Maggiormente laughed. "These dreamy thoughts as you have called them are precisely the location from which my fuel source has come."
Fabien shook his head. "Dreams!"
"Indeed – everything that exists now was once imagined, as the master wrote."
Adèle asked, "Who is this master you speak of? Your teacher?"
The alchemist held his wine glass aloft. "Mr William Blake of England. A poet, an artist, a visionary."
The baker poured out more wine for them all. "I have not heard of him."
Maggiormente struck his chest with an open hand. "That is the true tragedy!" He sighed with regret while Eduardo lay down on the bakery floor. The lion knew this could take a while so he rested his head on his paws and folded his wings neatly across his back.
"It's a sad and painful story. Genius seldom finds its reward in its own time."
"This is true," Fabien admitted.
"Especially if one is a woman," Adèle added.
Her husband grabbed her hand and kissed it. "You are magnificent. I know your genius. You make every day a wonder."
"Je t'aime, mon cher."
The alchemist looked at the two of them with bemusement. "The master, Mr William Blake, conceived of entire worlds and wrote and drew them. He saw angels in his garden and created pictures of exquisite beauty that also explained his vision."
"He is your role model."
"Yes, in so many ways."
"An alchemist," Adèle suggested.
"Only with thought," Maggiormente said, "and words. Not in the classical sense of alchemy, but the magic he wrote with just letters and spaces – ah! Such magic."
"A poet, that is a good thing." Fabien nodded as he sipped his wine.
"A poet and so much more," Maggiormente held his wine aloft and squinted into the distance he could only see. "'To see the world in a grain of sand, and to see heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hands, and eternity in an hour.' That is the gift he gives us: to know the magic of vision of what has not yet been."
"But such imaginings can fall into idleness, too."
The alchemist waved away his friend's words. "Blake spoke not in idleness and fancy, but in deadly seriousness about our gifts." He gestured around the bakery.
"To have the ability to make such glorious pastries and breads and to deny the world your work, that the master would scorn. To avoid the work one was born to carry out – to make, to create! – this too he would disparage. As he wrote so long ago, 'I must create a system or be enslaved by another man's; I will not reason and compare: my business is to create.' And his business it was, too, to share the voices of the angels beyond comprehension."
"Angels, bah!" Fabien said. "More irrationality."
"I think angels are pretty," Brigitte said. "They have wings like Eduardo."
Her father laughed. "Eduardo, to be sure, is no angel!"
Maggiorments leaned forward. "Where does genius come from? When it comes, it does not seem to come from within. To call this source god or angels, does it matter? Angels to some, demons to others, we might say, for genius does not always fit itself to human values."
"What is wrong with saying it comes from our own little heads?" Fabien tapped the table with his forefinger. "We conjure with our brains, not angels."
"Our brains are filled by the wisdom of the ages, by those who came before, by those who know so much more. When an idea comes, it comes as a gift from the whole of your life."
"But from my own brain."
Maggiormente threw his hands up. "There are those who believe they owe no one. And those who know they owe everyone."
"But I give you credit for your discoveries," Fabien said, raising his glass to the alchemist.
Kit Marlowe also has a six sentence blurb up over at Wombat's World today.