Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium

Tonight Max and I had a movie date.  And something deep inside me was dying to see this movie.  I suggested it but Max initially poo-pooed the idea.  He was thinking more like Alvin and the Chipmunks.  I cringed thinking of spending over an hour listening to those voices, but was ready to acquiesce.  It was his choice. 

But then, as if by magic, he came upstairs and announced he had changed his mind.  I immediately looked up the show times and put on my boots.  It wasn’t playing in our neighborhood theater so we had to venture across town into the big city to the fancy fancy theater a half hour away.

We both agree it was worth every bit of effort to get there.  Max was riveted and exclaimed just minutes into it–“Mommy!  I was wrong.  This movie is AWESOME.”  We held hands at the sad parts and in the end I sat, full of hope and joy and belief with tears dripping off my cheeks. 

At the risk of sounding trite, this movie spoke straight to my heart.  It was a message in a bottle.  It vibrated at exactly the same frequency of my soul.  I loved this movie because I very much believe in the magical. 

Magical things happen every day but the question is whether we are openminded and openhearted enough to see them and appreciate them. 

Like last Monday.  I came into work, all mopey and depressed and uninspired.  And what did I find as I turned the corner and entered my office?  A beautiful Collings parlor guitar.  A colleague had gone on the road and had left it for me with a note asking me to take care of it while he was gone.  He had already given me permission to play it when I wanted to.  I almost didn’t.  But then,  I took it out and held it in my hands.  To be honest I felt a little bit woozy holding it.   I strummed a G, a C and then a G…the happiest chords on earth.

The guitar sounded like deep bells, Gregorian chants.  It was clear and rich and soulful.  It was a sound whose beauty made me shake.  I sat down and went through, by memory, the homework that Jeff had given me.  Everything I had struggled with for weeks on end sounded almost good, as though my hands were being guided by some unseen guitar god.  I picked up that guitar countless times this week and didn’t practice but played.  And with each perfectly blended chord I was able to see into the future, when I too would be able to effortlessly call forth music.  This week, lil’ Mr. Collings helped me turn a corner from guitar wanna-be to a guitar-mama-in-waiting.  It is a subtle but critical difference.  Playing that guitar, that beautiful guitar, helped me see the soulful rockin’ guitar playing diva was already inside me, the one who with patience and love and alot of joyful (if sloppy) playing would soon be birthed, perhaps sooner than I expect.    A favor for a friend can be a gateway into the sublime…Now that is what I call magic.

But to be honest, aside from the Miracle of the Guitar, I had forgotten about magic much of this week.  The hustle and bustle and stress of the pre-holiday had sucked much of my wonder-seeking spirit out of me.  I have been going through the motions alot, keeping my head down, my eyes narrowly focused, missing the wonder all around me.  We have had some small crises in our house this week, and dealing with them felt like anything but magic.  It felt like slogging it out.  It felt like shoveling crap.  It felt like just getting by.  It didn’t feel like flying…it felt like hangin’ on for dear life.

There were many moments in this movie that I will find myself quoting to myself.  However, this may be the one that sticks with me the most.  Mollie asks Mr. Magorium with anticipation and hope, “Are we going on an adventure??” He replies excitedly “We are already on one!” 

When life gets sloggy, I immediately forget that I am on an amazing journey.  I forget that every moment, no matter how mundane, holds in it the possibility of wonder.  The question is whether I can raise my eyes up from the shit to see it.

“Your life is an occasion.  Rise to it.”  Indeed I will, Mr. Magorium.  Thank you for reminding me.

4 Responses to “Magic”

  1. Jen Ballantyne Says:

    Beautiful! I will certainly be taking Jack to see this during the holidays, sounds wonderful. I am glad it gave you what you needed, was sad to hear that you’ve had a yuck week. I’ll be in touch soon, take care. Hugs Jen xx

  2. Jena Strong Says:

    Thank you for this – it kept the “magic” word in my consciousness all weekend, which I needed.

  3. Jena Strong Says:

    P.S. I linked to this post in my writing today – wanted to make sure you knew!

  4. Karen Says:

    And thank you, for reminding me. Not only is this an adventure, but apparently we’re all on the SAME ONE. I’ll be back for more fun every day.