(A quick note: what you are about to read is a portion of a larger project. I don’t quite know where this is going, yet. I normally don’t post “unfinished” musings. But, I’ve been writing to you for quite some time about getting outside your comfort zone and thinking outside your comfortable box so it’s only fair that I do the same thing. Here’s to being uncomfortable and thus getting more out of Life!)
LIGHTING FIRES IN THE ORDINARY LAND OF WEARINESS
A Collection of Over-Adventures
For Those Who Fancy Something More In Their Lives
A HOLE AND A CORNER
in which you learn that being on a stage is a lot like being in the real world, there are long-standing traditions for magic-folk, and sometimes you must hide what is exposed
You stand behind a large lowered curtain on a large raised stage in a large nostalgic theatre with a large expectant crowd largely waiting for you – and only you – on the other side. As is your calculated wont, you are single-minded in your focus (if you were double-minded or triple-minded, naturally you would need the show’s costumer to refit the neckline for your clothes, and there is simply not enough time for that right now). You move your greasepainted face but a hair-slitting distance from the solitary curtain as you narrow your eyes and sneak a peek there through the small hole that has been careful made in the drapery. The colorless house lights are up and the brilliant stage lights are down, leaving exposed for you an unsuspecting audience.
You gently brush against the heavy hanging veil with the damp-from-excitement palms of your hands. The crushed velvet drape is no longer smooth, but feels like tiny pebbles that you could skip across a calm pond with little trouble at all; the once creamy texture now gone knobbly from one-too-many times and one-too-many touchings. There is the faint smell of the lack of anything that closely resembles imagination coming from the material. It’s as if the soft curtain is caustically coming down hard on you – both literally and figuratively. “This is old hat,” the curtain sneers in silence so as not to be heard by anyone else. “My dearest friend, go ahead, try and impress me. I’ve seen it all, already.” You make an internal note to return the curtain’s soundless yet unearned rebuke with a well-cut piece of your own mind after the show is over and after you have an actual well-cut piece to give. You make a further note to point out to the curtain that it is glaringly still a tad peevish because of the hole that was left in it without so much as a polite “how-do-you-do.”
Looking out from your hiding place, you visually rummage through the spectators; mentally, you pick their pockets, you pick their brains, you pick the locks to their hearts so expertly that they don’t even notice. You will return to them what you took in good time, but not just yet. (Good time happens when time is well-behaved and any performer will quickly tell you that, just before a show, time is anything but courteous and certainly nothing to wink at.) Leaving no patron unturned, you scrutinize, evaluate, and consider the experience you are about to give them. (In fact, if you go over them with a fine-toothed comb any more, they will all have new hairstyles. In some cases, that would be an improvement. However, in polite company one does not go around combing other people’s hair unless they are named Willy or Nilly. Neither, by the way, is sitting with the crowd.) Still, you regard them further; it is their dauntless curiosity you are consuming, it is their bold desire you are feasting on without narry a second thought (perhaps because you are single-minded). This throng can never profoundly, plainly, nor palpably appreciate that, when you finally appear before them, you are in league with them; you are superbly giving them what they believe they superbly want.
Your theme song now starts to play. With each note, the audience stirs as if electrified. The house lights wink straightway off as the stage lights wink straightaway on (making you wink from the twinkling of your eyes as they reach an understanding of sorts with the glaring brightness). And there you are . . . doing what few others in the world could ever dream of accomplishing . . . center stage with your arms commandingly raised and the crowd already clapping like crazy.
You gesture for spellbound silence. The crowd – thrilled – hushes. The music –thrilled – swells.
Four white panels seem to materialize and move about by themselves on the stage. And, as you fashionably step forward, the partitions rapidly self-form into a sort of white room – four walls with no entrances or exits. Now brought together, this audience is not privileged enough to peek inside this magical showpiece although their curiosity is quite piqued more than ever.
You dramatically gesture towards the improvised box. The crowd is riveted and gazes on. The music goes swiftly silent. You flamboyantly clap your hands and the four walls (always your obedient servants because of the four-wall contract you have reached with them and the splendid craft services they enjoy) fall away to the ground. There – in full glory – stands a magnificent and massive elephant; having appeared – as did the panels – out of nowhere and under the most impossible of conditions. (Now you must be asking, why an elephant? If you can make walls fly and move about and summon very large mammals from thin air, why not conjure up something truly incredible like a dinosaur or King-Kong or a whole pack of laughing hyenas? Why a single elephant? Well, you see, it is a long-standing tradition with magical folk to make a rather large elephant appear on a rather empty stage before a rather overjoyed audience. The audience and the elephant rather expect it. So, you would rather placate them. It’s really rather that simple.)
You share a mischievous glance with your pachyderm pal; a brief look that assures you the majestic creature is ready. The best is yet to come, as they say. (No, I don’t know who they are, it’s just a saying that they say. Let’s just agree that it’s another long-standing tradition among magical folk to leave the best for last. Now, stop interrupting.) And, with a “BBBBBRRRRRRRR,” the elephant ear-splittingly trumpets its way to standing on its two hind legs.
“BBBBBRRRRRRRR,” the elephant blasts, again. “Bravo,” the audience clamors as they rise to their feet in one flurry of fascination and flattery. “How is this done?” they will ask you. “Was it a trick of the lights?” “Was it a figment of their imaginations?” “Is it real – no, I mean real – magic not the kind of pick-a-card magic you can buy in a joke store?” And you know you cannot tell anyone anything – in any way, or at all – about how this magical treat was accomplished because (and you should know this by now) it is a long-standing tradition of magical folk not to tell how their glamours are created.
And as the elephant powerfully trumpets and as the crowd robustly shows their appreciation, you silently bow. And even as the curtain whooshes down it, too, seems to whisper its wonder at what has just occurred.
One more thing (yet, again) . . . I’d love to know what you think of this continued, little exercise and whether you would like to see Chapter 3. You can join in the conversation by subscribing to my blog at http://thinkingmagically.com or you joining me on any of the major social media sites to take this discussion to an even deeper level.