Time was, magic was feared as the embodiment of evil. Feared, that is, until conventional wisdom somehow downgraded it to frivolity, all card tricks and smoke and mirrors. Either way, no self-respecting person would admit to seriously believing. So, what changed? Magic has been pushing itself into the zeitgeist for a few years now, at least since 1997 when Harry Potter burst onto millions of pages and, subsequently, movie screens. If Harry Potter is responsible for the resurgence of magic, that’s more a testament to the magic of J. K. Rowling’s pen than to the perceived power of magical incantations.
I’ve always considered myself to be a non-believer. Haven’t even read Harry Potter. Of course, I would have to have been living under a rock not to have Harry Potter and his magic somewhere near the forefront of my consciousness. I mean, four years ago, I even named my new kitten “Potter”! That doesn’t necessarily make me a believer in magic. Admittedly, I do love fantasy, however. Stories full of dragons, fairies, and elves have long been my secret pleasure. Part of it is a deep, wistful longing that magic in a supernatural sense actually exists. That longing spars with the comparably deep certainty that it doesn’t.
If it’s not real, then WHY is magic everywhere? Not abracadabra, hocus pocus, rabbits pulled out of hats, illusionary magic. I mean literally the word “magic.” Has it always been there? As I’ve said, magic has been growing in popular culture for a while. Years. But just over the past few months I’ve been seeing the word “magic” increasingly often. I’m not looking for it, but the universe seems to be sending it.
You might think I’m crazy (superfluous Cars reference), but, like many other people, I believe the universe (or loved ones in the afterlife or God, if you prefer) sends messages. My sister-in-law, for instance, often finds heart-shaped stones and beach glass that she believes are messages from my late niece. Other people see butterflies, dragonflies, hummingbirds, rainbows, or some other sign that their loved-one’s spirit still lingers. I, myself, see multiple 11s everywhere that I don’t remember seeing until after my husband passed away over five years ago.
When I first began pondering the apparent resurgence of magic as a concept, I came to realize magic has been a background thread in my life since at least high school, when my boyfriend and I considered Jay and the Americans’ “This Magic Moment” to be our song. But I’ve only started seeing “magic” multiple times per day fairly recently. And not just in logical contexts, like when I’m listening to The Cars and their song “Magic” comes up on my playlist. No, I mean out of the blue references, like when I’m researching treason and stumble upon a book called “Magic as a Political Crime.” Or when I get an emailed ad from a tee shirt store, and the ad features a shirt saying “Black Moms are Magical.” Or when researching morticians for a possible upcoming blog post, Parke’s Magic Valley Funeral Home pops up.
Why is this happening? What message, exactly, is the universe sending?
Although I’ve been trying capture my thoughts about magic for weeks now, the impetus to finish this draft comes from Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt “-ic or -ical.” So, giving credit where credit due, even if my technique isn’t on point.
As a bonus, here’s Jay and the Americans’ “This Magic Moment” (from WABCRADIO77’s You Tube account because that’s what we were listening to at the time):