Had a dream that I could do magic, but only randomly. I was going to a school with other people like me in which we were trying to figure out why we couldn’t do magic all the time. What circumstances made magic possible or impossible for us to do?
One guy around my age that I went to school with was getting really discouraged because he hadn’t been able to do magic for a long time. He was starting to question whether anyone could do it anymore. I sat down next to him, and looked intently at a silver dessert spoon on the table. At first nothing happened, and I began to wonder if it ever would, but then the spoon floated into the air. The spoon began to take on a shimmer as though it had been dipped in liquid dish soap, with rainbow colors gliding around the spoon slowly. Then the silver of the spoon and its defined shape became less and less clear as the dish soap became more translucent. Finally, we could only see a fat line of dish soap suspended in the air, which began to spread out until bubbles began to break off–slowly at first, but then quickly– so that the air all around us was filled with drifting bubbles.
I wonder if this dream was representative of how I can feel so confident and self-assured at some times, but at other times feel totally out of control and like I have no choice in what I do. Or how even if I achieve the things I want to, like the magic in my dream, there is always something more just out of reach, floating away.
Lately I have been preparing myself for leaving Japan, and I feel so ready. When I go home, I know I’ll miss it and question my haste, but for now I’m having trouble focusing on the magic of what I’m doing–instead feeling tired and stressed out from the final couple weeks of work. I really need to appreciate and be grateful for each moment here, and not worry about which circumstances make that easier or more possible. I need to believe I’ll get through the stressful parts and that the drifting, joyful parts are more important (and just as plentiful!).
I’m trying to enjoy our final days in Japan, but I’m also counting down the days before we start a new chapter in our lives. Less than one month to go before we leave.
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.
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!
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! 😉 ) What are some of your favorite ways to bring magic into the ordinary?