MAGIC OR TERROR?!
A CHRISTMAS IN JULY HOLIDAY RENDEZVOUS
by David Ian Brant
Copyright 2015 David Ian Brant
T[*ucked away in the back corner of the quaint lil café immediately off the Square, with the perfect air of this crystal clear July day softly drifting in thru the wide open front, are our two loves, Abby and Josh. *]
They are totally absorbed in each other and the thrill of meeting again in the midst of the bustle of this popular gathering place, this lovely clearing in the big city, filled with grass and trees and flowers, plus an artful and thoughtful offering of walkways and benches that today are packed with revelers for the week-long holiday that has become the Independence Day celebration.
[*Totally in love and in the moment of their rare rendezvous, safely “hidden” amidst the happenings all around them, yet even so, they sensed it right away – the change. *]
In the swirling and sifting currents of moods out in the main space, something new and at odds with the predominate holiday glow was happening, and they picked up on it even as they huddled close in their nook.
[*They were in full indulgence with each other – their carefully constructed rendezvous finally commencing only minutes ago as they found themselves among the crush of folks high on the beautiful day and in the mood to celebrate and connect. *]
This is one of their very favorite times of year – a special sort of holiday, this run-up to the 4^th^ of July, with throngs of families and friends jamming the city, and in particular this historic Square – such a thrill for them to be a part of it!
They had plunged through the crowded holiday buzz and frenzy of activity out in the main area of the beautiful Square, a delightful blend of a lovely park and prime meeting space. Intrepid as always, they united and pushed on to this sheltered spot.
[*One of their gifts is to be able to juggle many things, and that was being tested in terms of wildly differing happenings and sensations here today. *]
Added now, intruding all of a sudden on the general holiday joy and confusion, was a new thing, a kind of grating feeling – barely perceptual, subtle, easily ignored, but creeping in nonetheless – and it was working against their own deep, overwhelming satisfaction of being together after a long absence, as well as in opposition to the overall mood.
Amazingly, there was a common rhythm to all of the many holiday agendas, varying as they were, adding a marvelous glow of shared spirit to awesome beauty of this setting.
One way or another, it was a very special time and place for connecting and celebrating. The shared joy of celebration, the glorious heat of the season – not yet a burden, but rather a welcome respite from yet another long winter – and the magic of the city and this particular haven within it; all combined to produce a shared wonderful spirit.
Like its winter counterpart, this holiday imposes a welcome departure from grinding routine, a forceful expression of “detachment with love” and “joie de vivre”, creating a virtual separation from one “normal” and a replacement with coveted aspects of renewal and growth.
Like our loves, such is there all the time, hiding in plain sight, and now upon this special occasion and in this magical setting, rediscovered and triggering an elevated spirit that is empowering and transforming.
Thus is the nature of this holiday week, this Christmas in July – and on this beautiful stage today this marvelous annual celebration is being played out.
Josh and Abby had very carefully chosen to combine their rendezvous with the many others occurring at this joyous time; it was both easy to mingle in with the mob, and thrilling at the same time to share in the excitement.
This was one of their favorite spots and seasons, and until this new development, all was transpiring as they had hoped and discussed at length in their many many chats, virtual and in all of the forms of “real”.
[*Thus it was with extra intent and focus that they peered out at the main space to second guess themselves about the change they had both noticed. *]
[*Amid the bustle of celebration and connections, it was easy to miss anything and anyone in particular; a prime reason for their own desire to meet here again after so long, “in the flesh” as they had playfully anticipated in their discussions. *]
Who would notice their beloved reunion along with all of the others, and all the other distractions in this packed array of summer play, as well as another new normal, a “reality” also of this age, the very obvious security?
Modern pen-pals was how Josh and Abby often referred to themselves, because of their excellent use of all of the “social” means of connection; the underlying written form of communication offering the potential for a superior insight into thoughts and moods. They had found themselves to be masters of this timeless art in its’ current forms – a most joyous discovery!
[*Long would be their discourse on many subjects; they had broken down and through all barriers, opening up new depths of feeling and intimacy in the process. *]
[*Now together in person, they found their written and verbal selves intermingling in a delicious new eloquence, with their merged thoughts on the happenings going thus: *]
“Like a turning of the wind, a redirection of the soothing waves, and an alteration in the patterns of the gulls, a new rhythm is being introduced.”
Such flights of thought they fancied and loved; so great to do so & hug at the same time! They heartily agreed on this summation of their feelings, and that “our moment of intimacy is now shaken.”
They looked closely towards each other, reveling in this rare moment to be truly together, to actually touch and savor each other, all too soon to be over, but they also opened themselves to the happenings beyond.
“Something clearly has happened.”
“At least some of the people we can see are reacting as though something has.”
Whatever was going on, surely it broke their spell, and while they are not alarmists at all – quite the opposite, actually – they are extra gifted in the capacity for insight, and thus, tuned in to the shift in mood.
Another gift they share and in which they have helped each other to grow is that of “stretching” – adding paths upon paths – capacity upon capacity – maintaining contact with their own space while adding vigilance of spaces beyond.
“Some erect walls to shut out all else; we seek to throw down all that inhibits “seeing” and we seek the vast world all around us” – another of their long practiced, mutual trains of thought.
“We both heard something; we know that for sure. Look, hardly anything has changed, but, there, see that couple over by the display, watch their expressions.”
“Yes, they are on alert, like us – they were intently staring at their cell phones, but now are looking over there somewhere.”
“And there, that group in line for the food vendors; they are looking in the same direction – we can’t see where from here.”
Josh got up, walked to the entry, studied the crowd, “I don’t see anything in particular. There is a big mob over there, but it’s like that everywhere, and except for a few like us, everyone seems to be just going about the normal craziness you’d expect at this time of year.”
Rejoining Abby, “Something happened, that’s for sure, but, really, beyond some confusion and surprise, it seems okay for now.”
[*She put her hand on his arm “Ok – there’s something’s happening right here, with us, isn’t there?” *]
They exchanged looks – a bit evil, yes – full of pure joy, for sure.
“Absolutely! We really need to do this from time to time. Our chats and notes and messages are wonderful, that’s for sure. We get into so much, don’t we? But to actually be together is amazing.”
“Indeed on all counts – after all of our virtual talk, we don’t need a lot of words right now, do we?”
“Not at all; we connect completely”
They have found themselves to be true masters of it, the modern means of connection – it’s so totally empowering! Their long discourse and correspondence has spanned many stages and followed so very many complex paths in each of their own lives. They have lived quite separate lives in traditional terms, and yet have completely shared their lives with one another via their own intertwined, incredible journey.
Hard – nay, impossible to pigeon-hole – no nice neat straight line nor simple box in which to fit this grand work, this tapestry they have woven together.
Such are the paths of their discourse, mostly in written form over many years – electronic writing, as the many crazy means of connection is this age truly are – bizarre and frightening for some – extremely powerful and life changing for those who embrace.
“We have to actually touch every so often.”
He put his hand over hers, “It’s incredible what we talk about and share. It’s become essential for us, but we also need this.”
“We have no barriers at all, no limits – it takes my breath away.”
They shared deep sighs together, “We always have to be so careful, and we are, but my God, mmm mmm,” Josh offered, as they took each other in.
[*Modern explorers they are, in their own minds – another of the topics they have mused on at length – and students they are of all of the arts, including that of writing, which they have utilized wonderfully, and seekers of all that is new and extraordinary and awesome. *]
Truth be told – the special beauty of this vibrant Square was also a key factor in their choice of it as today’s meeting place. Beyond the physical setting, there is clearly a special vibe at crazy busy times like this – not a routine day, but a wild outlier this place becomes during the holidays – such is part of the attraction for them as well.
They love the bizarre mixes of activities and extremes of interactions – including their own extreme desire for quiet, private time with each other – and are now finding it amid the most hectic of public spaces – ah the joy!
Some love the noisy tussle of life, others the quiet solitude that can also be found sometimes. For Josh and Abby and all of their close brethren – their network is wide & deep! – all of it is a blast; all aspects of life becoming essential ingredients in the rich stew of the sphere of happenings – and it is all in play today in this overriding setting of joy – bring it all on!
And so, even with all of that, like a disturbance in the force, the harsh reality is that something is now intruding on all so gathered – whether they have noticed yet or not!
Intrepid folk they are, Josh & Abby & their kindred elevated souls.
They truly love this beautiful gathering place, and appreciate its’ charm and magnificence. It balances, perfectly, a richness of spaces and forms, and the hustling of city dwellers and visitors and their companions to and fro with a richness of awe.
From their earliest days, they found in each other a passion for the art and architecture of the world, and it has fueled their life-long endeavors, from their choice of colleges and majors, and then in their careers.
Now, such is as much a hobby as anything, but it adds yet another vital feature to the magic bond of their special relationship.
That is how they view and value what they have built for themselves – a very special relationship. Like all great constructs, full understanding is key to appreciating – and they and their counterparts seek such with a passion.
Physically, the idiosyncrasies of their lives have kept them mostly apart, but their extraordinary skills of both pure closeness and total openness, plus the ability to merge such extremes has fueled their enthusiasm to share all with each other.
“Ours world is wider and deeper, thanks to one another. Fully a part of the base sphere of survival, plus also providing a rich array of additional vantage points from which to participate in life’s journey – at once parallel, elevated and detached – like multiple perspectives from an infinite palate of focal points.” Yet another of their constructs.
“Let’s make the most of each other; with whatever is happening out there, this could end at any moment.”
“It always seems to be that way; however and whenever we connect. We are builders my love, constructing our own special places, vital to how we handle everything else. Like this assembly here today, it is at once infinitely vast and multi-dimensional, and also completely confined to the narrow points of the tangible and the actual.”
“Amazing isn’t it – we are still able to talk this way huddled together in person.”
“We always do this; build on each other.”
As they paused to enjoy this, each absorbing each others’ presence, sure enough, there was another wave of the new and increased movement just outside the café.
Interrupted again, straining to turn away from each other and look, once again, they instinctively moved even closer, snuggling tighter, fiercely hanging on to each other as they faced the now clear, or at least more apparent threat.
“What are the odds? At the exact moment that we manage to be together, something disturbing really does seem to be going on out there.”
“We are used it, love – not in person, but look at our lives – full of disruptions as you and I maintain our correspondence. Truly, it’s our constant connection that helps stabilize all of the rest.”
“It’s so very weird, like us! But yes, in a strange way, it fits our pattern.”
“Surely. It defies any easy, simple, neat description.”
“I get a kick out of how that very fact, and our obvious closeness, how it really bothers a lot of people.”
“True, but we aren’t really doing anything wrong. Our appearance together may suggest otherwise, but only to those who don’t understand.”
“And now, how can this be happening? Is it really? And what exactly? Terrorism? Unreal!!”
[*To be totally accurate, there were already anomalies, particularly that of the overabundance of security personnel, with their prominently displayed armament, but Josh and Abby, along with all of their fellow revelers, seemed to channel that somehow. *]
The dominance of the overall joyful mood put all in place and balance.
Warming body and soul together against the appearance of threat, they also understood the additional cover this increased craziness gave to their own.
“A beautiful craziness this is – hopefully this new wrinkle is more of a distortion, hyped by everything else today,” encouraged Josh.
“Agreed. Our own craziness is what counts! I was running so late and was worried about finding you in the crowd – but I spotted you right away!”
[*“Same here – no worries at all – you know that – it is amazing how easily we found each other so quickly.” *]
Thus they moved seamlessly back into their own moment.
“Oh, Josh, our rendezvous is really on, isn’t it? I love this lil café – I keep expecting it to be turned into something else.”
“Yeah, me, too – it’s still the same tiny nook it’s always been.”
“Let’s make the most of it for as long as it lasts.”
Thrilling, really, as they enjoyed each other. Silent now, both of them full of thoughts of finding each other all over again!
He was a mix of emotions as he entered the old Square for first time in years – used to be everyday – to see her again, actually face to face – so excited, and a bit anxious.
She was careful to look around for familiar faces – unlikely she thought, but can’t be too careful. As she raced past the throngs, this was foremost on her mind; her world with Josh is in play every day, as a background and grounding to all the frenzy of life. Today, this takes over; this and he are center stage in her world as she emerged into the plaza at the center of the Square.
They delight in constructing and building ideas upon ideas – places and spaces of the mind and soul – no such thing as too complex and ethereal – the more the better. In each other they have found a life partner to share a world beyond – scary and thoroughly invigorating.
Their thoughts are as one: “Today is our climb to the mountain top, a new and awesome chapter in our excellent adventure. Today is all about “in the flesh!”
They saw each other at almost the same time – Abby as she raced and plunged ahead into the wonderful confusion, and then pressed ahead for the lil cafe at the back corner of the happening, and there he was!
Josh, just barely in place just a moment earlier and having scanned about into the many corners of this fav meeting spot, and seeing that she wasn’t there yet, turned and peered about into the crazy swirl of people – catching her eye her as she worked her way through the crowd.
Their embrace was total, but quickly over in care for onlookers, and so into the café they went and their rendezvous was on!
Never, ever – not once! – do they have to suffer thru that initial, awkward moment – always, even after prolonged absences – for these two, it’s always pure joy at the instant of contact.
Always a thrill – comforting and invigorating, both – each time they rendezvous!
Thus they shared their thoughts, in person this time! Totally absorbed in each other, they also glanced again out through the opening.
“Nothing new out there – clearly some are reacting to sounds and movements. It could be something dire, but it could also be a lot of hyped people feeding on each others’ reactions. Many are still oblivious and unaltered. Look closely, nothing really is happening beyond that.”
“Look here dear, something is definitely happening right here my love” and she leaned close, put her hand around his neck and kissed him.
It was mostly by chance that they met at all years ago. Wandered they did into the same electronic chat room, both filled with curiosity and a sense of adventure; surely there was a powerful mutual force at work.
That is how they often refer to it in their discourse, the very real force that tends to draw matched souls towards one another. Such they know each other to be.
[*In that electronic fantasy world, among the swirl of falsehoods that pervade, these two were there in true displays of daring and urges to discover, and immediately they sensed that in each other. *]
They found each other amid the confusion, standing out in positive, comforting ways in their manner of written expression – the underlying foundation of virtual chat and much of social media.
From that very first encounter, they reaped the rewards – learning much about themselves and each other in what was immediately a magical sense of touch and of being touched.
Deep intimacy is what they felt in that first private chat into which they ventured off the chat room, somehow finding both a capacity and satisfied need in one another. There was no stopping them; the “force” of their new relationship overtook them from the start and they were powerless to resist!
Today in this summer holiday, in this Christmas in July, in the frenzy of this season – amid it all, in this cozy corner off the famous Square, our two dear loves are huddled and deep in to sharing both the many memories of their “correspondence” and the thrill of the touch.
They understand the typical reactions to their virtual relationship, and to their obvious display of intimacy when they dare to actually meet.
Frightened, alarmed, unsettled, hostile – just a few of typical reactions to such activity. Others surely get it, understand it, know it – the virtual medium opens many doors – primarily of the mind.
Josh & Abby learned immediately that they simply had what it took to thrive in this new age, and found their adventures intoxicating. In each other they “knew”, somehow, instinctively, that they had a true mate with whom to grow and to share in the discoveries of this whole new realm.
[*Their physical meetings have been few and rare – this one amid the bustle of the holiday mood has been way too short but surely the best of all. *]
All of their many ways of connecting work together – no dividing lines – all melding and merging – such is the foundation of their marvelous relationship!!
Part also, of course, was their natural skill at the “chat” – the electronic correspondence of our age – it was brand new to them, but it was clear from the start that it brought forth strengths and aspects of themselves, and via their interactions, enabled their inner el spirits to emerge.
Emboldened by each other, they have braved other similar networks in an ever expending dimension of the sphere of happenings. They have built a realm within realms, one that has become vital to all else.
Ever vigilant, back to the main space their attention resumed, their shared thoughts: “Like an intrinsic wave, the mood is being altered, terror is intruding….”
“But is it real? It is for those who are clearly upset and anxious, but beyond that, what, if anything is happening?”
They both get up now and step towards grand space of the Square…..
……the heavily armed soldiers and others more concealed break their formations and initiate movement that arouses attention…..
…… much of the crowd of revelers is maintaining status quo, but more and more, just like the two of them, notice is taken, heads turn, expressions shift…..
….. the news cycle is full and hyper with constant alarm and threat – constant also is the quandary of how to react…..
…..cell phones are checked, very serious officials look grim and are clearly alert, trying not – not yet – to insight……
……and there are now unmistakable new sounds working into the echoing and reverberating atmosphere – clearly a popping, cracking – and, faintly, far off, yet – even a scream……
……is it “real”?, should we move? it is alarm just feeding on itself?!
Working as one, they stood on guard and took it all in, torn between reacting and studying, they maintained a heightened alert.
While some were clearly turning to panic, many others were like themselves – fully in tune, yet concentrating on absorbing as much as much as possible before making a decision.
Such is the world – the quick drawing of battle lines at the slightest impulse – divisions between those taking reactionary response and those deliberating. In any given situation, either or both could be optimal.
Their way is in the aspect of both – such is vigilance in this age – and thus they resume their rendezvous while staying completely in touch with all lines being drawn.
Once more they retreat to the back corner of the cafe and resume their own touch – whatever was happening out in there grand wasn’t truly affecting them – not yet – not if they didn’t let it.
They drew their own lines, their own rays of life, their own web of strength via each other, trusted in it completely, and in this extreme moment of awareness and decision, they let themselves go and immersed themselves in it.
True and deep knowing was their reward for all that they had built together, and they knew, somehow, magically, with absolute certainty, that this was the path to take right now.
It’s Christmas in July after all and they were safe and quietly at peace in their nook, the beloveds so gathered.
Yet another reward for being true to themselves in each other: as they reveled and stayed fiercely elevated, the terrible urgencies seemed to dissipate – and to have miraculously peaked, been isolated and found out for the exaggerations they were, and now were melting away, or at least ebbing.
Such is the world; they shared smiles and relief, and ever more faith in each other.
Their steadfast absorbing of all was, once more, yielding the gift of balance; all aspects were being put, once again, at least for the time being, in their place.
Not forgotten nor ignored, just relegated in tune with this special time.
It’s a holiday after all, Christmas in July, and all is where it belongs…..
…..fleeting, save for what moves the soul and is therefore a guiding light forever.
An aspect of Christmas it surely must be, for this surely is an Epiphany – a revelation that is working out so wonderfully.
This, both Josh & Abby thought – quiet now, leaning close.
“We did it again, didn’t we?” he says.
“It does seem to have passed, the alarm – yes, my love – good we deliberated.”
They knew something had been wrong, knew it wasn’t right, but also knew their inner voice and trusted and listened – and now are vindicated.
Surreal all of this merging, this joyous season, this awesome space – magical – their long practiced skills excelling in this moment.
Tis the time of silent beauty amidst the fray; finding the quiet in order to be heard while enveloped by frenzy.
This precious time is all theirs.
Placing his hands on top of hers, already stretched towards her love, they breathed in rhythm and reveled.
Our lovers had planned this rendezvous for a very long time. They had chosen this time and location carefully - to be safely hidden among thousands of holiday revelers - to share in the collective excitement while they revel in their own special, rare few moments together. Suddenly a disturbance out in the main gathering area strikes fear - is it another terror attack, or is it the holiday magic clouding everyone's perceptions. Yet another happening for our lovers to face and embrace - at this they excel and is fundamental to their bond!!