… on the gift of a talisman
June 27, 2014
I totally believe there is good in the world. Hence, one might believe I don’t have to wear this particular trinket all around with me every day.
Especially since it now sits next to my Disney World charm thingie, which we all know absolutely shows that there is good in the world.
The ‘Believe There is Good’ charm is brand new to me, and was sent to me by my friend Denise – who is often mistaken (not kidding) for Mary Poppins.
Mostly it is because she constantly dresses in Victorian garb, carries around an umbrella, and claims it helps her to fly. As an aside, this is rather embarrassing to her husband, Handsome-Dan. But he loves her so much that he just smiles and shrugs as she explains herself to bemused audiences everywhere.
Oh, also, she plays the clarinet (and rather well).
So, often, her ‘audience’ is made up of an entire orchestra hall, full of paying patrons who expected to see an awesome orchestra-y performance, but are often surprised to see Mary Poppins on stage.
Can you guess which part of that I made up?
She doesn’t play clarinet.
I don’t even know why we are talking about this anyway because I wanted to tell you about my new talisman.
Tal-is-man – according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary (which is why I divided up the words into syll-A-bles (emphasis mine)) is:
1. An object (such as a ring or stone) that is believed to have magic powers and to cause good things to happen to the person who has it.
2. Something producing apparently magical or miraculous effects.
My friend Denise is pretty magical.
Sure, she is wicked nice and optimistic and full of grace and all. So folks think that is why she is as magical as Mary Poppins. But I think this:
If you are a positive person – and I mean truly able to seek out (and find) the good in people and situations (and that includes, yes, finding anything good – including humor – in things that are not so great, or are irritating, or even that which makes you bat shit crazy)….
Well, I think there is magic there. And I think others can sense it. I really do.
And you can’t fake it.
Just deciding one day to run around and tell everyone that the world is magnificent and perfect and that all things will turn up roses, daffodils, lemon drops and gum drops (and the occasional unicorn) won’t do it. We will know you are faking.
And also we will want to stab you in your eyes with forks.
To get to the magic requires a decision – not just to engage the muscles on our faces and smile no matter what – but to be able to tap into peace and joy in and around both the best and worst of circumstances.
It is a faith.
Not one organized or orchestrated by humans as a religion, or one that can be handed down or mandated by parents to children.
It is a faith that every single one of us gets to decide upon on our own.
How will we view this world and our place in it?
Who will we be and what will we believe?
Not what will we do for work, or where will we live, or what adventures will we have…
Who will we really be?
As with all important stuff in life, getting there requires time.
You have to live it.
Sometimes for a very long time, before the magic happens.
Before it’s real.
And I think that, when you develop that magic, part of its power is that it rubs off on people here and there. And there is something pretty dang cool and real about bits of yourself rubbing off, bringing joy and good things to others.
There is something gross about it too, if you think of ‘bits’ in the physical, zombie way. But I digress (again).
I can’t help but think of the old Skin Horse in The Velveteen Rabbit:
“…It doesn’t happen all at once. You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out, and you get loose in the joints, and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except for people who don’t understand.”
It is often the folks who do break easily, who have sharp edges, and/or who have to be carefully kept who scoff at the idea of magical people.
They call them names, like ‘Pollyanna’ or ‘Idealist’ or ‘Dreamer’.
The idea irritates them.
It makes them uncomfortable.
And that’s okay.
They just don’t understand.
Sure, when it comes to me and my friend Denise, our hair is indeed a little rubbed off, and we actually are a little loose in the joints. But, like I said, getting here has taken a really long time.
And, like the clarinet that she might or might not play extremely well (I’m not telling), it requires ongoing practice – a care and feeding of the faith.
So I’m going to keep my new talisman – my new magical object – close to me. It arrived precisely on time (of course it did, as Denise is magic), to get me through some emotional stuff.
It will be my constant reminder that life is good.
And that magic exists.
Thanks for readin’.
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