People talk about magic. People ask for it, and seek it out. People fear it, and avoid those that may seem too uncomfortably magical. The greatness and fear both lay in the mystery of magic; of something being magical.
In the end, I think all any of us ever really want is to experience some magic; the magical shot that makes its way through the basket as the buzzer goes off, the magical moment on a beach, where even if briefly, there is clarity in our view, that once in a lifetime meeting with someone that sets life on a new course, or the moment that your child comes into the world.
There is mystery to greatness and to luck. There is mystery to gaining understanding and awareness. There is mystery to love and the unspoken and unseen that we feel in connection with our “other.” And there is certainly mystery to life, and the creation of new life.
Magic is mystery. And what an interesting twist that we are all seeking more mystery. It confuses us as much as it intrigues us, and we can’t get enough. And why would we want to, anyway?
We think we want to know, but what we want is more of the unknown. We want more moments that confirm the mysterious and magical in life.
The first time I met my wife in person, I’m confident it was magic. I’ve never had a single moment like it before or sense. When we met and hugged and I garnered the courage to look into her eyes; it was insanely mysterious. It was a feeling of something new and exciting, coupled with an odd sense of knowing. It was the most surreal moment of my life and I can’t really explain it. But, it’s part of the reason with all the ups and downs, and all the ways we are very different, that I know I’m home; we have magic.
The first time I saw child birth, when my sister gave birth to her first daughter, I was blown away. Obviously new life can do that to a person. Though cheesy, the truth is, I can’t really find words to encapsulate the feelings in those moments. The feeling was mind blowing in ways indescribable. It was an unreal meeting of the mind and the heart. The feelings were a bit uniquely mysterious actually; just more magic.
And believe it or not, when I held my grandma’s hand when she died, it too was mysterious. The feeling was mysterious. It was unlike any other I had previously experienced. She wasn’t the first person I lost, nor the last, but feeling her last heart beats and hearing her last breaths left me feeling a new curiosity towards life, and after life, and how fragile it all really can be. The magnitude of death and the force it has on all of us makes it a big magical in my eyes. Even if not in the magical ways we hope for, at times, there can be peace in death, and that peace is almost more magical than anything.
One of the highlights of my life was attending the 2006 ALCS clinching game 4 at Comerica Park. It’s the infamous and historical game in which Magglio Ordonez hit a 3-run Home Run in the bottom of the 9th inning to send the Detroit Tigers to the World Series. Yes, I was there. So was Sam. So were my Step Dad and my Uncle. So was my Brother-in-law. The season itself was chalked full of magical moments along the way; pitching gems, clutch hits, and epic walk-off victories. The series before saw the Tigers beat the New York Yankees, a feat no one saw coming. The days, hours, and moments leading up to Game 4 were intense. But, in the moment that Magglio’s bat connected with the ball, there was a sense of euphoria that erupted from the crowd. Without thinking or hesitation, I leaped onto the back of the chair in front of me and was literally jumping up and down on it, while tears streamed down my cheek. No joke! Strangers become family, in an instant. We hugged people in the stadium, and we hugged people on the street. We high fived everyone along the walk back to our car. And in the months that followed, I watched the clip of Magglio’s swing over and over. I still tear up when I see it or hear it. It was epic. It was glorious. And it was fucking magical in a way few things ever will be; unexpected shared pure joy. Nothing is better.
The magical moments are endless: From the first time I actually dropped a ski and made a go of slalom water skiing, to my first visit to the Grand Canyon, or my first Gay Pride Festival in Santa Barbara. The Grand Canyon gave me goose bumps like few places, and a powerful sense of “awe,” while my first Pride provided a feeling of comfortable belonging. All those experiences stick in my mind, and all have provided me with mysterious and overwhelming feelings of “one thing or another.” There is magic to feelings, as they are more mysterious than words ever could be.
Walking into the Big House, standing at the Pacific Ocean, witnessing a glorious sunrise or sunset; magic, magic, magic.
And the day I watched America select its African American President; that was magical. It’s not so much a political party magic here, as I know this is a partisan example. But, in my life, I must have said a hundred times “this country will never elect a Black president.” To live to see our country elect a President regardless of race was unbelievable. I felt magic on that election night as my wife and I cheered in our living room, and fireworks went off in our neighborhood. I actually cried. And not because I loved Barack Obama, but rather, out of a deep sense of amazement of what I witnessed. Whether it lasted a day, a month, or a year, there was magic in that election night. It was historic. It was moving. It was a supernatural force of epic change. Maybe not change in the policies people of any party want, but change in the quilt of our American story.
A country, a community, a marriage, a family; all need a little magic. It happens every day and on every corner. Hopefully we are aware enough to notice, and open enough to conjure a bit more.