Saturday, February 24, 2007

Red Mug

Traveling through ice and wind and snow, traveling cross country and stopping here and there, traveling around, many places to stop and no places to stop, and all this wandering making a soul weary. The soul was already weary. So it was that on a cold cold night I went in search of magick after a long hard day. Looking for magick in the falling snow, looking for magick in enchanted forests in the middle of the city, looking for magick in old friends. I looked for magick in places that would warm my heart, and found in a red mug.

The thing with traveling hard core, which is they way I tend to do it, is that it rides on the soul after a bit. You forget who you are; you forget that you are doing this for a reason and that the road is not actively trying to do anything to you. My frame of mind did not help during this traveling season. As soon as I found a focus on one thing, a focal point to pull me out of myself and lock my brain into a singular direction I would find some reminder to throw me back into nonbinding wavering; tittering on a precipice with only emptiness and nothing waiting at the bottom.

So it was that I found myself at the end of another long day making decisions about what to do with another evening at hand. Continue on the road or stop, make a change, something else. It was then, at this point that it was realized that further travel would make it impossible to see one whom I wished greatly to see. Further travel would take me the wrong way around and make it impossible to return to find my way. What I needed was to rediscover myself. Explore those dark places in my psyche that were holding me down and not letting me go, preventing my mind from freeing itself and that is when it came to me. I didn't need more travel, I needed more Psyche.

The problem of course was more in finding Psyche. Where do you begin to look, where could someone like Psyche live? I had a general sense of where to go, but where to find her? After driving for some time outside of Philly it was determined that the correct street had been located, but even on the right street the right house was no were to be seen. Such is the nature of Psyche. I read house numbers several times and finally determined that the house in question did not exist. I started walking behind street houses in the hopes that maybe, just maybe it might exist somewhere.

There was a wood, a fairy type wood that was deep and dark and full of small lights around the ground. A magick wood in the middle of the big city, and I knew I must be close to Psyche; such a place is made for Psyche. The paths were buried under snow, but eventually I was able to find a path that lead deeper into the magical forest and closer to a door. A pretty little log cabin peeked up in the moonlight, a brownish red jewel in this mystic land. I knocked on the door and was disappointed to find no answer. I looked in the window and knew I had to have the right place. I could see a fire place that stretched from floor to ceiling, a lamp that looked like it belonged in some brothel, a portrait of a fairy princess and a pair of wings. This had to be it.

I started to walk away thinking perhaps to wait somewhere warmer, as the cold air pressed down even in a fairy wood, and there walking towards me was a figure I recognized. I might not have seen that walk in six years but it didn't matter, I looked and I knew who it was before the arms wrapped around my neck and the warm lips hit my cheek. I knew who it was before I heard the "Sara" gasped from the delicate throat. This was my Psyche, and I felt for the first time in five days like I was actually home.

Psyche was exactly what I needed, or at least Psyche was exactly what I needed to understand. We sat on a deep couch in front of the fireplace that stretched up forever and drank cups of tea from red mugs that she produced like magic from her kitchen. The tea made everything seem easier, but it was the red cup that captured my imagination. Something about holding it to my lips in a mirror of my friend, of knowing that her hands had handled it, of knowing that she filled it with her herbs and held it to her bosom on cold nights; all these things in the lift of a glass and the sharing of words; all of this in the bottom of a red mug.

"I'm going to keep this mug." I said to her.

"No, you're not."

"Yes, I am."

"Dammit. You know I won't stop you if you really want to."

"I know."

We drank tea all night and talked. We talked about all those things that were driving us over the last month, both of us, our separate pains, or madness, our horrors, our remembrances, or friends, our loves, our pasts, and our futures. We laughed, we sighed, we came to just this side of weeping without ever crossing it and collapsing into tears. Night stretched on before us without ending, but time moved so slowly that even after talking for a hundred years we had only passed a few hours of the evening and around three in the morning we finally decided to rest and continue in the morning.

I heard her moving around when it seemed like I had hardly slept, but it didn't matter. I woke and I went to her and we sat around her kitchen table while she boiled more herbs for her mug. We talked more, chatted, now more uneasily, knowing that this was coming to an end, knowing that all this talk had only gotten us so far and that I in my foolishness and maybe selfishness was taking myself away again, would leave the fairy kingdom and go back to Korea with all my own problems and so far away from so many good friends.

Psyche left me, walking off her wooden porch into the morning, leaving me alone in the kitchen to contemplate locking up her apartment. I made sure the light was for her immortal fish. I made sure that the windows were locked and the heat was adjusted. I took a few pictures as I went, to remember it all by, so when I thought about it later I would know that this was real, even if it was highly fantastic. Before shutting the door and walking away to follow Psyche's tracks in the snow, I reached into the cabinet and plucked the red mug from where it rested on the shelf, leaving a note in its place on the shelf. And now, home, surrounded by Korea I found myself sipping my warm drink form the warmly colored mug and feeling a kind of peace I had not expected to know; a wonderful powerful magickal connection to a friend left behind, a solace at the bottom of my mug.

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