Thursday, September 22, 2011
In Search of Magic
Humans search for magic, whether they realize it or not. Magic in a pretty face, in a fast car, in movies, books, travel, the wonders of nature. We search for magic in beautiful things, architecture, music, works of art. We're always looking for something to take us out of ourselves, to inspire us, and to make us better than we are. We're looking for an experience that will bring the wonder back.
When we were children, most of us played make believe. We pretended we were superheroes, or fairy princesses, rock stars or intrepid adventurers. As we grew up, that all faded into the mundane tasks adults have to do. But the magic didn't go away. The fortunate few of us able to tap into it became the torch-bearers. We were selected to create beautiful, wonderful things so that others can experience magic again.
The magic I'm referring to is that awed childhood feeling of joy and happiness at experiencing something incredible. That momentary slip from the everyday into another world. We feel it when we fall in love, and the world suddenly becomes a beautiful place. We feel it when we get a promotion or buy a new car, and the future at once is wide and open. But promotions and new cars don't come along everyday. And love doesn't always reach our expectations. That's why we look for magic in things we can control, experiences encapsulated in movies, books, music concerts, theater productions.
That's why artists and writers are so important. It's up to us to preserve the magic, and send it out into the world so that everyone can have a taste of it, and remember what it feels like.
It can be in the look of a tantalizing stranger, the exhilaration of a midnight flight, the thrill of reciting a magical spell and seeing it work. We become powerful and beautiful and exciting. The troubles of school, college, work, no longer bother us.
Artists and writers have a great opportunity. People are looking for magic, and we can provide it. So, we'd better give them our very best.
Did you feel magic in a book you read or a movie you watched recently? Do you have any comments you'd like to share?