Seen/Heard/Tried

Magic every day

Every once in a while I stumble upon an audio book that ends up whisking me away into a story unexpectedly. For example, about 5 years ago I started listening to The Secret Life of Bees on audio, and it was so well done that I would take the long way driving home from work or errands just so I could listen more. I would also often sit in parking lots to listen a little more before getting out of the car, not wanting to be pulled out of the story just yet. Only a month or so after listening to the audio of The Secret Life of Bees, I bought the text version, happily marking page after page of writing I found particularly beautiful or descriptive with little sticky notes. And then it seemed everything around me was conspiring to bring the story alive in my life–my sister-in-law’s father let us watch him spin honey from the bees he was keeping, Chad and I began reading articles and books about bees, and we started to dream of keeping our own someday. With that book, the ordinary became magical to me, and the book has been my favorite ever since listening to it that summer.20130321-134033.jpg

A page from my journal in 2008 after seeing Thom’s bees

Similarly, about a year ago I listened to the audio of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Once again, I was enthralled by a fantastic audio version of a book, this time read by Jim Dale (you can hear a sample on amazon here). After listening on the train and walking to work, I would stand outside the gates of school without being able to pause the story, often risking being late for our morning meetings! I really enjoyed the book, and so I was happily surprised to receive it as a Christmas gift from my mom this year!

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My mom also sent this pretty little bookmark she made. Isn’t it lovely?

I read the book over the last week, and enjoyed being able to really appreciate the lovely description she uses in the novel. I found myself dreaming of circuses, remembering a Cirque du Soleil performance we went to last year and thinking of the “magic” in the show. And, just like when I read The Secret Life of Bees, everything around me seems to get me thinking about the book and about the circus! I’ll write more about my growing obsession later, but for now I just wanted to recommend both of these books on audio, and then–of course!–in paper once you’ve finished (The Secret Life of Bees especially!) They both really gave me a sense of “magic” amidst the “every day,” and though the books did so in different ways, they both pulled me into daydreams and wondering…

Do you like audio books? (I bet you would if you listened to these! πŸ˜‰ ) What are some of your favorite ways to bring magic into the ordinary?

7 thoughts on “Magic every day

  1. my mind wanders too much when listening to audio books so i can’t do them. j wanted to start beekeeping this spring but he thinks he’ll be too busy (plus it’s a little expensive to start up). maybe we should start a joint beekeeping venture next spring together.

  2. I watched The Secret of Bees movie a few years ago, but still haven’t read the book! I actually remember you leaving a comment years ago when I blogged about the movie saying that the book is even better. πŸ™‚ I really do want to read it. There is nothing like getting caught up in a beautifully written, powerful story.
    Love that bookmark your mom made!

    1. Haha, when I started reading your comment I immediately started saying, “But you have to read the book!” πŸ˜‰ I like the bookmark too–the mermaid is diving in πŸ™‚

  3. Both of those books are on my favorites list. The Night Circus was captivating and full to the brim with magic. There are two audiobooks, non-fiction, that I just swooned over. One is called, ‘What to Remember When Waking’ by David Whyte (a dreamy poet from England. His voice is heaven in bottle). And the book ‘She Got Up Off the Couch.’ by Haven Kimmell. The later will have you in a fit of giggles. It’s so insightful. Thanks for sharing, I’m always into finding more magic through literature.

    1. Oo, thank you for the recommendations! I’ll definitely take note and give them a listen–I feel the readers (actors?) make all the difference. I’m happy to hear we share the other two as some of our favorites πŸ™‚

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