I used to cringe when people labelled me bohemian:
"A Bohemian is simply an artist or littérateur who, consciously or unconsciously, secedes from conventionality in life and in art." ["Westminster Review," 1862] - bohemian, via Online Etymology Dictionary
Doesn't sound so bad, eh? But there's always an undertone of dilettante itinerant vagrant vagabond ne'er-do-well to "bohemian." Not likely someone with a good credit report, and straight A report card. (Well, I did have a 3.9 GPA once.)
"my views are pretty unconventional, but i guess each of us harbors an unconventional heart of our own" - me, in an IM to a friend
Nope, wouldn't help telling me that Rockefeller had a bohemian streak too.
"Like many itinerant vendors in rural places, he was a smooth-talking purveyor of dreams along with tawdry trinkets, and Eliza [his future wife] responded to this romantic wanderer." - Ron Chernow, Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller
That is until I learned recently that the French word bohémien (translates to bohemian, or gypsy) comes from the old French word "Boem" meaning "sorcerer."
c.1300, from O.Fr. sorcerie, from sorcier "sorcerer," from V.L. *sortiarius, lit. "one who influences fate, fortune," from L. sors (gen. sortis) "lot, fate, fortune" (see sort). Sorceress (c.1384) is attested much earlier than sorcerer (1526).
Now that I like: I am the mistress of my so-called fate dreaming this story-dwelling make-believe game up as I go. Plus all the things that happen and beings that are met along the way aren't to be struggled with - any more than I'd struggle when reading an intriguing fairytale fantasy that keeps me in suspense. As I skip along the yellow-brick road choices will present themselves as the never-ending story unfolds (not necessarily linearly), and we get to participate with breathless wonder.
I can't pretend to be a muggle. I keep giving all y'all (Nawlins' talkin') plenty of hints that we're boarding the Hogwarts Express here - in case you don't want to.
The train is departing shortly presently to a glorious, enchanting haven... though you need to leave your limitations behind at the customs desk. (There are quite different customs over there yonder in hyperspace. & Spontaneous wisdom & grace glides and dances adroitly on the high-wire without any fall-back belief net. Beliefs make one too top-heavy for spritelyhood.)
"If you remember the station scene in the Harry Potter books (or movies) in which the wizard children were able to board the Hogwarts Express on platform 9 3/4 by walking straight through a concrete pillar, then you will begin to see how all this works. What is delightfully easy for wizards is equally impossible for muggles (non-wizards)." - "End of World Theories", Circles of Flight (for the record, I'm not agreeing with this article, the muggles will and are also in their right place, right time)
Being a wizard - or a gypsy sorceress - is easy. You just stop fighting the magic in you, spilling out of you. By coming out of hiding for starters. The bible puts it this way: "Nor do men light a lamp and put it under the bushel, but upon the lamp-stand, and it shines for all who are in the house." (Matthew 5:15)
Being a wizard is a choice. (I know, I know Mickey underscored over and over for you in Fantasia that it's very dangerous Pandora's Box.) A glorious choice, actually.
"Never give a wand to a man that can't dance." - old Celtic proverb
Sometimes it's nearly ordinary. With a twinkling twist, though.
A creative friend who claims a past life affinity for Lady Guinevere was lamenting about her interior design business last week. I tell her, "You aren't creating this for the beauty salon owner's benefit. This isn't for her [ah, yes, she was clashing a bit with said owner]. Millions more get their hair cut, and get their nails done than go to churches on Sunday or attend a Buddhist retreat. You're creating a subliminal temple of beauty and harmony and love for every single person that walks in those doors to remember what they've always known."
But that's just the beginning of wizardry. Infinity knows no bounds.
p.s. Old bohemian secret....psssst, if you want to know about wizardry, follow the children.
"No child but must remember laying his head in the grass, staring into the infinitesimal forest and seeing it grow populous with fairy armies." - Robert Louis Stevenson, Essays in The Art of Writing
Their eyes, actually their perception, just see what they see even if it isn't supposed to exist according to grown-ups. They haven't grown accustomed to beliefs. A reader begins an enchanting email:
"Through the transparency of your blog, you have been the catalyst for the mystical, magical turn of events my life has taken lately. Last night my son (age 1) and I saw an angel (or something) – from the corner of my eye, a fluttering followed by my son’s squeal of delight."
Which reminds me that a friend texts me the other day: The children are ruling the world.
(Hallelujah, praise god.)
Bonus: From World Wide Words by Michael Quinion:
[Q] From Annlasa: “I would like to know how the word bohemian came to mean someone or some idea that is offbeat.”
[A] It comes to us through French, in which language the word (as bohémien) has long been applied to gypsies, who were thought to come from Bohemia, or at least to have entered Europe through that country. This is just the same way our gypsies were so named, because they were thought to have come from Egypt (gypsy being a corrupted form of Egyptian). In the nineteenth century, the word shifted sense in French to mean somebody who was a vagabond, or a person of irregular life and habits, an obvious enough extension of meaning if you accepted the then common disparaging view of gypsies. This sense was introduced into English by Thackeray in Vanity Fair in 1848: “She was of a wild, roving nature, inherited from father and mother, who were both Bohemians, by taste and circumstances.” The word quickly came to be applied with special reference to an artist, writer or actor who despised conventionality. By 1862, the Westminster Review was able to say that “The term ‘Bohemian’ has come to be very commonly accepted in our day as the description of a certain kind of literary gipsey, no matter in what language he speaks, or what city he inhabits ... A Bohemian is simply an artist or littérateur who, consciously or unconsciously, secedes from conventionality in life and in art”.
images Star card by ©Stephanie Pui-Mun from a Gypsy Tarot deck in progress (more works by Pui-Mun); a psychedelic gypsy from 60's Rock and Roll Legends gallery; Persian Goddess by ©Sara Haase, her whimsical online gallery is titled Wispy Gypsy