Magic

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How a kitchen appliance reminded me of magic

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

I find it harder and harder to believe in magic these days.

Life isn’t easy, you know.  It can be full of tough things.  We learn to suck it up, because no one is going to come along and fix it for us.  Right?  We’ve waited and waited, but with no imminent rescue, we eventually make up our minds to stop wishing, and just do what we have to do.  It’s a long and lonely road, but after some time, we learn to just walk forward – head down, no questions.

Do not want.  Do not need.  Do not wish.  Do not hope.

And this doesn’t leave room for much magic.

I have to tell you: lately, I’ve been living without hopes or expectations.  Time has taught me that expectations, however small, will eventually lead to disappointment – so instead of hoping for good things, it’s easier to just take whatever life deals you.

But my birthday brought me a little magic.

Beyond the fact that I saw a black bear, and climbed Mt. Princeton, and sat on a tailgate of an F-150 drinking PBR and talking about Rebecca Black and O.J. Simpson with a new friend, when I got home I had a huge package waiting for me that said it was from “Your Fan Club.”

My fan club.

And I opened the envelope, and realized who it was from: so many of YOU.  People who I know and have met only thanks to blogging.

And in the box was the hot rod of kitchen appliances: a bright red KitchenAid stand mixer.

I shrieked, and then bubbled over, gushing, saying things like, “AND I DIDN’T EVEN HAVE TO GET MARRIED.”  I have always wanted a KitchenAid mixer, but it’s one of those things seemingly reserved for the espoused – because who would ever be able to justify that kind of money on themselves?

I have burned through hand mixer after hand mixer, only to abandon them altogether and stir things by muscle.  And remember, this is fine – you learn to not wish or hope for anything better or easier than what you have.  “You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit” is a popular motto these days.

But every now and then, people surprise you.  They pay attention, and take action, and bring you the happiest shock you can imagine.  They conspire behind your back to bombard you with love.  They choose red because they think you’re “a red hot siren” (OMG).  Their kind words are sprinkled like magic, and all of a sudden, a little bit of hope is renewed.

I am humbled and grateful – not only for the KitchenAid (although it is one of the kindest, most generous gifts I have ever been given), but for the reminder that magic is worth hoping for.

Thank you, friends – you know who you are – from the bottom of my hope-filled heart, and my cookie-filled tummy.

Home is wherever I’m with you

Monday, September 20th, 2010

I spent the weekend in Southern Colorado, just a stone’s throw away from New Mexico, at a cabin with family and friends and dogs and sangria.  The aspens were turning, giving the mountains blond patches in their otherwise dark beards.  We celebrated the wedding of Kyle and Emily amid golden leaves and vivid blue sky, and the entire event was magical.

This was Kyle and Emily skipping down the aisle while we (the band and the bridal party) played this song on guitars, banjos, tambourines, and kazoos.

Are they not the cutest?  I love them.  They are playful and joyful and uninhibited, full of love and life.  I am lucky to count Emily and her sister Hannah as the closest thing I have to sisters – you know, besides my own sisters.

The entire weekend was a joy.  I can’t wait to point you toward the official pictures, courtesy of (who else?) The Parsons Photographers… coming soon.

- – - – - – - -

Speaking of joy and magic and love, this was a conversation I had with my 6-year old nephew at the campfire on Friday night.

Annie: What are some animals that lay eggs?
Micah: Crocodiles, fish, turtles, stars…
Annie: Stars?
Micah: Yeah, stars.  All of the stars we see are star eggs – and when they hatch, it’s daylight.

I love this little boy more than life itself.

- – - – - – - -

After a long, long, many-months-long stretch of vagrant, vagabond living, I will now experience an unprecedented 27 nights in my own bed before it’s time to leave town again.

No one invite me anywhere.  No one get married.  This chicky needs to nest.

M is for Magic

Monday, October 20th, 2008

(A word of caution:
Prepare yourself not for art, or beauty, or wisdom, or humor, or insight…
but simply for an explosion of my heart.)

Remember this mysterious, ambiguous entry?

I received an email this morning:

Annie,
Congratulations! You’ve passed our audition process…

And on June 21, 2009, I’ll be fulfilling one of my biggest dreams and playing at the Bluebird Café.

SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!! YOU GUYS!!!!!!!!!!!

I am completely speechless.

I wish I could say that I rocked my audition, but… I didn’t. No, really – I DIDN’T. I was certain – sure – POSITIVE – that I wasn’t going to make it. I have never felt nerves like I felt that day; I could barely play my guitar, which is bad since I can barely play my guitar ANYWAY. I messed up the words to my song. I was freezing cold. I was shaking so badly that I couldn’t think straight. I have been nervous before, but have always been able to reason myself out of it. This time, I was completely out of control – no amount of self-talk or deep breathing or sheer force of will could calm me down.

I never in a million years expected to have made the cut. To some one else, this might not feel like a big deal. To me, it’s an answer. It’s confirmation. It’s hope. It’s the entire world.

I cannot believe it.

Dream your dreams, kids.

Glow

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

I have found my fair share of things to complain about here in Nashville. I’ve already talked about the heat – although I’m not sure that my words have conveyed the depth of my suffering. There are street corners that flagrantly (not fragrantly) reek of sewage – by the Wendy’s on West End, or across the street from P.M. on Belmont Blvd., for example. Smog is a recent development here in Music City, as is the discovery of RABID BATS raising hell in the Green Hills area.

But there is something that I haven’t mentioned yet. A very good thing. One of the very most magical things I have ever seen: fireflies.

I have never lived in a place with fireflies before, and before I saw them, I don’t know that I really believed that they existed. A firefly was an idea in my head, in the same category as the Eiffel Tower – a nice thought, but relatively meaningless since I had never seen it. Late this spring, when I finally did see the little lights glowing in the front yard at dusk, I was mesmerized.

I have no idea “how” a firefly works, and to be honest, I don’t want to know. In our world of knowledge and explanations, there are very few things left that literally enchant us. I could sit on the porch and watch the fireflies every night through the summer, and never tire of their simple brilliance.

Not that it’s bearable enough to sit outside or anything.