Monday, September 23, 2002

Linda Lou Jane Declares: Magic Monday
I have declared today "Magic Monday."  I declare stuff all the time, but nobody pays any damned attention.  I believe you should pay attention to today's declaration. 
"Magic Monday" is a day for the recapturing of magic.  Your assignment for today is to find some magic.  Wherever you can.  If you can't find it, then make some!
As I have been at home recuperating from a heart attack, I  realized that I was about to allow something horrible to happen. I was about to lose sight of the magic all around me. I was about to let the lantern go out. 
My heart attack was caused by part heredity, part poor diet, exercise and bad habits,  but primarily because of stress.  I was letting the shit get to me.  I was forgetting to be aware of the magic.
Not anymore.
Sometime ago I read a book called "Boy's Life" by Robert R. McCammon, who is a native of Birmingham, Alabama. I only mention he's from B'ham because us Southerners are always real proud when a local boy does good.
Robert. R. McCammon is known primarily as a horror novelist. "Boy's Life" does have an element of horror, but it is more about magic.  The magic of childhood,  of growing up in the South, and of life's lessons.
Today, I want to share with you a passage from the preface of the book.  Though I read the book several years ago,  this passage has stayed with me and I have referred to it many, many times and shared it with many people in need of a touch of magic. Today, I share it with you. Because I need to remember.
Excerpt from "Boy's Life" by Robert R. McCammon
(for more on Robert R. McCammon, go here:
You know, I do believe in magic.  I was born and raised in a magic time, in a magic town, among magicians.  Oh, most everybody else didn't realize we lived in that web of magic, connected by the silver filaments of chance and circumstance. But I knew it all along.  When I was twelve years old, the world was my magic lantern and by its green spirit glow I saw the past, the present, and into the future.  You probably did too; you just don't recall it.  See, this is my opinion:  we all start out knowing magic.  We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us.  We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right our of our souls.  We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out, and combed out.  We get put on the straight and narrow and told to be responsible.  Told to act our age.  Told to grow up, for God's sake. And you know why we were told that?  Because the people doing the telling were afraid of our wildness and youth, and because the magic we knew made them ashamed and sad of what they'd allowed to wither in themselves.
After you go so far way from it, though, you can't really get it back.  You can have seconds of it.  Just seconds of knowing and remembering.  When people get weepy at the movies, it's because in the dark theater the golden pool of magic is touched, just briefly.  Then they come out into the hard sun of logic and reason and it dries up, and they're left feeling a little heartsad and not knowing why.  When a song stirs your memory, when motes of dust turning in a shaft of light takes your attention from the world, when you listen to a train passing on a track in the night distance and wonder where it might be going, you step beyond who you are and where you are.  For the briefest of instants, you have stepped into the magic realm.
That's what I believe.

That's what I believe too.  Except that I believe that the magic can be recaptured for longer than seconds at a time. 
When I got up this morning and felt the luscious brisk fall morning air, when I sing "Boop Boop Diddum Daddum Waddum Choo" just to make my 3-year-old (and, by the way, absolutely perfect) grandchild giggle,  when I see my 64 year old mother get down on the floor and do the "bunny hop" just to entertain that same child, then I believe. 
When I was in the Coronary Care Unit after my heart attack, and my favorite bartender showed up with a card signed by all the Jefferson Street Irregulars,  and when my friends performed clever and magical maneuvers past the nurses station trickling one at a time into my 2 Family Members Only, for 15 Minutes Only and we Mean it! CCU room until there were 8 people there who were all there just to support me, then I believe. 
When I felt the warm blanket of the love of my family and friends protecting me, telling me they needed me here, then I knew that I too live in a magic time, in a magic town, among magicians.

Go make something magic happen.

Note from Suli: Last week, Linda Lou not only washed my hair for me and helped me put my bra on inside out, but she also created a bandage for my arm out of an, um, err absorbent feminine product when I ran out of gauze. Now that's magic!


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