Miracles are magical things.
Magic is miraculous. Magic, miracle, samey-same. You might not think so but yes, it’s true.
First, let me explain the photo to the left. I clipped it to my desktop computer long enough ago that there are fly spots on it and I had to wipe off the dust so I wouldn’t be even more embarrassed when you saw it. I’m sure it’ll come as no surprise that housekeeping is not my forte. Not only is the note still there — still crooked like it has been for years — but so is the computer, which kicked the bucket some time ago.
Every so often I look at it (the note, not the computer) and I remind myself to not just see the words but to remember the reason I put it there and why I’ve left it there to collect dust and fly spots all this time. I need the mental jog because it’s easy for me to read advice, to agree with it, to want it to be meaningful in my life, and then to somehow not take it in, not make it mine.
But this one I’ve worked at. Expect a miracle has come to mean everything to me. It has changed my life. It’s amazing. It’s like magic.
I started writing about magic in 2012, though I’ve been thinking about it, yearning for it, all my life. The blog started out as mostly fan homage to guitarist Jimmy Page, but I quickly realized that the best music really can be a kind of magic. So then I began to explore what exactly that would mean. I eventually compiled my posts about magic into a book, Mage Music: Writings on Magick and Creativity*, and then moved on with my life, wondering when I could personally do the magic I wanted to. And not by accident, either, but when I wanted to do it.
Really, if I could do magic, that would be a miracle, wouldn’t it?
Now look: By magic I don’t mean sleight of hand, illusion, stage tricks. I don’t mean the occult, either. I mean changing reality.
Changing reality. Purposefully doing so. Oh yeah, definitely magic.
I knew that expecting is part of the deal, because doubt is a killer when it comes to creativity, and magic, and miracles. But I kept forgetting to expect. That’s why the note, but it didn’t do any good to just read the words.
I had to swallow them into my heart, digest them so they nourished my soul. And that was not so easy.
Part of the problem was that I didn’t understand how to properly expect, or what miracles would actually look like. But gradually, it snuck up on me. What doing magic was about. About what miracles were like.
Some of them have been like this:
Chamisa (rabbit brush) 2018 Lif Strand photo
Bee on Russian sage 2018 Lif Strand photo
Verbena 2018 Lif Strand photo
Russian thistle 2018 Lif Strand photo
Pretty yellow flowers 2018 Lif Strand photo
Fairy grass** 2018 Lif Strand photo
Peaches nearly dry 2018 Lif Strand photo
Okay, I bet you’re a little confused. Sure, the flowers are pretty and wowza, look how those peaches have come along. But what’s so miraculous about that? Show me the magic!
That’s just it, my friend. My magic isn’t out there, it’s in here. It’s not about me changing the outside — your reality or the reality of the plants or critters or the environment — it’s about me changing me. Why should I change your reality or anything else’s, anyway? That’s for each of you to do for yourselves, if you will. What you do doesn’t change my reality.
And that’s the miracle for me, that I internalized what had previously been words, mere logic, present only in the conscious mind. I not only made the concept mine, I made it me. I changed my own reality.
I came to know that the magic is all around me because all around me is me. It’s all my choice, to love what I have. Or not. My choice.
The miracle is that these things in my life — the flowers, the peaches, the sunsets, everything in my life — they don’t just give me pleasure, they are my pleasure. They are not mine — separate from me — but rather are me.
You want magic? It turns out that to love what I have brings more of what I love. The magic is already there. The miracle is only in finally choosing it.
Proper expecting is not waiting for something in the future. It is the experiencing of the miracles around me right now that paves the way for more miracles to come. It is the understanding that the miracle is my choice.
Is it easy? No.
Do I stay in the miracle zone all the time? No.
Am I flippin’ crazy? Maybe yes, maybe no.
So what. I’m happy.
Here. Have a moon.
Moonrise on the cusp of Autumn 2018 Lif Strand photo
* The book is currently out of print but available for Kindle
** Also, far as I know there’s no such thing as fairy grass. But it looks like fairy grass to me.