At a meeting of the In Print Writers Organization, the participants are asked to name their reading preferences. Barnes and Noble street signs fill the room.
I try to fit the books I like into a genre box. Typically I reach for novels that reflect my life. As an adolescent I leaned toward stories about kids going through difficult childhoods or not fitting in. When I hit my twenties I fantasized with romance novels while my own love life swayed up and down. As a young mother I gravitated toward articles about parenting and how the world was going to hell in a hand basket. Now fifty-four, I settle in to read about overcoming obstacles with awareness, humor and magic. In a split-second I shout my preferred book genre to the room of writers.
The room answers back.
"Don't you mean fantasy? Or Magical Realism?"
It isn't a new thing, describing what I mean in reference to a word seen from most folding chairs as something that describes impossibility. To further confuse the issue I have linked it with what is understood as the exact opposite, reality. I give it a shot, sharing a teaser for the concept.
"It's like when weird things happen after you meet a shaman or when feathers drop in front of you on a bike path or getting your aura read and it leads to crazy stuff happening."
This would also be a description for my life and the memoir I've recently brought back from the dead, 20 Gurus and a Dog. The group conversation ends without making myself clear.
Magical reality is everyday events sprinkled with pixie dust. This isn't a religious concept, a schizophrenic imagining or a need to make 20 Gurus sit on its own bookshelf. I have come to view this life experience in technicolor, not black and white. Which means that I expect the unexpected. These can be many things, most of them usually tossed in that bag called coincidences. Examples such as when an adult you runs into a childhood friend on a bus in a far off city or there are feelings of danger the entire day before your offspring calls at 4 am to say they need help or how the smell of tortillas arrives when thinking about your deceased grandmother.
Another, what I would consider Magical Reality situation happened recently. The photo at the top of this blog shows three feathers. Two of them are from a Great Horned Owl. The other is a gift from a Red Tail Hawk. They were deposited on my path the last few weeks while I have been engaged with a therapist utilizing EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Recovery). I discussed this in more detail in the previous post, Everybody Wins.
Because of these non-random, yet random feathered occurrences I researched the spiritual significance of each raptor online (Magical Reality believers often look for the meaning behind "signs").
The Great Horned Owl:
- Extractor of Secrets
- The Quest Within
- Able to Hear What is not Spoken
- Harbinger of New Cycles
- Awareness of the Big Picture
I am on a spiritual quest within to observe my illuminated history, extracting secrets to hear what has not been spoken; seeing the truth for what it is while keeping awareness of the big picture, with the knowledge that it will give rise to a brand new cycle.
I don't expect Barnes and Noble to recognize my genre choice with a Magical Reality street sign. But then again, I have come to realize that anything is possible on this curious journey that is forever unfolding.