Many of us wait around or secretly hope that something magical will happen. If I’m lucky enough, patient enough, good enough, mystical enough, faith-full enough, magic will surely make its presence known and I (or my circumstances or that other person) will finally change.
But Yeats knew better; he says it’s the other way around:
The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper. ~ W.B. Yeats
The arrival and presence of magic is not predicated upon some incantation or slight-of- hand; rather, upon me. Embodied me.
And because it matters, let’s add the sixth one in: Intuition
It’s compelling (and a bit convicting) to see this list: the means through which magic apparently appears. Because in truth, FAR more of my energy and attention goes to my mind, my mind, my mind. Thinking. Processing. Analyzing. Figuring. Considering-pondering-perseverating on all that I think I can control if I can only get my head around it, ponder it long enough, come up with an incontrovertible-and-brilliant solution.
No, Yeats says. None of that. Magic waits for the senses to grow sharper. And this, it seems, is mine to do…(Maybe yours, as well.)
Thankfully, Alice in Wonderland offers the wisdom I need:
You know what the issue is with this world? Everyone wants a magical solution to their problem, and everyone refuses to believe in magic. ~ Lewis C. Carroll
Wait a minute! Yeats is focused on the senses and Alice is focused on belief. Which is it? No surprise: it’s both/and. Magic requires my intention and my belief. (That’ll preach.)
This is the way of most all things, is it not? Focus, sharpened-senses, intention and leaping, trusting, believing. Both. And. Always.
And those moments in which both show up? All of me (and maybe even you), senses awake and alive and my deepest faith fanned into flame? Well, that is magic.
(I could write at least two more posts on the problems inherent in shutting down either side of this equation. What happens when I rely only on my senses and “refuse to believe in magic/faith? What happens when believe only in magic/faith and see no value in sharpening my senses? Maybe another time…)
An 18th century, German writer and statesmen offers a tidy conclusion; the benediction and blessing I would most hope on my own behalf (and yours):
Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen. ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
May it be so.