30 May 2019

Nate Staniforth - Here Is Real Magic: A Magician's Search for Wonder in the Modern World

Another author that Tom Krettek, our speaker at the Cloisters retreat, made mention of was Nate Staniforth, a magician. I had never heard of him, but found his thoughts to be quite fascinating.

I wanted that unfiltered, overpowering astonishment that blinds you, knocks you down, wakes you up, and reminds you that you are alive. I wanted a shiver of the unknown. I wanted to venture past the safety of my convictions and find the wilderness out there beyond the edges of my own world. I wanted to get lost. I wanted an adventure. I wanted a secret door or a buried treasure or something bigger than the world I had found.

Rediscovering wonder in the world doesn't happen on its own. It's a choice, not an inevitability. It is something you have to deliberately find, and value, and protect. You can't just do it once and keep it forever. You have to keep looking.

We feel the weight of the world but not the wonder, and in time we resign ourselves to one but forget the other. Once in a while, we remember. Once in a while, something happens and we see the cracks in our convictions, and through them a sliver of that larger, wider world outside the one we have constructed.

Every child has the experience of looking up at the adults of the world and wondering What happened to you? You were my age once. What did you lose between there and here?

There is majesty lurking just beyond our struggles.

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