I've been interested in magic for decades. That sentence just caught me off guard...decades! I turned 40 recently, yet I don't feel that far removed from my childhood. What I mean is I remember the feeling of my childhood. It was, for anyone's childhood I think, a time of wonder, of mystery, of uncertainty. When you're a child the world around you seems unfathomably big and unknowable. In that world, magic, real magic, seems not only possible but indisputable.
Then you grow up. Certainty replaces mystery and routine replaces wonder.
Every once in a while, something grabs you by the imagination, shakes you awake and reminds you that the world, the universe, the human heart are larger and more mysterious than you could envision. For me these moments came in the form of standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon, of watching the Pacific Ocean's waves roar off a beach in San Fransisco, of the peaceful tranquility of swimming alone in Lake Michigan as the sun set on the horizon, of each of my four children entering this world. This is magic.
You can find magic anywhere, on a mountain top, in the night sky, a good Spielberg movie, a Springsteen concert, or just a good meal and good wine shared with friends and conversation. Oh yeah... a good magic trick too.
When we were kids we instinctually knew the world was full of magic. We had better eyes to see it.
When I make a card vanish and reappear somewhere unexpected, you laugh in astonishment because you can't think of what else to do. For a moment or maybe longer, you become a kid again. The world around you is briefly filled with wonder, mystery, & uncertainty once more. It returns to a world that seems unfathomably big and unknowable. In that world, magic, real magic, seems not only feasible but irrefutable.
Magic tricks are, as author and magician Nate Staniforth says, "just a way to remember something you already know, or maybe knew and then forgot somewhere along the way." We grow up, and there are bills to pay, ladders to climb, meetings to attend, emails to respond to. We grow up and the world knocks us around, we get bruises and scars. We grow up and we forget the wonder.
So, Why Magic?