A World of Wonder

Sometimes we forget just how magical this time of year can be.

The more we are involved with creating wonder, the less we appreciate its power.  We become jaded.  It’s all a trick. Fortunately, the holiday season gives us opportunity to rekindle our sense of wonder, and share that gift with others.

Recently I acquired the bulk of Sid Lorraine’s magic collection. Sid was known for many things, one of them being his Christmas cards. A gifted artist, Sid designed something unique every year to send to his family and friends. He also collected the cards sent to him by others. The card at the top of the page was drawn by the great magic illustrator Nelson Hahne and was sent to Sid by J.B. Bobo, the author of the seminal text Modern Coin Magic. (A copy of “Bobo’s” is in the postman’s satchel ready to brighten up a magician’s day.) The card reminds me of my youth.

I remember receiving magic books at Christmas. I can’t recall any other gift that brought me more joy – and keeps on giving – than the magic books I received at Christmas. I still remember, for example, ripping open the wrapping paper to discover volumes of the Tarbell Course in Magic and spending the day devouring the contents. I still have those books some thirty-five years later and I still dip into them from time to time to learn new ideas and revisit old ones.

The holiday season is also a time when we get to perform our magic for family and friends. Whereas at other times of the year we had to sometimes impose our performances on our audiences, people actually seemed interested in watching it during the holidays. For many performers – professional and part-time – it is the busiest time of the year.

My work as the Artistic Director of Magicana, a performing arts organization and registered charity, reminds me of how we are part of the present but also deeply rooted in the past; how we are part of a larger community both locally and in the world at large; and how fortunate we are to perform something that gives us and, more importantly, others joy.

Until I return next year, here’s wishing you a safe and joyful season.