There are only three kinds of magic; they only exist between people; and anything else that they tell you is a lie.

The Three Magics are the foundation of our attachments, the force behind our yearnings, everything that we cannot explain about the people whom we love.

The first of the three is hot and strong and confident. It gives you absolute conviction in the rightness and the success of whatever that you lay hands to; it tries to move mountains, and sometimes it does. It makes you believe in perfections; it makes you trust in absolutes; it tells you that you will live forever. It makes a heart go boom, makes you punch walls, hug pillows and skip in the streets. It makes you utter the corniest lines with the greatest fervour: ‘even if you dont want me, you’ll come around, and i’ll wait for you to… because i’ve got enough patience for the both of us…’

It is the fate that befell Icarus, the ‘touch of sun’, the Indian Summer. This magic, the earliest magic to dawn, is Sun Magic, and it can tear down the laboured work of generations in a single stroke of frenzy. Sun Magic hurts people with its escapades because it is the most selfish of all the magics. But one day, this magic meets a thug called reality in some dark alley of ambition and has the living crap beaten out of it, crawls away into a corner and dies. Because, for Sun Magic to work, you must really believe in things, and you can never really believe in the things that once let you down, second time around. Then the rushes of blood stop going to your head as often as they used to… but somewhere in everyone’s past, there’s always a time that they “used to think that way”.

As Sun Magic leaves you to grow and learn and hurt, another takes its place. The second magic is a magic of charm.

It is the magic of the look, the dress, the hair, the smile, the move, the combination of it all. The particular arrangement of entities that make you look thrice at someone who walks into the room. Sometimes it is just the way a name sounds. The way a voice touches you somewhere inside. Puppies have charm. Rumpled hair has charm. It is the gentlest of all attractions, but it holds you with gossamer that is impossible to break away. It has all the silent insistence of the tide at night; it is Byron’s lady who walks in beauty. If you’ve heard a song called Moonshadow, that is charm. It will never be as bright as the sun, never as forceful in its ways, and yet it captures your imagination and moves you to madness in ways that the sun never could. Charm is Moon-Magic, it rises into the darkness of your sunset, wins your heart, fools your senses, and waxes and wanes. Moon Magic is Maupassant’s Mathilde; the sensation of the soiree, drunk with joy, dancing the night away in, jewels borrowed from a friend.

When Moon Magic finally fades, with the closing movement of your mad sonata, the last of the magics grows strong. This is the magic of secrets and laughter.

Laughter is illogical; its origin or purpose cannot be explained, and yet it exists. The best of friends have this magic in them; the twinkle of merriment you catch in a person’s eyes; the glitter of mischief you look out for and love. Something inside makes you chortle hysterically over little conspiracies, and create words that only the two of you know the meanings of. Something makes you remember people for nothing more than the huge laughs you’ve had together; makes you thankful for the many times that laughter kept the tears away.

Twinkles and glitters, secrets and laughter; all this is Star Magic; the last, the least, the best. It is the best because it never leaves you; yet is last and least because while the moon and sun hold court in your sky, you never know that it is there. But it is… and when your suns and your moons finally forsake you, it prevents your skies from emptying, and keeps the tears away.

These three magics, then, are the taproot of all our impulses. Every silly, stupid, illogical thing we do is them. Magic separates us from the automatons, gives us something more to live for than survival. And magic also builds what they call The Gap. Adults are rational people. And rational people are naturally afraid of perfectly illogical things that work perfectly well. And this is why the people who hold strongly by each other also hold  strongly by the Three Magics of this world. That is why the strongest promises are not sworn on bibles or blood, but on the Moon, and the Stars, and the Sun…

… and so, there are only three kinds of Magic; they only exist between people; and anything else that they tell you is a lie.



the nature of the miracle

October 24, 2006

thilak is 23 years old, and has asthma (he’s also a devout anglican, and our jack-of-all-trades who drives, cooks, washes up and even does any hairdressing that comes his way). with the inter-monsoons heaving about, its getting rather cold these days, and so he gets his wheeze rather more often that he used to. which is why he sat down today to talk things over with me.

Read the rest of this entry »