratitude 76

The Hunt for a New Read 77

On Hollyhocks 80

Why I Won't Wait on the Sidelines to Dance 82

Let Me Be 83

Dancing in the Rain 84

On Sunbathing 85

The Dandelion 87

On Red Chile Stew 89

Living Your Creed 91

I Used to Write on Napkins 92

On Autumn Sweaters 95

Playing with Herbs 97

The Story Eater 98

On Summer 99

Cruising to Work 101

Things that Make Me a New Mexican 102

Things that Make Me a Burqueña 103

On Mondays 105

Visiting the Herb Store 107

Watching the Robin Build Its Nest 109

A Trip to the Bookstore 111

Confessions of a Flower Eater 115

Under the Influence of M.P.K. Fisher 117

On Camel Pose 119

On January 120

I Live in Stories 121

Preparing a Dinner Party 122

Things You Do to Unwind 124

On Saturday Mornings 126

The Ritual of Tea 128

On Rainy Days, Miles Davis, and Whiskey 130

The Body Beautiful 132

Reading Late into the Night 133

On Sundays 135

Summer Solstice & the Strawberry Moon 136

The Daffodils on My Nightstand 137

On the Farmers' Market 138

The Breath 140

Wear Your Fashion like Frilly Armor 141

The Wind in My Hair 143

Reflections on a Snow Day 144

Kitchen-Sinking It 146

Returning Home after a Long Journey 147

Body Wisdom 149

Buying a Bouquet of Flowers 150

Drinking a Glass of Wine on My Patio 152

Kundalini Energy 154

Revisiting an Old Story 155

Writing at the Kitchen Table 157

Dreaming under the Supermoon 159

On Peaches 161

On Wings 163

Making Limoncello 165

Things I Want to Unlearn 168

Things I Want to Relearn 170

Celebrating Spring 172

On the Necessity of Good Coffee 174

No Is a Two-Letter Synonym for Yes 176

To the Everlasting Yes! 177

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