When I was young, my favourite thing to do was to search for signs of magic. I constantly looked for secret passages in my house, or tried to move things with my mind. At night I dreamt of flying. What was this obsession about? Why was it so important to me that magic existed here on earth?
Of course many of the books I read when I was a child were about magic. I adored Carbonel, the King of Cats. It was about a black cat and a little girl who had to learn some witchcraft to help him. This was years before Harry Potter. There were only three books in the series, of which I was very disappointed about, and still am almost forty years later.
A few years ago we had a circus come to town. It was locally produced by a group of people from a neighbouring island. It could have been considered rinky -dink, but I enjoyed it as much as Cirque du Soleil. And I have to wonder why?
It had the same elements of a good show, but without the high cost. It brought us out of our regular chores of living. Instead of having dinner, cleaning up, watering the garden etc- we put a little make up on, found a clean shirt to wear, and went out in anticipation of something new. We also got to see friends and neighbours, in a new environment. And the show was delightful. For instance, little children dressed as lions, while the mother tamed them in her ringmaster costume. People danced on stilts, having puppets ( real people on strings), perform for us. There was also some regular cheesy magic performed. The community hall was packed, with many people standing.
This little show took us out of ourselves, out of our mundane routines, just for an hour or so. It didn’t have to be exotic, it just had to be fun. That to me is what real magic is, knowing where to find a sense of wonder, where to find something extraordinary in the regular.
I have to add that if you haven’t seen the documentary film An Honest Liar starring James “The Amazing Randi”-yet, please do so. It is an intimate look at the life of a famous magician and his partner. He is driven to disprove fakers of the paranormal. And while I applaud his intensity to expose these charlatans, I wonder, does it matter that much, that these people say they can perform miracles, when they really can’t?
I want to believe. And – I am still trying to learn psychokinensis.
I will update you on my progress.