Archive for January, 2012

PostHeaderIcon Magic and the Mundane

I never believed in Santa as a kid.  That particular fairy tale just never seemed… plausible to me.  The Tooth Fairy was also a bit of stretch. Especially when that fairy once left me a note in handwriting eerily similar to my father’s. (It had to do with payment given, but a tooth forgotten.)

Although a kindly, old elf distributing gifts around the world on Christmas Eve strained my credulity and forgetful fairies left me suspicious, I whole-heartedly believed in a different sort fantasy. I believed in magic. And considering what a skeptical little kid I was, that’s saying something.

I believed in the magic of talking animals. I believed in the magic of commonplace things like a wardrobe, a play tollbooth, or a rabbit hole having the ability to transport you to an entirely different world. I believed in the magic of a cupboard that could make toys come to life.  The best part of believing in this kind of magic was the thought always lurking at the back of my head, “Maybe it’ll happen to me.”

I think that the success and longevity of some of the best-loved stories of all time strikes at the heart of what my little kid self was feeling. Magic can happen to ordinary people living ordinary lives.

Now I’m all grown up, living one of those ordinary lives.  Yet, I still have that belief and longing for magic.  I think a lot of grown-ups do.  Adults lined up just as quick as kids (perhaps quicker because they had the driver’s licenses) for the release of each Harry Potter book. Books like Alice in Wonderland and the Phantom Tollbooth still line the shelves in stores. We adults are the ones with the money to buy these books. They’re placed at our eye-level — not at kid eye-level — for a reason.

Being a grown-up certainly has its advantages, but there are drawbacks too. The main drawback for me is just how mundane and predictable life turned out to be. Days blur. Duties and responsibilities consume my time and thoughts. It’s just so terribly… normal. A dash of magic, a touch of the unexpected is always a welcome relief. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way.

It’s not just a passing fad that so many stories revolve around magic that happens in our ordinary world.  I know that the best way to talk to animals, or go to another world, or learn to be a wizard is to open the pages of a book. I’m especially drawn to books that contain the possibility of “it could happen to me.”

I tell myself magical stories all the time. Keeps me sane and helps pass the time. If you’re interested in what kind of magic I create for this ordinary world, please check out my book The Knowledge of Good on Amazon. And if you’d like to read more of my musings on the magical and the mundane, please sign up for my newsletter. I promise I don’t write often and when I do, it’s short and sweet.



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