Friday, January 11, 2008

Do You Believe In Magic?

from Jacqueline

My cousin Gillian once said, “Oh, you Winspears, you’re all a bit fey.” Fey has several definitions, but the one she meant (I hope), was “otherworldly” or even “unconventional.” I think she made the comment because we, us Winspears, have a closer relationship than most to what might be termed, “that which cannot be explained.” And when she said “Winspears” I think she meant everyone but my dad, who – thank heavens for my mother, my brother and me – has his feet firmly planted on the ground, apart from a lingering desire to see a UFO and have everyone believe him. You see, not to put too fine a point on it, we believe in magic.

We like the fact that mysteries exist – and I don’t mean simply the ones that rise up from the well of creativity here at Naked Authors, though they are part of the blend. No, we believe in miracles, in serendipity, in wishing on shooting stars and hearing a song on the whistling wind. (This is great, I can imagine my mother reading this post and saying to my Dad, “You’ll never guess what she’s written about us now !”)

I love myths and legends, I love magical stories. There always seems to be something in such stories that speaks to the resilience and power of the human spirit, and people respond to those stories even though they might not know what touched them. For that reason, I loved Stardust, The Golden Compass and The Chronicles of Narnia. And as of last weekend, I have fallen in love with The Water Horse, which is why I started thinking about magical thinking.

If you haven’t seen this movie – and much of it went straight over the heads of the children watching – it is all about the human spirit, all about magic, all about mystery, myth and the connection between humans and other beings. And with the Second World War as a backdrop, it made you wish that magic was like fairy dust and could be liberally spread across the earth so that every day is a bit better than yesterday, for everyone.

But despite being “fey” I know I can also be a cynic, can be opinionated, angry, upset, especially when faced with many of the issues we write about here – from kids being abused, to death by oil-related war, to our disrespect for our planet, parents who struggle against all odds to do the best for their families ... you know what I’m talking about, you’ve read our columns. So every now and again, I remind myself to believe in magic, to allow the mystery to exist and to believe in the triumph of the very best of our humanity. It may not be chicken soup for the soul, but it keeps out the chill that wafts from people and places that seem to have been abandoned by miracles, magic and hope. Or maybe they abandoned them first.

PS: I am not about to trade in my Volvo for a broomstick, though I think it would be really cool to have a wand. Think of what Naked Authors could do if we were all issued with our own wands. Now, if you had your own magic wand, what would you do?


  1. Jackie,
    Too many things happen not to believe in serendipity. Coincidence is a fine term but serendipity has the lure of mystery, promise and, most of all, hope.

    Good post.


  2. Before I see the movie, you have to promise me that the Water Horse doesn't come to a bad end.

    I became a firm believer in the Jungian theory of synchronicity when I encountered too many "coincidences" that could not be ignored. I believe in magic but oddly I don't enjoy magic shows. What's that all about?

  3. I've experienced too much magic in my life to not believe in it - it certainly exists for me.

    And, if I had a magic wand, I'd love to bring back decent manners to public discourse in this country. Toward that end, I would also use my magic wand to make disappear every bit of wireless communications technology in existence...bye bye, blackberry - so long, iPhone, and good riddance ;-)

  4. Rae, were you waving your wand at my phone this week? I like wireless things, since they seem like magic to me.

    I got about as far as freshman year biology in high school, and then science started to sound like that old Far Side cartoon about what dogs hear: "blah blah blah GINGER blah blah GINGER blah blah." As far as I'm concerned, anything past dissecting an earthworm is sheer magic.

    I'm not sure what my wand would do. I'd like to be able to make people actually have a good day without SAYING "have a good day." That would be pretty cool.

  5. And I want the cure autism wand, too. That would make it a VERY good day for me.

  6. from Jacqueline

    Well, first of all, Jim, I much prefer "Serendipity." In fact, my horse is called "Serendipity" (though more commonly known as Sara). And to have it conjure up mystery, promise and hope gives me goose-bumps.

    Patty, the Water Horse does have a good ending - it's a movie for kids, it has to have a good ending, though there is the journey through chaos. I loved the movie. And I'm with you regarding magic shows - I have never liked them, and find them quite tedious (though I really enjoyed the movie "The Prestige").

    And I think I would use my wand to take away those gadgets too - I was noticing this morning how many people walk past other people they KNOW without greeting them, simply because they have something with a wire coming out of their ears - doesn't say much for the building of community, does it?

    Cornelia, if I had a wand, I would take away autism straightaway. I so wish I had that wand.

    Thanks, all for your magical thinking.

  7. And with a wave of my magic wand...

    Scotty beams Bush up to an early rapture.

    The Republican party is outlawed. Paul, with his slogan of Make Laughter Not War, becomes president. He appoints Jacqueline Poet Laureate.

    Miramax greenlights A Field of Darkness. Cornelia agrees to write six books a year.

    Patti has a permanent slot on the NYT list.

    Jim and James put out a hunka-burning-love calendar.

  8. Wow, Carol, let's get you a wand asap!!