Look closely–or not. Can you see me now?


I’m not really a fan of magic shows. I don’t like magic because magicians never reveal their secrets. I don’t like sleight of hand. I don’t like tricks. I don’t like audience manipulation.

Too much of what goes on in real life is deception that happens right under our noses, especially with the entertainment industry and media outlets. We’re fed what they want us to digest. We see what they want us to see.

Okay, maybeee I’m a major conspiracy theorist. Maybe I believe there is more than what meets the eye. Maybe I believe there are cover-ups. Maybe people will do whatever it takes to maintain power. It’s all about power. Maybe I’m just jaded. Maybe.

It’s not that I don’t like intrigue. I’m a big fan of mysteries. I love a good mystery—as long as the writer leaves us clues and allows us to figure out what’s really happening. What I don’t like is the mystery that leaves me hanging, the one that has no end, no solution, no plausible plot, no purpose.

Those mysteries make my head hurt. There’s nothing so disappointing than to invest trust and time into an author’s work to find out he or she was merely throwing words on the page in some advant garde attempt to experiment with art. Heck, if it’s got no purpose, what am I doing reading it? Time is slipping, slipping, slipping into the future. There’s so little time left, we can’t afford to waste it.

Why am I all of a sudden so enthralled with magic? The answer is easy. I watched the movie Now You See Me, and it piqued my interest.

I almost didn’t watch it. As I said, I’m bored by theatrics. But I like Morgan Freeman, so much so that I traveled to Clarksdale, Mississippi, to visit his blues club Ground Zero. Now there’s a story.

I prefer real magic, like what a person feels when standing on a cliff overlooking the Badlands in South Dakota or when standing on the edge of the real Walden’s Pond–as opposed to the lack of feeling that comes with staring at a photo of Walden’s Pond in a 20-year old text book.

I like the magic of “What if …?”

Not “the manipulation of “I know the facts, Jack, but you aren’t privy to it.”

The movie Now You See Me tells the story a group of mentalists or magicians who metaphorically sell their souls to be pawns, mules, slaves, or whatever you prefer to call them, to a discreet organization that uses many but welcomes few.

These magicians will never be part of the inner workings, so why would they want to be used?

Most of us are already controlled. We’re marks. Why would we willingly surrender what freedom we have  so that we can be closer to the source of deception?

The news is controlled by a few conglomerates. Education is controlled by Pearson. The entertainment industry is controlled by…well, by those of whom we do not speak. And how does this control happen?

By manipulation? Yes. By magick? Yes, at least, I think so. And by our own flaws. What would we give up to be accepted, or to appear that we are accepted?

Envy. We’re controlled by envy. We’re prone to either envying others or wishing others would envy us. We are our own worst enemies.

I say, “Let it go, already.” It’s time to walk away.

With my favorite holiday, St. Patrick’s Day, right around the corner, I’ve been thinking about magic quite a bit. I still get excited when I see rainbows, and I really think there is something wonderful, something magical, at the end.

And there we go again. That word magic.

Maybe, even at my ripe old age, I’m still too childlike and naïve.  I believe in a different type of magic. I can’t give up believing in serendipity. There’s something truly magical about serendipity.

But there’s one thing I’ve learned about serendipity–you can’t make it happen.

I know. I’ve tried.

I’ve set out on a Saturday looking for something wonderful to spontaneously happen, only to go back home empty and disappointed. Serendipity really is an accidental good fortune–which is the opposite of what illusionists create, i.e. the illusion of something wonderful.

Slight of hand. Calculated manipulation. Lies. Plain and simple, just lies.

I despise lies.

I’ve read several reviews about Now You See Me. Many reviewers blast the flaws of the plot–or the lack there of.

What I can’t figure out is if the purpose of the movie is to make a commentary about the obvious “controlled” media industry, or if it is showing us something in front of our faces that we can’t see. If so, what is it?

The main character tells us, “The closer you think you are, the less you’ll actually see.”

Our arrogance makes us think we’re smarter than the average bear, and, thus, the more arrogance we possess, the more prone we are to manipulation.

Then again, sometimes when we want to see something, our minds make it happen. Our minds create closure. In some ways, maybe, we don’t need other people to deceive us. We deceive ourselves.

I would make a horrible mentalist–though I know I’m way too susceptible to hypnosis. That’s why I’ll never do it.

I like the facts on the table. That’s why I would never make it as an illusionist, an allusionist, maybe. You know, being an English teacher, I make all sorts of references to Thoreau, Emerson, Poe, Hawthorne, etc.

What’s wrong with being simple? I’m not a mentalistic, magical, or magickal. But I do like me some serendipity.

What’s the difference between magic/magick and serendipity? Magic(k) requires control, holding on. Serendipity requires submission, letting go. Control verses acceptance. One leads path leads to stress, greed, and power lust. The other path leads to inner peace, tranquility, and joy.

So in keeping with the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day and the luck of the Irish, I wish you all good fortune. May your paths cross with serendipity, and may you never give up in believing in the “what if” at the end of the rainbow.


9 thoughts on “Look closely–or not. Can you see me now?

  1. Aye, my dear twinlet friend, I wish for you …

    I wish you joy, I wish you love, I wish you mercy from God above.
    I wish you sunshine, I wish you rain, I wish you never to have a clogged drain.
    I wish you laughter, I wish you hugs, I wish you never to have bed bugs.
    I wish you peace along your way, I wish you a happy St. Patrick’s Day! 😀

    It irritates me as well that magicians do not reveal their tricks. Then again, if they did, they’d be out of business. Books are all together another issue. If an author leads me down a path, there darn well better be something at the end – even if it’s a chain saw wielding maniac. I watched LOST for 6 years, and even bought all the DVD’s — there’s 6 years of my life I’ll never get back!

    Conspiracy theory, control, manipulation.. Sadly, ’tis a way of life. They should add those to the list of coping mechanisms… I trust few.

    • And I probably trust fewer, and those I do trust–well, most of the time I’m betrayed. Most of the time, but not all. How can I be wiser than most and stupider than most at the same time? I probably just betray myself.

      Common sense? Now you see it. Now you don’t.

      I never watched LOST, so I don’t understand that particular of the lack of closure.

      Lack of closure I do understand. I must be OCD to the extreme because of what the lack of closure can do to me. I always want to know why, why, why.

      Maybe I’m just a simpleton. 🙂

      By the way, check out Brock Gill. Josh has worked with him a bit. I think you might find him very, very interesting.

      And thank you for the poem. As usual, I like it very much.

      • Aye, I can thoroughly relate to the wise/stupid thing. Sometimes I feel like I understand the mysteries of the universe, and then five minutes later I’m wondering WHY about something utterly meaningless. Perhaps ’tis a bit of naivety — wanting to believe that everyone is good and kind, but having lived too much of life to deny that evil holds equal ground.

        Common sense… I laugh. I have none. I can manipulate numbers and play with physics, but common sense eludes me.

        Trust trust tRuSt TRUST trUSt — many forms dost that word take. Perhaps the last is best; putting US in the middle. Trust yourself. Then again, perhaps I spread a wee bit of the Blarney…. 😀

  2. Hello! I recently read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, and I thought you would like it. She takes creative writing classes, I don’t want to give too much away, but it is so relatable and fun and it talks about fandom and like life on the internet, it is just overall enjoyable and I thought you might be interested 🙂

  3. Whether at a microscopic level or on a large scale, God’s creation inspires wonder. I’m thankful for moments like you mention: overlooking the Badlands, seeing a rainbow.

    People may deceive us, but He is Truth and “does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17)

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