Day 2: Rebecca Magnus – Saturday 12 October 2019

Rebeccca Magnus

What makes a leap? A forceful stride forward. A bound across boundaries. A lurch into the unknown. It’s the belief that the way things are is not the way things have to be. It’s the will to do. The wherewithal to try.

Leaping from exhibition to spoken word to canvas to installation, I’m reminded of how we make great leaps forward. We question. We connect. We strive for something bigger than ourselves. A wordless divine. Spark.

The leaper starts slow, building momentum with every faltering step. A failed experiment. A rubbished canvas. Data points on a cosmic graph. Every tiny action builds towards some uncertain, unformed thing. Embryonic wisdom in a scribbled shell.

My family made the leap from shtetl to the streets of East London. Across waves, space and time, they brought scant possessions, their hidden faith, their belief life could be better elsewhere. The Iron Curtain was our event horizon. Never look back.

Every small step the leaper takes builds to that one pinprick of crystal clarity, that moment where the universe collides and connects, a singular harmony. Then it is gone. All the leaper can do is rush forward into the chaos in the hope of finding that tune again.

From schmatte trading to teaching to nuclear medicine, every generation of family leapt over the last. We do not look. Our footsteps falter, but they do not stop. One blind leap after another is the only way we know.


Writer’s Note

This piece is a creative response to several of the events that I attended and the musings that they provoked on the nature of leaping. In particular, an art exhibition at Pushkin House by Margarita Gluzberg on immigration and identity, and 26 Leaps in Conversation, where one of the scientists behind the first image of a black hole did an impromptu lecture on the nature of space and time.

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Day 2: Rebecca Magnus – Saturday 12 October 2019