Monday, July 16, 2012

Stage Four - PFM

My brother (another brother) flies in the Navy.   He has been through years of schooling and has become a flight instructor.  He teaches new pilots how to fly, but at a certain point there is just too much information to learn, so when the newbies ask questions beyond the realm of knowledge they need to know at the moment, the response they get is, "The unofficial Navy explanation for why planes fly is PFM, or Pure Fucking Magic."   Funny, huh?  Magic. 

There is a lot of PFM in our world right now. Pure Fucking Magic. I know no other way to explain it. Symbols of my brother are all around us. A frog flag hanging on the way from the cemetery that reminded us all he was okay, a surfer magazine cover that reads, "All Good Kids Go To Heaven" that arrived in the mail the day after he died.  An ocean perfect for surfing. Sky lanterns that transcended over the ocean in front of our house on vacation. His name everywhere I look. A's, his initial, that formed around starfish when I was trying to make a new wreath.  Heart shaped rocks that littered the beach.  And countless other symbols that my mother has come to rely on, all of us have come to rely on, to show that he is still around, is still with us. They are helping us  go on.

There is a book that I read years ago, "The Year of Magical Thinking," in which the author talks about life without her husband after he died. I can't remember much else about it right now, but I might pick it up again. I assume that her life that horrible, dreadful year is surrounded by magic. By belief, by spirits, by the idea of heaven.  I know that that is one way that I will keep going. The fourth Stage in Life - Belief in Magic.

I had an argument with a friend a few years ago about garden fairies, the little gardens in which someone sneaks out at night and sprinkles glitter all over the newly toiled soil and newly planted flowers.  I thought it was too fake.  I spoke with my aunt about it and she was enlightening.  She said that we teach children to suspend their sense of reality when we create fictional worlds (she wasn't in for the glitter though!).  We teach them to believe that the realm of possibility is greater than just what we see in front of us.   We teach them to believe in fantasy - If we don't they will never "get lost in a good book."  They will never sense the pain of the characters, poor Lucy in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, deceived by her brother because someone might think he was crazy.  We will never empathize with Harry.  We will never understand what Hagrid means to Harry or the joy that the children felt when Misty becomes theirs.  (I know I read this somewhere but I don't remember just where.)  If we don't allow for magic, we can never be good readers! 

Some families don't believe in Santa Claus, or fairies, or church, or God. Some people don't believe in Heaven or a soul or the spirit.  There is no magic.  I'm glad my family believes.  I have to believe. There is no textbook that lists the facts about Heaven, or none that will satisfy the unbelievers, but hey, if the Navy can use it, I think I can use it. There is Pure Fucking Magic out there and I believe that my brother lives on.

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