Thursday, January 10, 2013

Fear and Wonder

Hello internet friends!  It's been a while since I last wrote anything because I've been outside!  Not just outside but outside doing things!  With people!  People who have invited me to do so!  In the last month I've taken a cross country bus trip (twice), I've walked on a beach, drank white wine in the sun, drank red wine in the shade (mostly this, I don't do sun very well.  Also I prefer red), ate too much, gave a wedding toast, delivered a breakup letter, had some right wing meat and had a completely oblivious adventure with an starving tarantula.  Long story short, a good time was had by me!

Over the new year I filled in as an emergency house/dog/cat sitter for a couple of days.  That means that  while most people were getting too drunk to remember their new years resolutions, I got to spend a quiet evening with two very sweet animals.

Pure sweetness!
 Then, when many others were dealing with their first hangover of the new year, I got to watch a Dynamo: Magician Impossible marathon.

Now up to that point I was unaware of his existence but that marathon was a fantastic way to start a new year.  I enjoy being amazed.  Magic is great that way.  Normally I don't like being tricked but I make an exception for magic.  A good magic trick just fills me with a sense of childlike wonder and I don't even care to know how he did it.  I just enjoy being astounded.  When I say "Wow!  How did he DO THAT?!" I don't think I even really want to know how.  Knowing is cool too, but I mostly like seeing magic tricks for the sense of wonder it gives me.

Which is one more reason I am so happy to have left my crazy pentecostal past behind me.  See, growing up, I knew a lot of people who thought stage magic was real magic - and since real magic was demonic you can guess what that made stage magic!  This is kind of hard to do if you are Afrikaans because we don't even call stage magic "magic".  A magician is a "kulkunstenaar" which loosely translates to "trick artist" so the fact that it's just a trick is right there in the name!  Just to be clear, I'm not talking about children having naive beliefs here.  My college roommate insisted that David Copperfield used real magic in his tricks.  The pastor of my childhood church once participated in a trick with a magician* and afterwards he had a huge headache - which to him was a clear sign that demons where involved!

When everything is demons there can be no wonder, only fear.  Everything amazing must also be suspicious.  That's really a terrible way to live and I'm glad to be done with it.  The universe is filled with wonderful things but you can't see that if you believe there are demons everywhere trying to trick you somehow.  Science, magic, music, games, movies, tv shows, books - it's all suspect.  But not to me, not anymore!  I love amazement, I'm happy to to live in a world that far exceeds my comprehension!  It's exciting, not scary.

So this year, I'm going to choose wonderment over fear as much as possible.

*Martino to be exact.  He was a famous South African stage magician.  In fact, I think it would be fair to say he was the most famous SA magician ever.  But this was in the 80's so I couldn't find anything of his online but news of his death...  That's Apartheid era fame for you!


GumbyTheCat said...

I wanna hear about the starving tarantula!!!

Glad you're enjoyin' life!

My blog's vanished for now... couldn't see paying for a completely unnecessary custom domain anymore. Plus, I kind of am at a crossroads with the blog. I am tired of writing about religion, and can't think of anything else to write about but the Great Atheist Schism (which I've been deeply embroiled in these last few months, but there's already been more than enough electronic ink spilled over that).

When I feel like starting it up again, I'll put it back up on a blogspot domain and give you the link!

Eugene said...

Well long story short, they had another housesitter but he had something else come up so I had to go take over for him. This guy lost his pet tarantula in the house, then lied and pretended he didn't so I ended up being completely oblivious to the fact that I was sleeping in a room with a hungry tarantula running wild! For 4 days! The homeowners found the (pretty pissed off) spider in a sock drawer while getting ready for work.

Come back soon Gumby!

GumbyTheCat said...

So really, the scene was actually like this:

Eugene said...

Very funny Gumby. Also, kind of accurate!