Magical Spots

When my kids were born, people said things like “enjoy the magic” or “these are rare precious moments”. Sure, looking back I remember my daughter sitting in awe watching her new brother. As if he might actually do something magical. It was hard to tear her away from him, and I was sure she could be doing better things than staring at an infant.

And then?

He’d smile and make her whole day. She’d found a spot where magic blossomed. And it changed her life in a way no one else will ever understand and I doubt she even gets the true depth of.

Surprisingly, those magical moments don’t vanish as your children grow, they just sometimes take you off guard because you’re not sitting there in awe anymore, waiting for one action to sweep you away.

Of course, given that the holidays just passed, I did have all these magical moments creep up on me, but this post is about magical spots and so I thought I’d share with you the spot in our house that holds the most magic.

It’s a spot that only exists for a brief moment and will knock us into a deep peaceful sleep.

It’s created unexpectedly when Superman gets a call in the middle of the night. His alarm goes off making the rest of us jump up like we’re on fire. He’s out the door with his super speed and we are left with one pulsating guilty thought; “He just left a warm spot that smells all safe like him.” Umhum, that’s what you’d be thinking too, admit it.

I won’t roll into it until I’m sure one of the kids won’t brave the cold floor to enjoy the magic of it. Either way I win.

If the little guy falls into the magical spot, I’ll listen to it sweep him away. His breaths grow quick and shallow, tinted by happy dreams. The magic from the spot pours out to me, reminding me of how innocent a child is.

If the older one wins the spot the smile never leaves her lips. Like she won the lottery. Her breathes will fill me with this weird pride that I never expect. She doesn’t sound like a child sleeping anymore. Each breath is deeper, taking her away to a magical place only she knows. And that reminds me of how fun it is to grow up. How intriguing and appealing the world was to discover.

Nothing is scary when we lay in Superman’s warm spot. It’s just perfect and happy; magical.

Of course, when I win the spot, I fall off into some deep coma that I wake up from feeling all guilty, cause while Superman is off saving people, shouldn’t I be doing something beside sleeping in his spot? Something, I don’t know, all heroic and magical? I suppose I could, but somehow, I think he purposely leaves this spot to lure us in. It’s a comfort for him to know we’re safe at home and when he finds one of us enjoying the magic of his spot, it somehow gives him that push he needs. That’s his moment and I wouldn’t want to take that away from him.

What magical place have you discovered?


I was watching what was probably the best hockey game I ever watched, last night. When I got thinking about how they looked like artists out there. Let me set the scene:

These 15-17 year olds are among the best in their province. It was clear they had all the knowledge they needed to play this game and they were applying what they learnt--daily. You could see them thinking out there. They would try something and watch how it was stopped, study how the defense brought it back into their favour. The same mistake was never made twice. Every shot was planned and appreciated. It was so cool to watch. When they scored, it was earned and it showed. Very little luck was involved, it was skill and brains at work. They weren't just taking penalties by accident, well... maybe a few, happens while we learn.

Since I am a writing addict, while I sat there on the edge of my seat it dawned on me that I used to write like this. Well not on skates, but I mean I used to Apply what I had Acquired in just this way: testing out the competition, watching my peers, trying things, pulling back and trying something else.

What surprised me was the words USED TO. I used to write like that. What happened? What was I doing differently?

Watcher says it best so I'll let him explain:

“I can do anything. I acquire knowledge, apply what I learn, and eventually it’s automatic. I don’t want a copy of your cell. I want... the real deal. I want my magic when I demand it. This is what makes me powerful... ” --Surviving the Storm
There is a certain power when we work in the automatic stage because it gives us freedom to break rules in a new way. I was reading Grammar Girl-- gosh I love her, she's so fun-- and I was hoping she could teach me something but somehow I have this knowledge, and so I watched how she applied it because somehow I don't always do this. Still, I smiled when she wrote something that implied that dead is dead-- don't qualify it. And the old me, the one applying this knowledge would have agreed. Because let's face it, dead is dead, she's right. However, the new powerful me who works in the automatic stage knew that it was possible to qualify dead. In fact, in The Hunt for Julia, Steve looks at the poor sap he just killed and... well here is the scene:

Steve laid Bobby by the shed but already it was too late. And by the looks of him, Steve was pretty sure this wasn’t the type of body Julia could bring back. Zombie came to mind. Yeah, leave these guys dead, Julia. --The Hunt for Julia
You see that is very dead as opposed to Julia's brother who is a soul hanging around his body trying to figure out how to get it breathing again. That is kinda dead. Of course I would never tell you they were kinda dead or really dead, I wouldn't break the rules to that extreme.

These are not the type of writing decisions I would have made while I was applying the rules. These are made because I applied them.

Don't get me wrong, you never stop learning, you always need to apply what you learn, but certain things become automatic. Like how to use a red herring, or describe a character, or where to put a question mark. Not long ago I had an editor show me how to use knowledge I already had in a new way and I was speechless. All I could do was apply it, over and over again, and marvel at the new power I had Acquired.

Take a look at your life. What skills did you Acquire that you Applied endlessly and now find that the Automatic stage gives it new magic?