Apparently Seemingly Magic

music magicWhat’s your magic?

Google’s [define: magic] is as follows: mag·ic: the power of apparently influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural force

I read this definition, and I am certainly not very wow-ed by it.  The use of the word apparently does something that diminishes what I believe magic to be.  I believe that magic is powerful and lovely and serendipitous.  And very real.  It just sort of happens and, when it does, I want to be paying attention.  If my course of events are about to be influenced by a mysterious force, I want my awareness of the experience to go beyond apparently.  

Merriam-Webster defines magic as such: an extraordinary power or influence seemingly from a supernatural source.

I like the use of the word extraordinary here.  Still, that reference of seemingly.  The magic happened or it didn’t?  Perhaps because magic cannot be proven in tangible, measurable, and quantifiable ways, the concept of magic is an ethereal explanation to We have no idea what just happened.  It just happened.  

Perhaps it is the best that we can come up with . . . a word to explain the feeling we have when we have just bumped up against a tangible and vivid part of the Universe.  Magic does influence the course of events and it does cultivate mindfulness in meaningful ways.  It is mysterious and there is some element of supernatural force involved.

But I am a word nerd and I wonder about the words apparently and seemingly.  I experienced magic or I didn’t, right?  Something along the lines of the question “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”   This question is one of those mindbenders that has no right or wrong answer.  As good students of philosophy say, “It depends.”   It is seemingly some sort of separate reality to be wondered about by those of us who apparently take the time to think about stuff like this.  The tree did fall and it surely caused some ruckus.  By my way of thinking, the tree did make a sound.   The tree went down. WhooshCrackleBoom.  By my way of reckoning, I don’t need to be there to acknowledge the end Boom.  And my serendipitous brush with magic need not be quantified, recorded, or heard.

So I try to put things in perspective.  Along the lines of the tree in the forest: If magic happens and no one acknowledges it or makes a connection with it, will the course of events in this thing called life be influenced?  I don’t know.  I really don’t know how we can know this other than to wonder about and embrace the apparently and seemingly factors in life.  Being a linguist, I am a huge fan of “the fuzzy concept” — one by which a concept can vary considerably based on context, rather than being immutable and fixed.  It is easy to understand why I chose the path of linguist over grammarian.
So, what’s your magic?  What’s your mojo?  Mine?  Maybe it is music.  Or maybe it is something else.  I really don’t know because there are too many trees falling around me in a forest that I am not completely aware of.  I am dancing my way through windfalls that apparently fell while I was seemingly not paying attention.  But I am now.  Truly.  I am paying attention.  What’s your magic?

2 thoughts on “Apparently Seemingly Magic

    • Love this word. I remember the time and place and my age when I first heard this word! Isn’t that kind of remarkable in an odd way? It is funny how life and certain moments get marked in our memories. I love discovering the value in something unexpected, don’t you? Life is just so precious that way. 🙂


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