The Unlimited Magic of the World

photo courtesy of flickr.com

"There is freedom waiting for you
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask,'What if I fall?'
Oh, but my darling,
What if you fly?" -Erin Hanson

Taking a break from the world of politics and the state of uneasiness crawling around much of America right now can be a tough thing to do. For the sake of an iota of sanity, though, one must step away for a brief respite. There won't be much room for it in the coming years so today is the day.

I'd like to talk about something else. It is something many lose in their lives as they advance in years. Yes, it's all part of getting older, part of finding out and experiencing the harsh realities of the world, but it is something we must strive to keep part of us.

Imagination, magic and a sense of wonderment are qualities that weaken or disappear, yet should always remain lingering in our hearts and souls.

These ideas have always stuck with me, but I was struck even more by it while watching performances in the Red Light Variety Show last night. From singing to dancing, from aerials to a vaudeville act evoking the great Charlie Chaplin, the Red Light crew always attempts to bring a little bit of light, fun, and empowerment into their audiences lives.

There was an act in their current show--and maybe it was a cover of Space Oddity  (as sung by Thomas Newby of The Green Zoo)--that evoked a certain memory in me from childhood. During this aerial number, my mind drifted back to the days of my youth and playing on my backyard childhood swing set.

Specifically, I thought back to my days of hanging upside down from the small metal trapeze bar, the blood rushing to my head. I thought back to doing flips on the rings for minutes on end. Most importantly, my brain took me back to swinging. Pumping the legs as fast as I could, swinging so high I thought I might circumnavigate the entire top bar of the set. Once at the apex, I would release my hands from chains and fly through the air, excitement growing, my only hope was to land a long distance away.

And I started to think: When did I lose this feeling of wanting to fly and soar through the air?

Adulting--to keep up with the hip vernacular of today's youth--often leaves no time for this sense of childhood wonderment. Life gets in the way and, as stated earlier, the experiences we have and the hardships we face can sometimes deter from that.

The idea of soaring in the air, though takes on different forms as we get older. In the case of the performers of the Red Light Show, it takes on the form of still flying, still dancing in a front of crowd, and letting their talents speak for themselves.

The same can be said for actors, artists, performers, musicians, and, to an extent, athletes. (We writers can't be included. We hide behind a keyboard.)

Even more so, I believe this childhood wonderment of imagination, believing in magic and living in a sense of awe transforms into something much more as an adult. Taking chances on the world, taking chances on yourself, and even being brave in the face of dangerous times to fight for what you believe in is a bit of magic in and of itself. Without it, people might stand for nothing and simply stand by when the going gets tough.

We might never recapture the magic of a Santa Claus, an Easter Bunny or a Tooth Fairy again in our adulthood, but we can certainly be on the look out for it. Escaping into a book, going to see a play, or taking in a night of burlesque are all ways to set aside the world for a few hours. It might never produce the same excitement of Christmas morning as a kid or seeing your favorite character at Disneyland, but we can certainly try.

Will I ever fly from a swing again? Probably not because I'm not sure insurance will cover it if an injury occurs (there's the adult talking again). But as long as I can dream, as long as I have an active imagination and as long as I allow myself to be amazed and astounded, the ability to soar through the air will never leave completely.

Continue to try to fly, to soar. Let the magic of the world be a viable aspect of your life. And if you have to go out and search for it, you might be trying too hard. Sometimes, it is best to let go of the chain and let the magic find you.


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