Posts Tagged ‘magic

12
Aug
12

I Murdered the Tooth Fairy

I sit here now, glittery sparkling blood on my hands as I type. I can’t wash it off, any more than Lady Macbeth’s incessant hand washing could remove the memory of what horrors she had unleashed and sins she had committed. *Sigh* Where do I begin? I suppose with a simple fact. A simple statement.

This afternoon, I killed the Tooth Fairy.

Granted, I wasn’t trying to. I wanted to save her. I wanted to preserve her. But her death is now laid at my feet.

Such a sudden thing it was, too. I took my darling daughter, who just a couple weeks ago turned 7, to the children’s museum in Portland, Maine, so that our favorite grown woman (her mother, my wife) could have brunch with some people she had wanted to meet for a while. We had barely finished paying for admission and then walking to the first room in the museum when Little Girl Blue said, calmly and without preamble, “Daddy, is the Tooth Fairy real, or do you and Mommy put the money under my pillow? Please be totally honest.”

In that moment, I realized I had been asked a question only slightly less distressing to parents than “What is sex?” or “Can I get a belly button piercing?” I did not pause, but simply led her to a small bench somewhat away from the other kids, sat down with her, and asked, “Do you really want to know?”

“Yeah.”

“You’re sure you want to ask this question, even though the answer may change things in your life?”

“Yes. Please be honest.”

Twice now she had stressed honesty, and so there was no other path. Before, when a Kindergartner in her first year of school had told her the Tooth Fairy wasn’t real, Mrs. Blue simply asked, “What do you believe? What do you want to think? That’s all that matters.” My wife’s words (and clever ploy) were enough then, and they were true words, and Little Girl Blue continued to believe. Now, though, she was pressing me to be honest. I’m not sure why I drew this short straw, but I don’t think it would have been any different had my wife been the one with her at that moment; Little Girl Blue knows we’ll speak truth when asked, and most other times as well.

“Well, Honey, before I answer your question, let me ask you this: If it turns out Mommy and Daddy are the ones giving you the money, and I confirm that, do you think that there will still be money under your pillow in the future?” She was still young enough not to realize that I had essentially admitted the Tooth Fairy wasn’t real, but I was banking on that childish naivete so that she could still have an out if she wanted it.

She muddled over that for a few moments, then said, “Yes! …um, maybe not. I guess no. But I want to know.”

“I’m going to ask you one more time: Are you sure?” I queried, quietly but intently. “Sometimes, getting an honest answer to things changes things in ways you might not like. Do you still want me to answer?”

“Yes. I do.”

I put my arm around her and leaned in close, and said in almost a whisper, “No, Honey. The Tooth Fairy isn’t real. That’s Mommy and Daddy.”

“OK, Daddy,” she said after a short pause to let that sink in. “Thanks for telling me.”

“You’re welcome,” I said, and then played my last card to let magic be in her world a bit longer. “Frankly, I don’t know if any fairies are assigned any tooth-related duties. And they sure wouldn’t be carrying human money around, now would they?”

“No, they wouldn’t. I still believe in fairies, Daddy. Just not the Tooth Fairy.”

“That’s good, Honey. There are all kinds of strange and wonderful things in the world, even if they haven’t been proven they exist and even if we’ve never seen them.” Then I lowered my voice even more, and looked at the other kids in the room in a way that she couldn’t help but notice. “Don’t tell other kids, honey. Kids have told you the Tooth Fairy isn’t real, when you would have figured it out yourself someday. And you found out earlier than you probably needed to. But don’t ruin it for another kid. Let them ask the question when they’re ready to ask their parents. Some parents and kids don’t think about that; some purposely want to end that belief for other people because they think it’s stupid. So please don’t do it to anyone.”

“I won’t, Daddy.”

I thought I was done until later in our children’s museum visit, when we were sitting down to a snack and she asked, “Are there any other magical things in my life that you and Mommy have told me about that aren’t real?”

Shit. So soon? The dominoes all ready to fall, all at once, on the same day?

“Do you have a specific question?”

“Are any other magical things in my life that aren’t real?”

“No, do you have a question about some specific thing?”

“I can’t think of one right now. But are there any other things?”

I paused only a moment, torn about what I should do, and then said, “I’m not going to answer that question. It’s too broad. Honey, we’ve had to tell you about horrible things sometimes, like people who hurt kids and people who kill people for no good reason. We’ve had to let you know about some bad things in life, and I think you should have as much magic as you can in life. For as long as you can. If you have a question about a specific thing, you can ask Mommy or me about it, and we’ll be truthful. But I won’t answer the question you just asked. But you can ask the questions about each thing as you want to. When you want to.”

“OK, Daddy. Thank you for being honest.”

And so, Santa Claus, the Birthday Fairy (Akimahs), the Leprechaun and the Easter Bunny have a reprieve. Not sure how long, but for a little while, at least.

It may seem weird, but I do feel guilty about the Tooth Fairy’s demise. My honesty killed her, and no matter how much that honesty was needed then, I still feel bad. That bit of magic is fun for the parents and the kids. The loss of that magic is a sign of my daughter’s maturity, and that’s a good thing; it warms my heart. But at the same time, it’s bittersweet. It makes me mourn for her childhood already, knowing that it is fast receding the closer she gets to tween and teen years.

But she still believes in fairies; that’s good. Mrs. Blue does, too, more or less. And we all believe in angels, because we’ve known at times when they’ve moved in our lives. So, it’s not all bad.

But Santa, Leprechaun, Easter Bunny and Akimahs: Draw up your wills and settle any unfinished business now.

You may not be long for Little Girl Blue’s world.

16
Sep
08

Two-fer Tuesday: Sorcery by Deacon Blue

I don’t believe in the ability of a rabbit’s severed limb to increase my good fortune. Nor a horseshoe. I will quite happily walk under a ladder, as long as it isn’t a rickety one with someone on it. I don’t believe in monsters in my closet or vampires and werewolves camping out near my window at night just waiting for me to leave it open just a little too wide.

This is the 21st century after all. And I didn’t hold truck with such things in the 20th century either.

But still…

I’m not exactly willing to be so arrogantly cocky as to say that things like magic, possession, hauntings and the like are pure superstitious nonsense. I’m sure some people will say, “Of course, not Deacon, you already believe in a 2,000-year-old superstition called Christianity, which was based on a previous superstition called Judaism that started six or seven thousand years ago.”

But I digress.

It’s easy to say that something like sorcery just doesn’t exist. But science hasn’t locked down all the mysteries of the universe. Because I do operate from a position that there is an unseen God at work and a nasty piece of work named Satan working against him, I already believe that there are entities engaged in activities either outside the realm of physics or at such a high level of physics that it’s something we can only comprehend as “magic.”

I don’t think that sorcery per se is usually real. I think it’s something that is pretty rare and not something dramatic like in the movies or in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” on TV. But I’m not willing to dismiss it, and I think there are people who are able to draw resources from wells that they shouldn’t be.

I try to remember the biblical precepts that tell us not to dabble in sorcery. I take that advice in the same vein I took a lot of my mom’s rules. There were some things I was willing to break rule-wise and other things I didn’t see the profit in. For example, I might grab myself a cookie when I shouldn’t or go play someplace dangerous but cool that I was barred from. But I didn’t play with matches and I didn’t take up bad habits like smoking. Because, frankly, the rules I followed to the letter all the time every time were things that didn’t strike me as fun to begin with. I didn’t see the appeal, for example, in possibly burning myself or burning down my home just to see a flame up close. The cookies had value to me, though.

I don’t see any attraction in palm readings, Ouija boards, seances or casting spells. That makes it easy for me to obey that biblical rule because I don’t see the profit in it. It doesn’t appeal to me to begin with, and I’m supposed to avoid it. Done deal. But there are other people who would see the allure or fun in such things and they risk being drawn into areas they shouldn’t, not unlike a husband who starts flirting with a co-worker and after weeks or months suddenly realizes he’s having an affair that he doesn’t much want to stop having.

Many of you will say, “OK, fair enough. You avoid it just in case. Still silly to believe in it to begin with.” Maybe. Maybe not.

I had a good friend in grad school who once told us of an experience he had in an apartment he lived in where items would go missing, and then turn up someplace else entirely. He started keeping track of items religiously to make sure it wasn’t something he was doing. Still kept happening, typically with the same items. Finally, one day, he said to the open air, “OK, I get it. You’re here. You want to be acknowledged. Whoever you are. I’ll give you some recognition and acknowledgement, and you stop taking my stuff.” He never had a problem again.

And before you tell me he was just telling us a story that he made up, this is a guy I trusted; someone who never showed anything but honesty. He was personable, popular and respected. He had a truckload of funny and entertaining anecdotes about his family and growing up in a little New Hampshire town. Am I supposed to believe that he felt the need to make up a ghost story on top of all that because that would give him some extra edge?  It’s possible, but oh so unlikely.

In my own experience, I have almost never had any signs, visions, visitations, psychic events or anything else. Whatever I have experienced has been so vanishingly infrequent or so minor it doesn’t bear mentioning. Except one thing. A few years back, my wife needed some essential oils for some aromatherapy stuff she was doing, and we went to “New Age” kind of shop in the city. I’ve been to a lot of alternative spirituality, New Age, Wiccan and other similar types of stores in my life. I actually like the places. They’re usually interesting, they have some cool stuff and there are some good books I can pick up to learn more about other belief systems.

But not this place.

My wife admitted later she felt a little weird too, but I felt more than weird in that place. I had an overwhelming sense of evil. That something had happened or regularly happened there that didn’t bear mentioning. Something spiritually wrong with the whole place. From the point at which I entered the door, all my internal alarm systems were going off. No, I didn’t fear that a demon would pop out from behind a bookcase or that I would be possessed or that the walls would begin to bleed and a hole open up beneath my feet to drop me into hell.

But all the same, what I felt was awful. A sense that I wasn’t welcome and didn’t belong. A sense that something wished it could hurt me. I don’t know what, if anything, that the shop owner dabbled in, but I never set foot in that store again and although he’s moved locations a couple times, I will not set foot in any of his other shops either.

(Come to think of it, my wife and I get a pretty funky feeling if we stay too long in the Wal-Mart. I wonder if the Walton family is using dark sorcery to keep its empire together. Hey, just throwing out theories. These are Sam Walton’s uber-greedy heartless kin, after all.)

In the end, I have to believe that forces exist that I don’t understand. The universe is a huge place and the workings of it are beyond the ability of the greatest minds on this planet to unravel. No matter how much science advances, or even spirituality for that matter, we will not know all the answers down here. I think that it is dangerous for any of us to assume an air of intellectual superiority that sorcery and the like are pure hogwash. Take a healthy grain of salt and be dubious, certainly. But don’t dismiss. It’s the purview of adolescents  and GOP presidential/vice presidential candidates for the past several election cycles to be arrogant, shallow know-it-alls.

If you feel comfortable staying just in the realm of the provable and rational, I’m not going to argue with you. But just be careful about assuming that just because you don’t believe in it, that means it doesn’t exist.

16
Sep
08

Two-fer Tuesday: Sorcery by Miz Pink

Okay I know the bible says “thou shall not suffer a witch to live” but would you please put down the wiccan. Please. “Thou shall not kill, too, remember.” “Judge not unless you want to be judged.”

Whew!

Oh hey! Just defused a nasty hostage situation. Dontcha hate it when you see an overzealous Christian dangling a pagan out a 10th story window?

I joke and truth is it doesn’t happen often, but it does seem to me that many Chrisitians I run into have a pretty unreasonable fear of witchcraft.

Myself, I figure if it does exist, I have God and the Holy Spirit to keep me safe.

yet folks go on about how they won’t let their kids participate in Halloween because its an evil pagan holiday and it’s the devil’s night and yadda yadda yadda…

They worry if their kids make friends with people who look “goth” or have too many piercings or happen to wear a pentagram around their neck.

Fact is, the only thing you should be worried about is raising your kids right and in the love of Jesus. Be warm, be nurturing and be honest, and chances are they’ll be all right. Frankly I like having friends outside of my Christian circles. Keeps things from getting too boring, gives me wider looks at the worldviews and maybe gives me a chance to help guide someone to Christ accidentally.

But parents, worry less about your kids being co-opted by the dark side. There aren’t too many wiccans or pagans out there who want to do harm, and I’m not sure there are many (if any) left who are really all that interested in possessing your kids’ souls or sacrificing a local virgin or baby. Your kids are in about the same level of “danger” from a wiccan as they are from a Mormon or Jehovah’s Witness missionary or a Buddhist monk. Keep showing your kids through positive actions why they should emulate your faith in God and Jesus and you shouldn’t have much to concern yerself with.

(Incidentally, the “don’t suffer a witch to live” stuff is probably a mistranslation of not suffering a “poisoner” to live or som such thing)

05
Jun
08

Books are good by Miz Pink

My older sis was a true tomboy when we were growing up. She’s found her softer frillier side more and more in adulthood but she’s still more comfy in a T-shirt and jeans and drinking  a beer than she is in skirts and sipping a glass of white zinfindel. My sis was also a “nerd”. She wasn’t the play basketball or football with the guys kind of tomboy. So, she played Dungeons & Dragons with the other geeks, since she didn’t really share the interests of most of the girl geeks, and she read through fantasy and science fiction novels with the same totally focused attention my little brother has long given to TV episodes and DVD collections of Star Trek, BattleStar Galactica, Babylon Five, Smallville and whatever else.

Since my brother came along, my folks have spent less time worrying about the evils of fantasy and swords & sorcery stuff an all that…maybe because my sister goes to a nice conservative Baptist church, volunteers in the Sunday School and is married to a teatotalling accountant who, to the best of my recollection, I have never hear utter a single swear word. But my sister got it bad from mom and pop. Oh so many times I heard some gasp as mom went into my sister’s backpack and came out with a copy of Lord of the Rings or something like that. “These are the devil’s books!” was a typically result of such discoveries and if my sister didn’t hide her books well she ended up having to replace them. Frankly, how she found the time to play the Dungeons & Dragons kind of games with her friends (those things tooks hours upon hours upon endless hours…she made me sit through a couple of them) without our mother and father catching on is beyond me.

I remember during my childhood that a lot of parents were worried about their kids playing Dungeons & Dragons and turning into Satan-worshipping baby sacrificing sexually loose drug using miscreants. As it was, my older sis never touched drugs at all and didn’t touch booze until college. I on the other hand, played sports and read biographies and came home high more often than not for a while there. And now I keep seeing emails circulating about how kids who read Harry Potter books are putting their souls in peril and how parents shouldn’t let them anywehre near the stuff.

My son’s a Harry Potter fan and thank God for it. I never went for fiction much but I think reading is so important and I cringe when I visit someone’s house and don’t see any books on the bookshelves. To me, books are more important than almost anything else in the world aside from God & Jesus. But within certain limits I’m not going to choose the subject matter for my kids.

It’s up to us parental units to raise our kids right and to try to keep them away from the most nasty stuff. I certainly don’t want my kids doing drugs and I don’t want my boy hoarding copies of Hustler and Juggs or reading some tawrdy X-rated novel about Victorian bodice-ripping orgy lust…at least not until he’s actually got a firm handle on how women are supposed to be treated first so that he doesn’t get some skewed idea of them as mindless playthings. But my boy is not going to be trying to become a wizard becasue he reads Harry Potter. I know that pagan faiths are having a little resurgence these days and there are wiccans and stuff who go off somewhere and cast their spells and whatnot. But my boy, and so many other boys and girls who read fantasy, are pretty clear on something.

That it’s fantasy.

Not real. It’s an escape. The average kid being raised in a good Christian home with loving and supportive parents who show him why its important to embrace Jesus is no more likely to go to the “other side” than is any other kid. Probably waaaaaay less so. If we’re really worried that reading some fantasy books is going to taint our kids’ souls then that probably means we aren’t doing a very good job of lovingly teaching them about God and the Bible.

Dang, let’s be happy they are reading, first and foremost. If you want to counteract the Harry Potter factor a litte, get them the Left Behind series or make it a requirement that they have to read some young Christian educational/spiritual book in between every fantasy one.

Instead of stifling their brain development and imagination by taking books away, let just focus on making sure they haven’t brought home a “Spellcasting for Dummies” book or a Satanic bible or something.




Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

Jeff Bouley

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Jeff Bouley

To find out more about me professionally, click here. To find out more about me generally, click here.

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You can reach Deacon Blue/Jeff Bouley at deaconbluemail@gmail.com.

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