believe in (your) magic
I have been thinking a lot about magic lately.
Perhaps this is because the past several months have been all about Stranger Things, The OA, The Magicians, Spirited Away (revisited), Moana, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, Dr Strange, Arrival, (yes, I believe there is something both truly magical AND scientific about alien life), while continuing to revisit the Potter world because:
- Why not?
- Potter is not good, brilliant.
- It is time to share the magic with the kids.
Perhaps. However, I feel there is much more going on here than meets the wand.
- Something that is delightfully unusual, wonderful or exciting.
- Mysterious tricks.
- The power of influence to impact change via supernatural forces.
- Or, my personal favorite, a quality that allows something to seem withdrawn from everyday life, especially in a way that produces delight.
Merriment and whimsy, with a dash of sleight of hand. Got it.
Ever since we were children, the topics of magic, magicians, or magic shows have been presented to us as something special, extraordinary, and sometimes fiercely awe-inspiring.
And we all have our own stories of Uncles, Gramp's or cousins, (why was it always men?), doing their one magic trick that would freak us out and get us every time.
My Grandpa's thumb would disappear from his finger only to magically reappear a moment later. This one, I wholeheartedly believed until I was old enough to get it, but he would also always try to do this, "I got your nose bit", pretending that his thumb between his index and middle finger was my nose. I never fell for that one. Thumbs just do not look like noses, Gramps! Even when you are very young and wildly impressionable and naive.
So is it just nostalgia, then; why our hearts clamor toward even a faint glimmer of the idea of magic?
No, it must have more to do with the last (and my favorite) definition of magic- a quality that allows something to seem withdrawn from everyday life, especially in a way that produces delight.
I remember from my undergrad Psych days that quantifying and sometimes even defining qualitative work was a challenge. Perhaps that is why I, (and I imagine countless others), gravitate toward this idea of magic- because it is a quality, and something we can't quite describe and put our finger on. We only know that it is separate from the everyday and mundane, and elicits a feeling- nostalgia mixed with wonder, a splash of delight, and at least 5 heaping cupfuls of the unknown.
Yes. This one holds more power than the rest as it often seems ordinary. Much like the Holy Grail that Indy goes searching for. Everyone else assumes it is going to be solid gold, studded with gems of every color, shape and size. Ah, but as the good Grail Knight said, you must choose wisely. Lucky for us, ole Junior made the right choice. And it was still meant to be beautiful to us, the viewers, and those who knew what to look for. It is indeed old and worn, showing it's age with what appears to be corrosion or rust. But the glow coming from inside the cup, and what we can see beneath the age is pure light and a beauty to behold. Much like the story of The Velveteen Rabbit, its' usage is what defines and creates its' love and beauty.
Much like my favorite definition of magic, both the grail and rabbit elicit a feeling of delight and wonder while removing us from the ordinary. At a glance however, they are just that- an old, ugly cup and a worn, used up rabbit.
What if the real magic is this definition- not the silly parlor tricks, or the best and most magical hand movements of all time, (although extremely magical and entertaining), but instead found in our everyday life. I know, I know. It says a withdrawal from every day life. Hang with me. We all cannot be Lydia's and Prairie's, (*sad face*), so how can we find these magical moments in our everyday lives.
I don't know about you, but I find them here:
- When I embrace my children and pause to feel and know that I am not just encompassing their sweet little bodies, but their personalities, beauty, flaws and all...their souls.
- When I am out walking in the morning and I pass by another walker and we both just do not float by like ants, but instead search for the light in each others eyes and acknowledge each other's presence and existence as human beings.
- When I am experiencing an intense moment- be it when I am feeling sadness, guilt, love, fear, or happiness, and I close my eyes, and feel what it is like to be in my body, in this moment.
- When I witness my kids experiencing joy, at it's purest state- eyes lit up, mouth open, inaudible breathing laughter, because their Dad, my husband, is connecting with them and making them laugh.
- When I am in nature and able to take in my surroundings- be it the sunrise, sunset, or the view after a long hike- sweaty, colorful, and there for me to withhold.
I believe it is about being present, truly present, so as to not to miss out on the seemingly mundane, be it an old, rusty cup, a used up stuffed bunny, an embrace, a strangers eyes, pure joy, or fresh air.
And knowing that YOU YOURSELF ARE MAGIC. We are all that kid who just got their magician in training kit. We are all me, mesmerized by a disappearing, then reappearing thumb. Because magic is hope, belief, and faith. In the unknown, in the known, and in ourselves.