Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Magic of Being

One of my first tasks this morning was to answer several interview questions that had been sent to me and then I took some time to read an article on writing (what a surprise) and I found it interesting that a certain theme seemed to develop. The topic being the magic of life and creativity.

I have a friend who tells me she has no imagination. My mother tells me she doesn't dream. I don't believe that's true for either my friend or my mother. Answering the questions and reading the article reminded me that we are all born with magic but for many of us, somewhere along the line it's bleached out of our psyches as the world tries to civilize us. In learning responsibility and manners, right from wrong, good from bad, the magic we are born with is suffocated, its light snuffed from existence as an undesirable quality, and there are some of us who don't know how to revive it and flounder through life thinking Peter Pan is really just a rebellious, naughty boy who refused to become an adult. I think he might not have been so concerned about growing up if he could have kept his magic. He fought for what was important and in doing so paid a price. Adulthood.

We forget to nurture the very essence of our souls in search of acceptance, the ability to blend in and not stand out. We look for the nod from mom and dad that assures us we are growing into adulthood and will make a fine asset to the community. But what happened to the magic?

Do you ever hear the statement made about someone who has reached maturity. "Oh, she is so senile..." Would that be a true statement or has that person simply reclaimed her magic? I have to wonder.

There's a poem I'm particularly fond of called "Warning" by Jenny Joseph. It's included in a collection of poetry and essays about women in their later years.

"When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter...


"But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple..."

[An excerpt from "Warning" by Jenny Joseph, from the collection "When I am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple" (ISBN: 0-918949-16-5)]

I bought this book back in 1991, my twins were eleven and my daughter was thirteen. I decided not to wait. Through all my travels and moves across the country, it's a book I always kept close. The title has become a theme through my life, except I changed it a bit, I shortened it.

I shall wear purple...now, dammit! :-)

What a sad thing it can be if we wait too long to revive the magic we lost as a child.

Reclaim it now. It really is okay to keep that spirit of youth and imagination. Don't let it die.


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