26. Some Magic in the World

I found my favorite definition of a lawyer today. Lawyers are faeries because they can’t legally lie, but they trade in half-truths and misleading language, they’re obsessed with contracts, they’re required to follow the letter (but not the spirit) of the law, they’re really good at exploiting loopholes, they range range from semi-helpful to openly malevolent, and they do their main business at “courts”. I am ridiculously delighted to find out that I am a faerie-in-training.

One major thing I think the world is greatly missing out on is an element of magic. Children have such a way of seeing the world through different eyes, eyes that see magic everywhere they look. Once we grow into adulthood, I think most of us tend to lose this magical view. We don’t see magic around every corner, on every leaf of every tree, or in the skies. We generally don’t see magic in people’s daily jobs. Hence my absolute delight in finding out that lawyers are faeries.

I don’t think we necessarily have to lose our sense of magic completely. Many of us do, but personally I try to hang onto as much magic as I can. And I think there are definitely ways that we can incorporate a touch more magic in our daily lives.

I recently developed this theory that our personal forms of magic are those things that make us happy in our careers and our lives. In my theory, those things we pursue and are passionate about are the things we find magical, even if we don’t necessarily think about it in those terms. That magical quality is exactly why we pursue that passion.

Personally, I have two things in daily life that I find magical beyond belief. The first of these is getting to transform for a short time into some fairytale character while performing a ballet. The second thing in life I find beyond magical is the ocean: every swimming creature within its depths flies through the water, and the organisms at all levels are magical and alien and so incredibly different from any organisms in our terrestrial environment. When I started thinking about this theory, it didn’t surprise me at all to figure out that the two main prongs of my life consist of (1) ballet, and (2) law school in preparation for a career in ocean conservation. Those are the two things I find truly magical.

I’ve seen similar things happen with other people I know. My dad got his undergraduate degree in chemistry because he thought chemistry was like magic. He is definitely more of an alchemist. Ricardo loves philosophy because, to him, the questions of metaphysics – what is being, what is essence? – are magical. Generally, when I see passion in an individual for something, that passion is so inspiring and you can tell, at least to a small degree, how that individual views that thing. I think we can all learn from others’ passions and ways of seeing the world. By doing so, it adds little sparks of magic to our own world that maybe we didn’t get to see before.

I don’t want to devalue the magic of the little things in life, either. The first leaf to change color in autumn, the first sip of a particularly delicious tea, or the first page read of a new book are all equally magical in their own ways. Those little bits of magic should be given full credit for their places in our lives. And maybe if we start seeing those little bits of magic surrounding us and pair those with the bigger magics of our chosen passions, then maybe the world will be a little more magical.