Moments of Magic

When my son was in his last year of high school he became quite interested in magic. He found some books on card tricks and, before we knew it, he was mesmerizing us all by the tricks he had mastered.

In the beginning his tricks were rather simple, but over time he was able to perform some rather complicated ones that kept us all spellbound. When family and friends came to visit we would urge him to show off his talent. Many times when he performed a trick people would look at me and ask me if I knew how he did it. They thought that since I’d seen him do these tricks many times that I would have it all figured out.

But the truth of it was, I didn’t want to know. I wanted to watch and be amazed the same way they were. I wanted to feel as though I was seeing these tricks for the very first time. I wanted to believe in the magic, not spoil it all by breaking it down into a calculated step-by-step process.

What I remember the most about his tricks were those moments when everything came together in the end, and I was struck by a sense of wonder, a deliciously sweet feeling of awe.

As a writer, I have experienced these magical moments over the years. They always catch me off guard when I least expect it. It is that feeling that comes when the wording is just right, when the thoughts that are conveyed feel fresh and new, when I capture one precious moment in a sudden flash.

I do not know for certain where it comes from or just how it gets there. Like magic, I accept it for what it is without the need to know. Not everything in life can or should be explained. I want to take delight in these tiny mysteries in life not spend my every moment contemplating the seriousness of life. Sometimes we just need to be amazed.

There is a natural rhythm that continually flows if we choose to allow it, if we do not stop and try to figure out exactly how the trick is performed.

So, my question is, do you believe in magic? Or do you like to have an explanation for all of life’s mysteries?

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  1. Yup. I believe in magic. Sometimes when the fingers fly and there’s no pause between thought and the filled page–and when you read it back and it’s still good–that’s magic. I could use some now, but instead I have to rely on the other writer mystery elements–hope and patience. Sadly, not nearly as much fun!

  2. I forgot to add that, when all 3 fail, chocolate is also good.

    • Ah yes, hope and patience, something we writer know only too well.

      And I’ve got to say, chocolate is always a good substitute, Heather. But then, it sounds as though you’ve discoverd the magic in chocolate..

  3. I’m with you, Laura…I definitely believe in magic! It’s how I explain all the technology I don’t understand…I don’t care how it works!

    Unfortunately in writing, the magic moments are hard to come by…usually one has to work at pulling each thought from the brain and transferring it to the screen/paper successfully, which is often an arduous process…


    • I agree, Wendy, those magical moments don’t come along just any old day, but when they do it truly is remarkable. Writing is not always the joy we profess it to be so much as “having written.” The process sometimes is quite arduous that is why those moments when everything seems to flow feels so magical!!

  4. I’m with you, Laura and love the magical moments and sense of mystery that life presents. Often things can’t be explained logically and I find that so exciting. Life is not black and white but many shades of grey. I feel sorry for those who don’t see those subtle shades and seek a logical explanation for everything. They must be continually frustrated.

    I especially like it when I’m writing and that magic takes over and the writing flows and I’m in another world entirely. I find that whole process magical.

    And of course chocolate is magical. Was there every any doubt about that? heheh

    • I’m so glad you do enjoy those magical moments as well, Cathy! There are many shades of grey in the world and thankfully so!

      How could chocolate NOT be magical, I ask? Never any doubt in my mind!

  5. I believe in magic, and I believe that it is all around us every day. The magical writing moments definitely occur sometimes, and when they do, they feel so right.

    I also think that it is possible to make our own magic. For storytellers, ideally each story we craft is a spell in its own right. I believe it’s about sending out the energy into the universe and getting back what we need. We still have to put the work in to raise that energy in the first place, but eventually we have to let go and trust that *something* will happen.

    • Hi Moira, Thanks for dropping in! I think you’re right when you say we have to put work into the energy that we send out into the Universe. Many people think it should be so simple as stating their intentions without going through the appropriate steps. If we do not actually get our butts into the chair the words will never magically appear onto the screen. Would be nice if it did, though!

  6. We’ve gone to several magic shows, and my husband insists on trying to explain how the magicians do their tricks. One year he even paid a worker in a magic shop to show our family how to do a couple of his awesome tricks. It involved black thread, fake fingers, and other stuff–completely unmagical. I was soooo disappointed when I knew how it was done. I prefer to wonder about such things.

    I rarely experience magic while I’m writing, but sometimes when I look back on a passage, I can’t believe I actually wrote it. (Sometimes it’s because it’s really good, but sometimes it’s because it’s horrible.)

    • Yup. Way to ruin our belief in magic by actually seeing how it’s done.

      That’s exactly why I never tried to figure his tricks out. Sometimes it nice to have our heads in the clouds.

      Yes, I’m familiar with that feeling of wonder at something I’ve written and as you say, it doesn’t always come about because our writing is so magical. Sometimes, as you say, it’s down rigth horrible..Guess we’ve all been there. :)

  7. I think there’s a little bit of magic in everything around us, too, depending on our mood at any given moment. Magic is in the grace of a bird’s flight, the colours of a spectacular sunset (or sunrise, although I’m never up to see one of those), the wonder in a child’s expression, the silence after a snowfall, the transport of a powerful hymn. I know the Great Magician created it all, but I have no idea how. I’m just mesmerized and grateful for the privilege of taking it all in. I’m very thankful, too, for those rare times when words seem to write themselves. I look back in awe and wonder where they came from, but on second thought, I know He gives all life, so why not words? :)

    • Of Carol, I always love reading your comments.

      We are so blessed to live in a world where we can take time to enjoy the beauty and magic that surrounds us. Many times, in our busy lives, we forget to say the words thank you. The Great Magician—- how wonderfully put.!

  8. I’m with you, Laura. I don’t want to know the secrets either. I’m afraid it’ll ruin the magic. Sometimes I think about where I’ll go in the next life and how I’ll manage with knowing all the secrets. In a split second I’m shaking my head grateful for small wonders. Like not knowing.

    • Ignorance can sometimes be bliss as they say. I’d much rather sit in the audience than to be the one performing the tricks. Maybe as we *cough* age, we learn to accept the magic in our lives without questioning where it came from.

  9. Judi Hiltz

     /  July 10, 2010

    Laura, I believe in Santa, SO of course, I believe in Magic…..

    But I love the way Carol explained it, there is magic all around us every day, all we have to do is take the time to just sit back and enjoy it. Thanks to the “Great Magician” up there. Very well put, Carol……

    • I was thinking about you as I was writing this and could imagine your comment.

      Yes I agree, Carol has a wonderful way of describing things. You should check out her blog. You’d probably enjoy it. She a very nice lady from BC,

  10. My answer to your question is Both. I prefer to have an explanation for everything, but every once in a while, I find myself sitting back and admiring the magic around and within me. I instinctively search for answers while understanding that I’ll never find them all. Oddly, I’m more comfortable considering the meaning of life and the universe than considering the meaning of one of my stories. People can stumble through life. A writer is *supposed* to understand how the magic of story works.

    • I sometimes find myself caught up in this notion that there is an explanation for everything. Sometimes it upsets me when I don’t know what that explanation is, but eventually I come to a place where I realize that I don’t necessarily have to know the answer.

  11. chezjlb

     /  July 19, 2010

    Having an explanation for all of life’s mysteries is no fun!


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