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The Magic Image

OK, to say the least, the magic image is not a category as such - it's just one way of portraying the world through the lenses of a writer. The whole point is that if could only see, the whole world could become fluid for us, susceptible to our magic, to the raids of our imagination.

One student asked me once and interesting question. We were standing in line in the morning, waiting for all the students in our class to arrive to school, for us to then enter our classrooms in a regimented way, with each teacher heading her own line of students, leading them like a patrol passing the mass of parents waving their good-byes before going to work.

My group's age was between 4 and 5 - we were in kindergarten. So the girl nearest to me asked me full of curiosity: "Teacher, is everything we read in stories real?" It made me think a bit, as I didn't want to spoil the magic her stories held for her, and then suddenly I saw the answer.

I explained to her that ... the moment we have an idea in our head in order to write a story, then that idea is real, and she understood exactly what I was saying. A writer can actually magic the world in his or her writings. That magical world is then real - the vision of it is real, if that vision doesn't exist in the world as we know it through our senses. Let me give you an example of a poem written by a creative writing student from Cyprus:


               The world is troubled
               With a lack of looking.
               I sing my songs
               The world sleeps.

               I see the sky reflected in my teacup.
               I move the cup
               and I tilt the sky.

               The flying crane is shadowed
               On the mud wall.
               My shadow touches his
               And I ride the bird.

               The stars are mirrored in a pool
               Of rain.
               With my hand I scoop the water.
               I have a handful of stars.

               I grasp the branch of a tree.
               The wind blows
               And the tree shakes my hand.

               The moon shimmers on my glass of cognac.
               I drink
               And taste the moon.

               I climb a fig tree and look down.
               The earth has fallen.

               My mother's face appears
               On the surface of an olive.
               I split the olive
               And scar my mother's face.

               All the world
               All the world pours in at my barred window.
               I lower my lids
               And dam the flood

                                             By George Tardios

There! Don't you feel more relaxed having read this poem? The magic image is meant to transport you from your surroundings to a totally magical place of which perhaps you couldn't have thought about. Because, if you could, you would be doing the writing... wouldn't you?

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