When we are small children objects appear without explanation. Registered as little more than shapes colors on walls and high shelves; set pieces picked out according to someone else’s esthetic.
Some tchotchkes, however, call to the mind of a child.
To this day, I cannot tell you where the crystal ball came from, nor how it came to sit upon my dresser.
Yet, it was always there. I cannot remember one day of my life without it, truly. It was, and remains, one of the most fascinating things I have ever encountered.
As a small girl I marveled at how someone was able to fold aluminum foil inside the sphere. It was clearly impossible, but in my limited experience no other substance had ever caught the light in the same way.
Hours and endless games could be spent playing with my beautiful crystal ball.
Yes, in my head it remains a crystal ball, though it’s not even glass. It’s something more akin to a Lucite-acrylic. Did this tarnish its value? No, not in any way. In fact, as I grew older, more observant, this inspired deeper contemplation. For there were clearly bubbles inside. The mushrooms (they have always been mushrooms to my imagination) were not foil after all!?! Rather, and perhaps more extraordinarily they seemed to be pockets of air.
I don’t mind telling you, my mind still has a hard time working out how these shapes were blown inside a molten plastic. If I ask you to imagine someone blowing glass in reverse, perhaps you’ll understand the conundrum as I see it.
It’s a crystal – Nothing more. But if you turn it this way and look into it, it will show you your dreams.
~Jareth – The Goblin King from the movie Labyrinth~
I had been mulling over the magic of my crystal ball for twelve years by the time David Bowie spoke his lines as The Goblin King.
A lifetime of turning the orb in my hands. Musing about the fairies who lived inside those mushrooms. Pondering the strange world of the gnomes who’d bestowed this gift to my bedside upon my birth. Rolling it in such a way I could see myself wandering a hillside in a lush green land across the sea.
Precious time spent with my imagination trying to unravel mysteries of science, time, and a lifetime of questions and discoveries I could not even give words to.
Although often clouded by dust and neglect, this silly trinket, my oldest muse, still sits on the window ledge by my bedside. A touchstone for me, yet merely visual background noise to the other players on this stage — in my life.
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