Friday, September 19, 2008
A Little Bit of Magic
Is there magic in our world? Probably most people in our hurry up, science worshipping world would say no. I’m here to disagree — not only with majority opinion, but also with the belief that science and magic are mutually exclusive. I believe that not only is there magic, but that our modern technology uses and expands it.
Believing in magic is not such a big stretch as all that. In fact, most anyone who’s been present at the birth of a baby would say it’s a magical experience. So let’s start there and work backwards. My daughter is six months pregnant, and when I look at her I see magic. This woman was once a tiny baby inside me, and now she has a tiny baby inside her. To me, that’s magic. In fact, just being in the presence of a child (especially one of my grandchildren) provokes a feeling inside me of being in the presence of something awesome and wonderful. Every human being on earth is different, and yet in many ways we’re all the same. Isn’t that amazing?
But it’s not just the big magic of a new little person coming into the world. There are plenty of smaller things. As I look outside my window, I see trees, birds, and a gorgeous blue sky decorated with soft white clouds. In my opinion, that’s magic. Most people catch a glimpse of the magic as they look at the Grand Canyon, or Niagara falls, but I believe there’s magic in the smaller parts of nature too: birds singing, squirrels leaping from branch to branch, the amazingly beautiful owl that lives in our neighborhood, these are all part of the miracle we call nature.
But it’s not exclusively in nature that we find miracles. I still shed tears of joy when I watch the take-off or landing of a space shuttle. I was a child when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon. While I watched those grainy black and gray television pictures, I felt the touch of magic. In fact, much of technology is magic as far as I’m concerned. This laptop I’m using, the wireless mouse and keyboard that allows me to sit in a recliner in a position in which to write in spite of the physical problems I deal with on a daily basis; all magic. If I had to write on a typewriter, I guarantee I’d be lucky to have ever gotten a short story published, much less a novel. And the Internet that connects the entire world together. I can’t tell you the amazement that moves through me when I think of how incredible that is.
And that is the link between magic and science. I’m a science person at heart. If not for my physical problems, I likely would be working as a biologist or physical anthropologist. Instead, I weave science and magic into novels. To be honest, my belief is that I’m doing what I was meant to do. And speaking of shameless self-promotion (we were, right?) The publication of my novel, Shadows of Evil, was a magical experience. And, of course, magic is a major part of the plot. (Would you expect anything else from me?)
Have a great weekend — and keep a lookout for the magic all around you!
[Pictures: my grandchildren (and one very brave son-in-law), across the road from our apartment, the cover of Shadows of Evil]