There is a large glass-topped table in reception that I have walked past every working day for the past year. I only noticed, this week, that the base is a vertical metal rafter, designed to split into two jagged pieces.
I am still shocked by how much I don’t see. How selective and, often, how conditioned my vision is. There is a whole world out there, filled with amazing things, and yet I always seem to zoom in on the familiar.
I have just finished The Night Circus. It is a book about magic and love and power and stories. In the concluding sections, there is a passage that reads:
“This is not magic. This is the way the world is, only very few people take the time to stop and note it. Look around you…..Not one of them even has an inkling of the things that are possible in this world…”
The charge is made in relation to the possibility of magic, but it made me pause because it’s equally true of regular life. There are so many things – from table legs to amazing talents – that go unnoticed. It also made me think, because I seemed to have forgotten again, that the world – and our existence – is pretty magical in itself.
I have written this post before. The trick is holding the notion in your head.
It is easier on days when you can watch the sky turn from pink to turquoise to a deep grey blue, or when you wake up to a world dressed in snow, or when you get that text at 3am announcing the birth of your friend’s child, or if you’re watching acrobats tumbling around a circus, or runners racing round a stadium, or when you’re just at the point of giving up hope and something snaps so that you unexpectedly feel positive again –
Harder on the days which could be the day before or the day after, or when you’re caught up in meeting a deadline, or when the sky is grey and the air filled with drizzle, or when you’re so tired that your presence is only physical, or when you’re accustomed to under-estimating yourself and can’t see beyond the boundaries of what is currently possible.
Harder but not impossible.