What if I told you that magic and ghosts really do exist?
Son. Daughter. You can change the world!
I remember my first Halloween. I don‘t know where I got the idea from. I just knew Halloween existed and there was candy and fun. I have vague, in the fog, kind of memories of my parents asking me what kind of costume I wanted. I said Casper. You know the friendly ghost. It was a cartoon I was watching at the time.
I also believed in ghosts at the time. I mean people talked about ghosts. There were ghosts on TV. My child-like logic just assumed they were real; I just hadn‘t experienced them. I mean I liked Casper. He was friendly like me. But, I was not sure I really wanted to experience a ghost. It was supposed to be frightening and I didn‘t particularly like to feel frightened at that age. So, I was quite relieved I hadn‘t met any…yet.
Nonetheless, my parents took me to a store and I bought a Casper the friendly ghost costume. My mom was kind of into arts and crafts but maybe she didn‘t have the energy to teach me how to make a costume. Anyway, I wanted to be Casper. This was just the way to do it.
So, I learned my lines: Trick or treat. It was my first magic spell. Say three words and candy just appears. It is kind of like the tooth fairy or Christmas. It is all magical. Candy. Money. Presents. You just have to invoke the right incarnation and they appear.
I don‘t know what my favorite holiday was when I was so young. It was probably my birthday. I remember having these thoughts like it is a celebration of being born – of being alive – and what could be more important than that? I know self-centeredness. But, isn‘t existence the cornerstone of everything?
But, today, my favorite holiday is Halloween. You know why? Because no one tells anyone to celebrate it. It is so-cool that way! Think about it! The state tells you this is the birthday of the state, some kind of independence day, and we have a holiday and people celebrate it. Or a church tells you this is the birthday of God and it is a holiday and we should celebrate it. And, that is the way most holidays are. Governments and churches tells us what to do and we do them.
But not Halloween. It is different. No government or church tells anyone to celebrate Halloween. If anything, governments and churches tells us NOT to celebrate Halloween. And, some of us at least still do, no matter how dangerous governments and churches tell us it is.
And, that is a fascinating thing. Why do we do it? How did it start? There are explanations but those aren‘t so important right now – just that we the people choose or don‘t choose to celebrate Halloween. And, that year after year, for decades, and possibly centuries, people have immitated and created these rituals and spells because we wanted to.
Do you ever think why we have holidays? What ancestor of ur shared humanity announced to the others: Hi others! Today is a holiday. We aren‘t going to work. We are going to celebrate and have a good time. Hope you don‘t mind. Give it a try.
And, maybe it was fun. So, people decided to do it again next year. Some created institutions to make sure the holiday was enforced. But, others just continued because people wanted to.
Maybe these days, it is Earth Day or Burning Man or the demised Rainbow Gatherings or all the music festivals that try to immitate the Woodstock phenonmena. People do something. Say it is good. And, try to recreate it and immitate year after year or whatever period of time seems appropraite.
And, this is why: Son. Daughter. I know you are going to change the world.
You can‘t help but do so. For every choice you make, changes it. Some will be good and some will be bad and don‘t expect me (or anyone else) to know which is what. But, change will occur.
It is part of our primate legacy. We immitate. But, we also learn from the immitation. Some things we like and some things we don‘t. Is there anything more human than making choices?
I remember my father asking me do you ever hear your child say something that sounds earily like your own words? Yeah. Everything you do, your kids learn from.
Today is my sons‘ (twins) birthday. We are making a big deal out of it. We went out and bought some cheap decorations: such as a happy birthday table cloth, a happy birthday table center piece, a happy birthday string of letters for the wall. My sons really wanted this spicy chicken burger that we normally don‘t buy them because of the cost but it being a special occasion, we splurged.
And, I had a vision of the future. I am sure this someday will happen. I am pretty sure my premonition will come true. My sons will do this or something similar for their children some day.
It really is a kind of magic.
That what we do today will be immitated by those who come after us. And such traditions will last as long as they are deemed good. Some may last decades, even centries, such as Halloween. Others will disappear in the mists of history. Though they may live in the ghosts, the memories, the traits, that are past down gerneration after generation. It is a kind of karma, cause and effect, that what we put into the universe, will be found somewhere in the universe.
Give love to a spouse or a child, and that spouse and child will learn to give love like watering flowers produces healthy, beautiful flowers.
Have you ever suffered over an over-strict teacher or boss? Chances are they learned it from someone. They have some back story that explains it all. Some kind of social poison was put into the universe and the result was that teacher who wouldn‘t listen to you. That boss who felt justified to steal your ideas and deny your promotion. Even that publisher who just didn‘t get your story. It is all ritual magic, black and white.
I see it in my friend Damien, whose author‘s blog this is. He works so hard trying to put love out there. And, it can be hard when it is not returned. But, no one is perfect. We all have our good and bad days. Who knows when we fall under some evil spell?
He worked so hard to protect his son. And, he modeled this amazing behavior to him. And, his son followed and the result is one of the most amazing acts of magic I have seen. His son Dean has written this great story: The Spider Apocalypse. To me, it is an act of great love magic. The son seeing the father do something and so desperately wanting to do it, too. And, I think it was powerful magic because it was authentic. It wasn‘t an affected spell, so desperate to make a change; it was catching the natural fiber of the universe and letting nature takes its inevitable course. There is something Druidic in it all.
I‘ve seen something similar in my own children. When we moved from South Korea to New Jersey, just my sons and I, as my wife stayed in Korea for another year, I bought my sons an Ipad to share. I told them they could make youtube videos with it. I never expected anything. My sons were always closer to their mother. Maybe she is warmer and friendlier than me. Maybe it is just Freudian psychology and sons connect with their mother the way daughters connect with their father. And find conflict with the same sex parent. But, my sons just took off with it. Maybe it was the lack of other things to do in that time of adjustment. But, they spent hours producing videos and starting their own youtube channel, celebrating different landmarks: 10 subscribers, 50 subscribers, 100 subscribers, 1,000 subcribers, 2,000 subscribers, 3,000 subscribers…It was a kind of magic. You can start to see the future and I don‘t need a crystal ball.
Sometimes, I hear my voice, or my fears, or my passions in my children. All these memories. All these memories encased in amber. They are all ghosts. Our projections live on in so many ways if we open ourselves to what is going on.
The world is a strange place. We find so much that is inaccurate, such as the protrayal of magic and ghosts in media or by people. They latch onto the hyperbole, the unreal, the fantastic, and lose its true essense. I‘ve come to love the word paradox. The idea that something can and cannot be; is and not is; all at the same time. Magic and ghosts can be real and not real at the same time. It all depends on how we want to think about it. These paradoxes and contexts permeate our world. Believe it or not, we are all alive and dead at the same time.
There are many ways to change the world. Son. Daughter. There are many magic spells. There are ways of summoning ghosts. And, I know you are going to change the world. The only question is how. But, I will try to give you love and care. I will do my best to teach you. And, I know that if I do, you will pass it on. And, your children, my grandchildren will do as well. And so on and so on as long as we can until we can‘t. Because nothing is perfect. Everything comes to an end at some point. It is a beginning and end. It is Janus. It is just another paradox.
I wish to invoke a zero level cantrip with the power word: please! Please support Sconnie books by at least leaving a comment. Give some encouragement or a suggestion for improvement. It would be much appreciated. And, if a story intrigues you, and it is not too dear to you, support your local writer with a purchase. One more zero level cantrip for you: Thank you!
A.E. Pole is a great guy and an author as well. Check out his free online story The Wizard of Ounces at https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/41871/the-wizard-of-ounces
Or keep up with us for his debut novel, You Can’t Get Jack Out of This!
Thanks and have a wonderful week!