A Word from the Editors: Magic

by Monim Wains

What sets magic apart – what makes something magical – is the surprise, I would suggest. It is the revelation of something hidden and unexpected, without any explanation for why it is so. And our reaction, good or bad, depends on what we know, and where the magic remains.

When we are looking for magic, we want to be astonished. We are looking for something beyond our normal day, so that we can let our imagination flutter into fantasy. To wish for magic, then, is to wish for something more. It is to hope for an escape from all the rules and regularities in the mundanity of life. What if there was something more?

But then there is the magic we find without looking; the magic which passes by unnoticed.

How magical it is, to share dinner with someone you love. How magical is the snow, when it is the first snow that falls? It is a wash of emotion that takes us by surprise with its power. Something expected and normal, imbued with something beyond. A reaction of happiness that we did not expect. A side of magic well explored in this issue.

Of course, with magic, there is illusion; there is trickery and sorcery, a darker surprise which awaits. What is this more threatening side of the magician?

I would suggest, still, it is surprise. It is the spell cast upon us without our consent. It is the magic of someone else’s will thrown upon us, when we have no power to leave the show.

That is the magic of time and the loss of memory, from which we wake, shuddering. How could we not have known? How could we have forgotten? Who was it who made us forget? A nightmare, indeed.

So take both sides of the view, both ends of the wand. Look for magic, wherever you go. Find it in every heartbeat, in every sunrise, and everyday. Let it lift you on and beyond. And where it is illusion, hiding what should be seen, cast the smoke away.

The Poor Print

Established in 2013, The Poor Print is the student-run newspaper of Oriel College, Oxford. Written by members of the JCR, MCR, SCR and staff, new issues are published fortnightly during term. Our current Executive Editors are Siddiq Islam and Jerric Chong.

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