How Magical is your Reality? How Real is your Magic?
An eon or so ago, at the behest of some very loving and lovingly persistent ‘artsy’ friends, I first encountered the term “Magic Realist.” It was essentially the title of a series of short plays, The Magic Realists and Other Plays,* performed in the tradition that had come to be known as ‘Modern Theater’ or ‘Theater of the Absurd.’
* (Regrettably, I have not been able to reproduce any reference information about this specific collection of plays after some time scouring the internet and the public library. Maybe the published material is out of print… or perhaps someone more ambitious and skilled at research may fare better.)
At the time, I didn’t have a particularly strong taste either way for the arts in general, yet I was intrigued by the provocativeness of the term – a conceptually tantalizing and audacious dichotomy. The merging of the words ‘magic’ and ‘realist’ was, to me, an event as elegant in time as the inception of the ‘P-N Junction’ that ushered the Mayan-prophecy-like awakening in the evolution of modern technology. The latter propelled us quickly from a zinc-plated vacuum-tube reality into one of cell phones, computers and digital HD! Could the former have indicated a similar shift in the emerging of conscious perception?
As my friends persuaded me to attend their production at the local community college, I could gather but a finite amount of information about the term, as the internet and Google were not yet available. As I watched the actual performance, I was enthralled and entertained beyond my wildest expectations. I experienced an uncommon configuration of high energy characterized by creative intellect, professional precision and sheer wackiness, all to drive home – or completely obliterate – some elaborately simple or simplistically elaborate point. Extremely satirical with a pregnant mixture of fantasy and reality, the performing group also made extensive use of special effects in the way of strobe lights, lasers, mirrors, the boiling of dry ice to create fog for ‘dream sequences,’ and the use of ‘flash powder’ to simulate miniature explosions. Indeed, there was no inclination whatsoever to slumber. I recall that what was most electrifying for me was the general ‘headiness’ of it all – the profound ‘message’ – or supreme and uncanny lack thereof…. Having attended that thing long ago, I experienced a significant quickening of my conceptual engine as well as a deepening respect for the writers and performers of this earth realm who graciously support our consciousness expanding, just for the love of it (…and perhaps a pay check).
Magic Realism was established, originally, by artists, the earliest of whom were painters and dramatic performers. BUT, don’t we all live and interact in a world that is most often very grossly ‘real’ to us while rather fantastic on a subtler, more quantum level? The ancients realized this perhaps infinitely more so than modern humanity would care to admit. Yet, were it not for the ‘Magic’ ignited in our very souls by the Source of all Magic, we could not recognize and experience the enchantment woven into the fabric of this reality of ours. It is This conscious, pervasive, powerful, fluid Essence Who accounts for the manifold miracle mingling magnificent amid matter unceasingly.
So if living – itself – can be considered and art form (Who would dare deny that?), then each and every one of us is a Magic Realist living out a simulation in harshness and density – all of us with the will and the birthright to witness the Glory and to “…see it together,” as indeed all flesh shall and ultimately will! The Challenge now, and as has been throughout the ages, is to remember – to recognize and realize the Magic within and to share the Magic with one another. I choose to submit to you, most respectfully, the prototype – the Archetype – The Magic Realist, for your comment and criticism, on the premise that cordial, honest discourse activates the mechanism of wisdom and adds to the sacred waters of mutual enlightenment.