The Return of Magic

I received a request to repost this one, which is very good to hear since this is the premise of my book…. which has admittedly been put on hold for a spell, due to the whole ‘trying to piece my life back together’ thing.

I contemplated adapting it to the present tense, but decided it could possibly be an offering of hope… or induce fear, depending on your vantage point.

I wrote this in the thick of a heartbreak that made anything that came before seem like a minor scratch. And although I am not where I had hoped I would be 9 months later, it might provide some sort of solace to know that there were a few other events that happened simultaneously, delaying my arrival to the finish line I keep hoping will emerge.

God, wouldn’t that be amazing? If there was this definitive line drawn, one we could see off in the distance that would confirm that every excruciating step was a tangible progression towards arriving on the other side, both feet planted firmly on the ground with no fear of that next step being negated by the two you just took back…yet again.

I wish I could tell you I was there, basking in the glory of victory, heart intact, fear nowhere to be seen. I’m not, not quite, but I’m close. And on a good day, I can almost hear the crowd cheering in the distance as I watch one more mile marker go by, signaling my arrival is imminent and there is in fact, hope.

But most importantly, she has returned, our protagonist. She never technically left, but I tend to forget how unruly she is and always write her off when she doesn’t show up how I want her to…

On the Subject of Magic

 

Definition of Magic (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

  “An extraordinary power or influence seemingly from a supernatural source.                                             Something that seems to cast a spell.”

I find a sense of irony is trying to define magic, just as I do with attempts to define love or evil or god. These all have very different meanings that are dependent on each person’s beliefs and experiences. But, this is what makes us human, I suppose. Our inherent need to define all that is around us, to place all things firmly and tangibly into reality, it is what I believe to be one of the worst tragedies; most things clearly defined leave little room for the extraordinary.

Of all things intangible, magic might very well be the most elusive. It is a very real force that influences almost every moment of our childhood, allowing us to navigate our world curious, uninhibited, full of wonder, and open to every possibility. But this elusive force will inevitably succumb to its nemesis. We all must grow up, right? We all must face reality.

So, like most people, Magic eluded me for decades, until reality had sucked all the life out of me, and I realized that the only one who could save me had gone missing.

Magic means different things for different people. It can be the thrill you feel when you throw your hands up and plunge down a roller coaster, when you hold your newborn baby in your arms, when you reunite with an old friend or laugh so hard you cry. And, it can be the spark you feel when you meet the love of your life. Perhaps you don’t think of those things as ‘magic’. Maybe you label them as joy or happiness or fleeting moments of emotion. I guess they can be those things, too. I just see them as magic.

I know that experiencing those things and realizing they are precious moments that should be sought out regularly just gets harder to do when we are older. We have responsibilities, distractions, stress and anxiety. We are in jobs we hate or relationships that aren’t working. We have been hurt and betrayed, disappointed and rejected. We become cynical,  jaded and complacent. And there is just no place for magic there.

But every once in a while, you encounter that person who has found it. This person exudes it and it is contagious. You want to be around them as much as possible, you want to feel what they feel. You want it to work its way into you. But they haven’t been through what you have, right? They don’t have the same past and stress and pain as you do. You would be ‘happy’ or ‘carefree’ or feel that magic, too, if you weren’t in the life that yours has become. I can’t tell you how many times I have chalked it all up to that. I judge those people. I resent them….and I so envy them.

So, there I was, in my beautiful home, with my amazing husband, my precious dog, and my stable job. And I felt like the life was being sucked out of me. And now I question what everyone does after they completely blow their life up. Was I just completely selfish? Did I just not appreciate what I had? Is this the whole ‘grass is greener, holy grail’ thing? Maybe. Well let me be clear, the grass is not greener where I am sitting right now. In fact, I have never been in more pain and felt more hopeless than I have over the past 6 months.

But I can’t pretend it didn’t happen. It was magic, even if I was the only one who truly felt it. And it changed me, making it impossible to settle for anything less.

And so I’m back to the place where I spend most of my time, teetering between cynicism and steadfast conviction. I found it, the one who went missing. And as fleeting as it was, it was undeniable, filling in the empty spaces that had rendered me a slave to comfortable and safe. It was as if someone had pushed play and all the parts of me that had been dormant for years- that had craved inspiration, intense connection and the kind of love that made the thought of its absence unbearable- all came alive, all at once, and there was simply no going back.

But my god, the utter devastation that followed, the acute turned chronic pain that is so consuming the only way through is to try like hell to feel nothing at all. How could I not question whether it was magic at all, and if such a thing even exists. It feels like I’m being forced to walk after finally learning how to fly.

To make things even more confusing, in those rare moments of clarity, I can get a glimpse of what might have actually been missing, that intangible thing I have been searching for. I think it might possibly be that little girl who always sought it out, magic, and worked like hell to bring it to everything she did. I lost her. She conformed and opted for ‘normal’ and ‘safe’ instead. As much as I wish I was, I’m just not these things. And it turns out, these are the things that most people choose. Perfect, right? I found what was missing and lost everything in the process.

So, that’s it. Sorry, but no ‘magical’ words of wisdom come to mind to share. I am a bit nervous, to be honest. If there was a time for me to be jaded, this would be it. What if I already am? What if the cynicism sticks? Is there no going back? Is this just how it’s going to feel from here on out?

No idea. So I do the only thing I can at this point. I get up in the morning. I try to do things that used to make my happy. I force a smile and initiate conversation. And I try to do what seems to work for most…I try to face reality.

Maybe there really is no such thing as magic.

 

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19 thoughts on “The Return of Magic

  1. It’s remarkable to me that you can achieve so many things and be the person you are when internally you are fighting a seemingly endless battle against unforgiving and paralyzing pain. It is a testament to your resilience, strength, and unique perspective that you just simply refuse to give up when so many others would have long ago. You are a person I greatly admire, and your sheer determination to keep putting one foot in front of the other, even when it would be easier not to, inspires me more than you know. Your strength astounds me and also reminds me what is possible. When this battle is finally won, and the shackles of a painful past finally come off, it is going to be a thing of beauty. You, my dear, are not only going to fly but soar. There will be no limits to what you can achieve or where you can go. Extraordinary awaits you.

    Of course, there is such a thing as magic, Brooke…to me; you are magic.

    Liked by 3 people

    • My strength comes from the people like you in my life, and you couldn’t provide it if it wasn’t yours to give. I could have written these exact same words to you, T, and every single one of them would apply. And as far as magic goes…this wouldn’t have been posted if it wasn’t for a certain someone….just saying. ;o)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is beautifully written yet completely relatable. The question of magic has been on my mind lately as well and I have been asking myself if what I thought was magic could simply be coincidence. Perhaps what I perceived was colored by my desire to believe in magic. The brain always sides with coincidence. The heart and the child in me says it’s absolutely the emotional equivalent to pulling a rabbit out of a hat.

    Wonderful words!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I went through a similar quest for magic some years ago, and it led to the most amazing heartbreak, as well. The good news? I found the magic I sought and healed the heartache I’d found. Since then, the elusive one has never escaped again (save for brief moments) and life is full of magic everyday (with long swaths of necessary mundanity painted in, because #bills).

    Your path is a strong and difficult one, but it is the right path, if I am any judge. Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

    • They seem to go hand and hand at times, right? I think that has to be because, in order to have the courage to embark upon our quest, we have to have a heart that feels everything deeply, one that is full of passion, wonder, and curiosity. We have to be drawn to adventure and willing to take a risk and leap, even when there is no net in sight. And it can be terrifying, and yes, sometimes we fall…and sometimes we shatter. But if we have the strength to pick ourselves back up and try again, try as many times as it takes, we will find that magic unfolds exactly as it needs to in order to ensure our lives are filled with nothing but.
      Your words give me hope, Tom. And as a side note, I believe mundanity is one of the essential ingredients to summoning magic…as with day and night, can there really be one without the other? ;o)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Beautifully integrated, Brooke! It’s true, magic is often conjured using mundane spell components, if you don’t mind the alchemical reference. Without the balance, we just end up weird. 😉

        “… sometimes we fall…and sometimes we shatter.”

        Ain’t that the truth. But, if I may be even more colloquial for a second, you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. Off the kitchen!

        Like

  4. Thanks for sharing this. Haven’t been around long enough to learn anything about you, so this was a pleasant insight. And, in a way, isn’t that magic? While no expert on anyone’s pain other than what I experience, I believe that there are magic moments. Magic is personal. Magic is the moment that makes you smile in defiance of all the reasons not to. It is not consistent, and it cannot be forced. But it is there. Magic is what brought me to your blog. Magic is what you have given others with your efforts. Might not have felt that way to you, but it sure did to them.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Your words made me smile, like ‘from the inside out’ smile. To be honest, I feel awkward bringing magic to the forefront sometimes, being so insistent that it should be sought out when, from the outside looking in, it appears there is no magic to be found, at least in my life. But, as you so beautifully articulated, I see it and feel it in so many ways. Not always, be clear, but when I pay attention, things like this happen – you, this blog, the community of unbelievably talented, beautiful souls who have come into my life and changed me in the best possible way….with your words, insights, support and the opportunity to try to give all of those things back tenfold. So, yes, I still 100% believe in magic. But as previously stated, ‘she’ is unruly and unpredictable. And although I would not have chosen her methods, had I not gone through the tremendous amount of pain that I did, our paths would not have crossed. I guess that’s the definition of faith, right? You have to believe in it, even when you can’t see it or understand it.
      Long-winded reply, but one can only indulge in these exchanges with a select few people, and I simply refuse to pass up the opportunity to engage in magic. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Find yourself and you’ll find the greatest magic! I see it there!
    Wonderful writing and insight.
    Today was a true revelation of magic -swapping creative expressions. Love it!
    Carry on….. you are sprinkled in magic dear xo

    Liked by 1 person

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