Okay. I’ll start with a moment after my return. Alyssa and I were catching up one night, and Zac came up (naturally– we totally miss that kid). I was trying to describe him in as few words possible, and out came:
He’s a rapier wit with a Southern accent.
He’s a pocket Truman Capote!
We laughed and laughed because it’s true, and somehow accurate. But why ‘pocket’?* (He’s taller than TC was, eg.) We put it down to the fact he’s available. Alive, if you please. Told Zac, and he laughed and said “I’ll take it!”
That’s a bit of magic. Mundane, day-to-day moments where we laugh, feel some joy— share it and it reverberates. Increased joy. As they say, a candle loses nothing in lighting another candle. Knowing people well; knowing limits, perversions of humor. We routinely call each another ‘old bats’ and worse. It’s pure affection. The best.
+ + +
My recent trip held a lot of little magic, even down to a well-timed (though I didn’t know it at the time) flat tire on my rental bike. Explored, got lost, got un-lost. Connected with friends I’d not seen in too long.
It was instructional, too, as traveling tends to be. (Why have I waited so long to travel abroad alone? I’ve done it routinely in the States, Canada.) Mind-opening and delightful. It puts you to tests, which are necessary and good. Challenges. But it also rewards if you are diligent.
I had no serious or large challenges; I was traveling in (mostly) familiar places. But always there are things that try to foil or upset when you’re out of your routine (habits and expectations— things that fetter).
And I’m grateful for the moments that test, even when they confuse, distort, or upset. It’s part of what’s best about traveling. Unexpected things, little hurdles that force you to connect with strangers and with the place you find yourself in. These moments help you learn How to Live, how to be Good at Living.
So much regular ol’ brilliant magic. It happens more readily when in transit, because you have to pay attention— to everything. I aim to do that every day; to pay attention.
I’ve really not explained anything here. The thesis is lost, this is all tangential. I started writing a list of other moments from the trip, but I’ve decided to keep it for myself (souvenir). You get the idea, though.
Any endeavor requiring any kind of map is an adventure. Life is an adventure.
Life is Magic.
*In fairness, since Z moved, he’s mostly just on our phones. That’s as likely an explanation for ‘pocket’ as any.
For PART THE FIRST, see here.