Anime inspired in me something recently. Something I’ve lost in the back of my mind. That’s one of the powers of media, making us remember things and feelings we’ve forgotten. And what helped me remember was Flying Witch, Amaama to Inazuma and magical girls, and their soft femininity, especially the happiness and pride they take in it.
Watching Flying Witch, the characters tend to their gardens as a part of their training, and pick mushrooms from the side of the road filled me with the same feeling as watching my mother tend the grass we’d play. Magic in Flying Witch isn’t intense battles and wars, magic is tending a garden and, intuition.
Cooking is witchcraft. At least it was when I was a kid. Watching my mother put on a slow cooker and leave for work, come back and it was done was literal magic I could not comprehend. She had a scrapbook, like a grimoire of recipes – clipped from magazines and books.
The same with gardening. And sewing. And cleaning. Watching my mother look a mess, and go to her basket of cleaning supplies to pick out the right now. How did she know? What is that instinct and internal knowledge? How does she which herb to put in a dish, and how to kill weeds. God damn magic.
But she never taught me any of that. I was chased off to do things and learn things I think she thought were more important – calculus and computer skills and social economics and geography. Those lessons were important, I can build a computer but I’ll fuss and worry while making soup. In Harry Potter terms, I’m a squib, magicless and desperately trying to survive.
While watching Flying Witch, and the cooking anime Amaama to Inazuma, they inspired in me the dream to capture that sort of witchcraft and engage in the mystic arts of the feminine.
Let’s hope I’m not completely powerless.