Tuesday, April 3, 2012

World of Possibilities

I have always believed in the possibility of magic.

Key word being “possibility.” I certainly have no proof that magic exists, but I also have never been offered compelling enough evidence to dismiss it out of hand.

So many of the books I read as a child contained beings of magic. While I never had any issue differentiating between fact and fiction, I did wonder where these ideas came from. In more recent stories, I could assume that the authors had been informed by tales of magic that had come before them. But where had the magical discussion started? That, I didn’t know.

In second grade, my class did a project where we wrote and illustrated books about whatever struck our fancy. Once we had completed our masterpieces, the class moms would laminate and staple them. In that year, I wrote a record-breaking eighteen stories (that’s right, be impressed). Some of them were straight fact, some of them had some fantastical elements. One, in particular, that I remember, was all about a haunted graveyard.

I had never been to a haunted graveyard, but it seemed like a cool idea to write about. So, at the age of seven, I understood that authors could write about whatever they wanted and it didn’t have to be real. But I also knew that every single one of my stories took something from my real life. None of them were completely devoid of my actual experiences. And that got me wondering.

I had written about a haunted graveyard because I had been to a cemetery and read stories about ghosts. The idea did not just appear, utterly unique and fully formed, in my mind. I had a frame of reference. But what about those people who first told stories of magic? What was their frame of reference?

This line of thought planted a seed in my little seven-year-old brain. Maybe they were writing about things they’d seen or heard about from people they knew, like I was. If so, then maybe magic was real then. And if magic was real then, maybe it was still real now.

Sitting at that little desk, armed with my crayons and construction paper, I developed a belief in the possibility of magic that, even now, I can not shake.

I’ve never been willing to sit around and wait for something magical to happen. That takes up too much time and I have things to get done. But, while I’m going about my work, I keep my eyes open. Just in case. ‘Cause the only way I even have a shot at finding out if possibilities can be realities is to continue looking.

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