“An acute awareness that more is going on around us than we realized, but that we are actively involved in it all, and that our desire is a crucial factor.”
“Restoration of our sense of connectedness, lost since childhood, fosters a consciousness…and allows us to feel the stirrings of newly awakened powers within us, not unlike those of a magician.”
- Penelope Rosemont, Surrealist Experiences: 1001 Dawns, 221 Midnights
“Sometimes I pretended I had a magic carpet, and without bothering about tickets and money and farewells, I’d skyrocket away…across deserts and oceans and mountains…then suddenly come back home when the school bell rang for recess.”
- Richard Halliburton’s Complete Book of Marvels
Conversation with Tony over breakfast:
“Remember that guy last night at the coffee shop that was wearing a pink polo and stretchy pants and doing the splits?”
“I wish I could forget.”
“I’m so glad it happened, so I have something to make me laugh this morning. The world needs more people being outrageously themselves.”
“Something like that.”
I witness strange and unusual events quite often.
Take for instance yesterday when a white Great Dane named Samson, the size of a small pony, ran clumsily through the dog park, my four kids trailing after him, trying, but failing to catch him.
Take for instance the two neighborhood kids who ride with us to school, and to whom I playfully gave new middle names only to find out the one boy has forgotten his real middle name and the other boy used to have three middle names and then had a name change and now only has one, which is of Nigerian descent.
Take for instance the bees buzzing around an overflowing trashcan at a bike race, and the man that politely offered to take my trash and stuff his own vulnerable fist into the humming threat of stingers on my behalf.
Take for instance the priest who explained to me what it means to genuflect.
Take for instance these self-portraits I came across of Deb, that delight me down to my toes.
Take for instance the man at the post office whose phone was “hidden” in the drawer under the counter and who was texting on it every time he threw my envelopes on the scale.
And that was all just in the last week!
Now perhaps it is just coincidence that these strange, unusual and spontaneous events find me. These events that make me laugh or bring some new layer of freshness to my day, as if applying a photo filter to reality that results in some gritty saturated lines of poetry.
And I will say it’s often true that my newly uprooted “wow” is lost in translation if I attempt to hand off the temporarily glowing orb to another.
But I like to think I really am a magnet for these sorts of things.
Some people are chaos magnets. Some people are tragedy magnets. Some people are trouble magnets. Some people are good luck magnets.
I am a magnet for the strange and unusual. The odd and obscure. The messy and mundanely miraculous. It’s a sort of tunnel vision that sucks me through a portal like that time I climbed through the two-sided fireplace in my in-laws home, not thinking about the soot I might accumulate or the foolish appearance I might display.
My initial reaction to these sort of oddities is laughter, but there is something deeper and richer going on here that makes me stop mid-laugh and welcome in a big juicy inhale of hope. If things can be different than the norm, then I want to be the Wonder Aficionado. I want to be the rider in that chariot of wind, my mermaid trident in one hand, my magic wand in the other, begging the world to crack and break open for one more moment of flirtatious exposure to the core of possibility, wildness and marvels. I want to believe I play a part in the Propulsion of All Things Quirky. Maybe it is my newest form of religion, a way of dumping my spiritualness into all this earthliness like Janae speaks of. I only know I want it to continue and because of that, I know it will.