Hidden

Magic could be defined as a sort of knowledge. It’s knowledge that is unknown. Or not understood. Or unseen. Hidden.

It also has certain connotations, both good and bad, depending on what perspective you are coming from. I’m a writer, and a Christian. As a human I find the concept of magic to be be morally neutral. It’s just is an aspect of existence in our universe. You can’t see it, or measure it, or prove it, but it’s real. However, I also believe that certain expressions and manifestations of it in this world ought to be treated with caution, and even avoided. Maybe when you see it the way I see it you’ll understand why.

A nightmare I had last night is a good illustration of this concept. At the time I woke, I had some nausea and was frightened. I recorded it immediately. This is what I wrote:

General folk wisdom recommends that you don’t draw faces, especially certain faces. If you do, it conjures evil spirits. Everyone knew this in my dreamworld. I didn’t.

There were rules too. Certain things you could not talk about. Or think.

Mother breaks one of these rules. I try to warn her, but it’s too late. A mysterious stranger appears.

A conflict ensues. She is knocked unconscious.

I must fight off the stranger alone. I manage to elude him. I hide.

The rule is: I must not think about my hiding place, or I will no longer remain hidden.

The trouble with magic is that even when you don’t know the rules, they still affect you. Life is all about these hidden rules. Some are called science. Others are called morality. True magic is not created by humans. It is discovered. Harnessed.

Gravity is a hidden rule. So is falling in love. And also unconditional love.

Just as ignorance of the rules cannot save you, knowledge of them is no guarantee of safety either.

Drowning

This morning I had a dream. More like a nightmare. I was drifting in the middle of the open ocean, clinging to a small, black inner tube.

It looked like a scene from the movie The Perfect Storm, except there was no storm. The waves were like tall buildings surrounding me because that’s just how big waves look when you’re Way Out There.

I wondered which would happen first–drowning, or sharks. I didn’t see any sharks, but I knew they were there somewhere. Each time a wave towered over me, I would brace myself, suck air into my lungs and hope for the best.

I think this dream signifies how I feel about my life right now, especially as it relates to goals and habits. I had spent the prior evening making lists and planning for the upcoming year.

I’m a planner. I like to know where I’m headed, and how I’m going to get there. I’ve always liked creating to-do lists and working on goals and habits. Up until now, however, I’ve had difficulty with fully achieving my goals and developing strong, consistent habits. Every year I’ve run into resistance and ended up either compromising what I planned or abandoning it altogether. You might say that when it comes to goals and habits I’ve been kind of landlocked.

At the end of 2016, I got divorced. I launched myself into The Great Big Ocean of Life, with the vague hope of reaching an unknown, far, idyllic shore. I began 2017 choking and coughing up saltwater, and I am now ending it holding on tight, but drifting and mostly directionless. I will begin 2018 with a new home. I’ve never lived on my own before, and I know I have quite a lot of planning to do.