Ever since I’ve known myself, I’ve been in two minds about the nature of the world. These are my two points of view:
- There are angels in the architecture and monsters under the bed. Thoughts have power and we can accomplish great things simply by thinking them into being.
- This is a mundane world with no magic in it whatsoever. If my thoughts are to have power and achieve something in the world it has to be by means of physical intermediaries – either words or actions.
As you can see – these are quite different world views with quite dissimilar implications for the people holding them. I imagine that I used to be more in the first group when I was younger, but increasingly – I find myself in the second camp.
Does this mean that I am changing as a person? You would think so, yet I haven’t really noticed the difference. Maybe this is because I tend to live inside my own head more than I do in the world. But then, thinking about it – that’s probably true for all of us, despite objections to the contrary. We may use objects in the world, but often they are merely portals to another dimension – an inner world.
Take, for example, a simple book. When we see it on the shelf, we are in the outer world, and yet as soon as we read the words inside, we begin to be transported to that inner realm. Traffic noises fade away. That yapping dog no longer seems to annoy us. The ambulance siren signifies nothing more than a fly passing lazily by on hot summer day. We have left the world.
And this, I think, is where the magic lies. It may well be that transforming spells and the wands used to issue them do not exist in reality but nonetheless, we are transformed and transported to some other place and time by the experience of reading a book.
And this is just one example. Think of the last time you had a really great conversation with a friend. Perhaps you opened a glass of wine or maybe you just sat on the side of a hill and let the world fade away under the onslaught of a conversation that gripped and enthralled you until finally, you realised that the sun was setting and the day was done – all without your conscious awareness.
And there is much more. Driving along, listening to your favourite music – the journey seeming to last no time at all. Cooking a meal with your partner and, in the blink of an eye, finding that the food is on the plate and you are tucking in to a gourmet feast (and yes, it may only be pizza and chips to the outside world, but to you – it’s an act of love). These example of everyday magic are everywhere.
So maybe I’m wrong – maybe to imagine that there are two varieties of world is incorrect. Perhaps there’s just one world and it contains both the mundane and the magic. It seems to me that it’s entirely possible that I can enjoy my angels (and battle with my monsters) whilst in the comfort of my own bedroom. And that all it actually takes is a little imagination and the willingness to let it be.