…and Happy New Year! Welcome to The Magic Memories (53), unexpectedly gone online on January 2nd, 2022, at precisely 0:07 hours.
Too much has been said already by too many on what we already know, briefly: These are hard times, and nobody has a clue what’s going to come.
As a constructive sceptic I would therefore say that what all of us can do, who have no power to make decisions at global level, is to keep doing what we do as best as we can and share it with others: Do the right things, and do them right, a good motto.
This reminds me of a quote of mine I put in Secret Agenda, and which I stole from a famous musician, but I changed one word: “Magic cannot change the world, only people can. But magic can change people.” I keep reading in books and articles, and hearing in interviews, that the purpose of magic is to entertain and to take people’s mind off the daily struggles. But if magic is to be an art, as so many would like it to be, then it has to be more than that. Definitely, good art does “entertaining” in the sense that it speaks to the mind and the heart in an aesthetic way. Nonetheless, mere “entertainment” is not art’s main purpose. Magic, or any other art form for that matter, is not supposed to “mis-direct” from life, but to offer an alternative view of life, to “direct” or “re-direct” to keep the analogy. Let this be my “New Year Message” that I humbly offer for you to further think about, if you like. For the big question is: What has magic to offer in this respect? Well, you could, for a start, read or reread what I wrote in my essay “The Benefits of Practicing Magic” – CLICK HERE to read the PDF. I promise it will trigger more thoughts that will lead to answers to this fundamental question.
The Magic Memories is Living on in 2022
As you will have guessed from my last post, I have decided to continue this little non-profit project. I thank all those of you who have written in to say that they cannot live without it (I’m paraphrasing this from memory…).
Although it takes quite a bit of time, the “situation” is such that I won’t be traveling and performing in the months to come, therefore I might as well devote some time to what I also enjoy doing very much: Read, think and practice, and then share with those who have a similar taste as I have. When, after High School, I started my studies of linguistics and literature at the University of Basel, it was with the intention of becoming a High Scholl teacher (maybe a professor at College later?). Fortunately, in the 5th semester it dawned upon me that it might not be what I expected. To tip the scales was a seminar offered by one Professor Stamm, considered the major expert on Shakespeare in Switzerland, titled (from memory): “The origin of village names in South-West England in pre-Shakespearian time”. Then and there I decided that this was too far away from real life, and that this might be a reason why teaching is such a hard job.
Later, when I started to do lectures and write books, I realized that I had become a teacher in spite of all; seems as if I could not escape my destiny. If I don’t get any serious protests, I will from time to time tell you a few events and stories from my magical life; in hindsight a lot of them are quite amusing.
PDF of The Magic Memories
Please consider the linked PDF as this week’s contribution: I’ve sat for several days over it and compiled all the contents of the 52 posts, plus a few comments of mine for each item. There are three reasons it took me so long:
First, I am a slow typer, over here we call the system I use “The Eleven Finger System”: ten fingers search, one types. I vividly remember when Bill Kalush visited with me, and we sat at my computer to do some research. When he saw me type, he stared at me, and after recovering from the surprise, he said in disbelief, “And that’s how you wrote all your books?”
Second, I stopped at most posts to reread them, and thanks to my terrible memory, I was so pleased to find some excellent ideas, which I immediately made notes of (many of the ideas in the posts came to me shortly before or even as I was writing, and I had missed putting them in my notebook).
Third, it was a lot of work, but I already complained about this, didn’t I 🙂
I hope the PDF will make it easy for you to go back to some of the posts, and if you find an idea you like, do as I did: Open a note in your paper or electronic notebook, copy and paste it, and add a few of your own insights.
To see and download the PDF CLICK HERE.
Thanks to Barbara
Last but by no means least, as the saying goes, I would like to thank my wife Barbara who has provided most of the graphic material for these posts, including, of course, the headers with the little pictorial hints to topical subjects. Some of the graphics, though, are entirely my responsibility. The difference is easy to recognize: If it is well-done, sharp, original and looks professional, then it is Barbara’s work, all other is mine…
Wish you good luck for the first week of the New Year!