A Little Night-Morning Musing on Magic

Magic has properties, rules that govern it, but with magic, just when we believe what we are seeing, something else is revealed. It is as if the more aware we are, the more the magic reveals.

Murky Shell 0514That seems a bit murky yet that is precisely as it should be. Magic is elusive, restless even, for it is and it is not. What is tangible in magic regardless of ritual, symbol, or illusion is technique.

Technique is the mechanism of the magician, the means to an end, for there is always an end. The grand illusion that is life is a mixture of individual experience and human nature, the unknown shrouded in the mist of the known.

The realm of magic is murky by design so that it is able to remain on the cusp of believable.

Often, I visit magic in the hours when a day ends and begins. These hours when night and morning are dark seem suited to illusion.

This time of in-between, as night becomes morning, are restless hours for one is not yet another. I, too, am murky in my mind, dull with the day that has ended, not yet open to the day that has begun.

By the light of my laptop screen, I sometimes surf the Internet, not for substance for I do not wish to engage but rather, I am content to float in and out of websites. On some nights, I visit  an online solitaire game that offers magic.

At first glance, it is traditional solitaire: seven piles of cards, some face up and some not, red on black, black Perfect Shell 0514on red, and four aces at the top. Then, the illusion begins. Magic is given freely and at regular intervals; neither purchase nor friend invitations are required.

Win or lose, you may play forever. Winning means advancing and receiving more magic; losing means just playing another game. There is an intricate scoring mechanism that makes the play of every card worthy of consideration.

How and where a card is played determines the number of points. Not all plays are equal—some may be undone—using magic produces a card to keep the game going but more magic may be required to win.

Ultimately, the player decides whether a game is worth continuing, whether winning is worth using magic. Life seems much the same in that regard, whether to be or to seek what may be.

Ah, once again I am far afield in my musing. Restless magic is fitting for those dark hours of night-morning yet in the light of day, it is less so.

(In a comment on a long ago post, “Do You Believe In Magic,” J.B. Whitmore offered the idea of the word magic as restless. Thank you for that. ) 

14 thoughts on “A Little Night-Morning Musing on Magic

  1. I’m with Craig on the definition of magic. And it IS real – for us, in the moment, which is what counts. As you know, I veer towards physics and the sciences; and yet, the very deepest levels of physics are akin to that magic in the transition between waking and sleep. Certainly that is the only way we can conceptualise or understand some of the principles; and – if we are to believe some of the things Stephen Hawking tells us – what follows IS magic by any reasonable everyday measure. I am thinking of a lecture he gave once in which he suggested there was nothing in physics to prevent Cthulhu being spontaneously emitted from a singularity. Debatable, perhaps; but all, of course, reflective of the wonder of which we, as humans living in this world, are a part.

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    • I am fascinated by physics, although my understanding is minimal. Without magic, I would have even more difficulty wrapping my mind around the physical laws of the universe. Magic seems to give us a way of floating in and around reality so that when our feet are back on the ground, we feel refreshed, perhaps ready to face the light of day. Hawking, I like, and increasingly, I am mesmerized by Alan Lightman, writer and physicist; he, too, knows that wonder opens us to the beauty and mystery of our lives. Thanks, Matthew!
      Karen

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  2. Only one thing to add. In “Cannery Row” John Steinbeck had a phrase for those times between light and dark; the hour of the pearl. It seemed as if all the residents of the Row were briefly suspended, not in one day or another, just held quiet and thoughtful. I think that the musings and ramblings you are describing occupy that grey, opalescent time.

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    • Absolutely, Adrian! “The hour of the pearl” reminded me of Steinbeck’s novella, The Pearl (1947), published two years after the novel, Cannery Row. And, opalescence surely is the heart of magic. Truly, a thoughtful and lovely comment, Adrian. Thanks so much.
      Karen

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  3. Another great post, Karen and I get those magic hours, too. For me, they tend to change so I’ve stopped trying to figure out why, when, how and instead have chosen to go with the flow. What you experience with solitaire, I find with Mahjong. It kind of relaxes my mind and it helps distract me when I can’t seem to get the words flowing. Sometimes, it’s nice to just lose ourselves with a distraction whose outcome really has no impact on our lives. It just is. 🙂

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    • It really is a matter of floating, isn’t it Stephanie? More and more, I am finding these hours intriguing and, at times, productive, interspersed, of course, with solitaire! Magic helps me rein in my restlessness; if nothing else, it gives me another view. Thanks so much, Stephanie!
      Karen

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  4. Maybe the game itself is an illusion, and the magic is the meaning we construct from our experiences — conscious, physical and unconscious, intuitive. So much of my life just now is bordered by commitments and time that I see the ‘magick’ between, in moments like this, when I can appreciate this gift of awareness. Thank you, Karen, for another beautiful blog post.

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    • If life is the grand illusion, then surely so is the game but then, perhaps game is just another word for the term, grand illusion. Your point regarding what we receive in all this magic is intriguing and may be what returns us to the magic well. Always great to see you here, Beth, and thanks so much.
      Karen

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  5. There is something about the evening hours, after 9 or 10 p.m., that bring me magic. I’ve always been more creative and felt my muse visited then. If only we were all more in touch with our magic hours, I think the world would be a little happier . . .

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    • I agree that being “in touch with our magic hours” brings an ease to the everyday in our lives. In fact, magic may even allow us to appreciate more the regular day to day. Regardless, magic always reveals. Sometimes, I, too, write during these hours–it does depend upon my muse–the writing is a broader stroke, freer, for these are the magic hours of ending and beginning. Thanks, Kay!
      Karen

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  6. That twilight zone when you are falling asleep or beginning to wake is a place of magic, where you cannot tell reality from fantasy, and where the mind, like a magician, can conjure up just about anything at all. It is a little scary when you realize you can’t positively know what is real and what is not. But it also reveals a hidden truth, that our minds create our reality, whether we are aware of it or not. And the pursuit of Vedanta is the quest to become fully aware of that mysterious phenomenon with hopes of finally discovering who we really are. I’m not there yet. I’ll let you know if and when I figure out how the “trick” works.

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    • And what a wonderful description of magic yours is, Craig! Truly, thank you. Yes, our minds create our reality, and to me, the more aware we are of that, the more is revealed about who we are. Obviously, I am not there, either. Let’s make a pact to reveal the “trick” should we get there and should revelation be ours to give. Wonderful comment, Craig.
      Karen

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