Monday, February 04, 2008

I was made to love magic.

I went to see The Golden Compass a couple of weeks ago. In it, the little girl, Lyra, wear a gorgeous hat when she's up at the North Pole (Bolvangar). It was all I could look at. I was pretty sure I could make one so I went to the yarn store, found the hugest yarn they had and made it a few weekends ago. Since I had just lost my other hat that I've been wearing, the timing of inspiration was perfect.

This picture gives you a better idea of the glorious colors that I got to play with.

There is not enough magic in my life. Tears kept welling up in my eyes as I watched The Golden Compass and my finely-honed psycho-analysis monitor couldn't figure out why those particular scenes would affect me except that they were particularly magical.

There is not enough enough magic in my life.

But there is more magic in the world than there has ever been in modern times.
Golden Compass, Narnia, The Lord of The Rings, Harry Potter, the Matrix, Star Wars, the Science Fiction channel, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, X-Men, Spiderman, Batman, Shrek, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Pirates of the Caribbean, pretty much anything with Johnny Depp in it actually, Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle, M. Night Shyamalan's movies, Pan's Labyrinth

Movies look like my imagination now. Everything I pictured while reading the books initially is in front of my eyes. Or, if the movie is original, it looks like it could actually happen. No more clashes of the Titans, neverending stories or weird Errol Flynn Robin Hoods or pirates that require massive suspension of disbelief. So, the images in my brain are slowly becoming more exogenous and less endogenous. By this I mean that I didn't create them (or augment them); they are now given to me. Still, though, I'm old enough that my formative years were spent exercising my imagination.

I used to have to look so hard for magic. Standing in the children's library, I scanned the spines for those little science fiction stickers. I also listened to Mrs. Reed (no joke, that was the school librarian's name) when she said that if I liked a book, I should look for other books by that author. So much time was spent looking up the words, "ghost" and "monster" in the subject section of the card catalog. Yes, an actual card catalog. Still, I had read all of the books before I was old enough to move up to the adult library and that included every awful Christopher Pike book that I could buy with my babysitting money. I wish I had been willing to ask more questions so that someone could have taken me upstairs because the Glen Ellyn public library actually has a fantastic science-fiction and fantasy section. Damn my unwillingness to look uninformed!

So, magic was only for those few people nerdy enough to keep seeking it out once they were too old for fairy tales. This self-selecting process made one a "nerd" and many of us ultimately grew to love the label.

What will the world be like now that more kids can stay magical longer? Will any gains from this increased density of wonder in the world be off-set by the fact that the magic is created for them rather than created by them?

I'll be interested to see how this all turns out.

1 comment:

Helen said...

I was captivated by the book trilogy which begins with The Golden Compass. I think I must love magic too.

Nice hat :)