Most of us have walked along a beach like this one in north Suffolk, picked up a pebble and wondered at the way it is so perfectly and originally a pebble. Then picked another, then another and yet another, struggling to choose which is most perfect, considering which to keep. Then maybe discarded the whole handful.

It is said that every being on the Earth, from the simplest molecule to the most complex ecosystem, has a fairy spirit. This is true for pebbles and primroses, mountains and mosquitoes, badgers and bears. It is true for everything, wild and domestic, for primal forests and copsed woodland. It is true for people too.

The job of this fairy spirit is very important: it is to appreciate the unique beauty and grace of this being, the way in which is so perfectly articulates itself in colour, form, habit, in its behaviour, in its relations with other beings. The job of the fairy spirit is to wonder at these qualities.

It is also said that as it does this, the fairy spirit becomes more and more aroused, more and more stimulated, more and more appreciative, until it reaches a peak of orgasm. At this point the appreciation of beauty shakes the being to its core and at the same time is ejaculated far and wide. For this kind of love is profoundly erotic.

And after a while, the cycle of love and appreciation starts all over again. As Rilke put it, “The more looked at world wants to be nourished by love.”


With appreciations to Richard Farmer for telling the story