Poem: The Truth of Magic


The Truth of Magic

The scaffolding stands next to the stucco wall.
A maze of pipe and connectors, splattered
with a barrage of old paint.
Thick boards span the space from brace to brace,
strong enough to hold you
as you do the work.

There is nothing glamorous in it,
the scraping of old paint,
the replacement of rot,
it is hard, sweaty work.
Slow. It is slow.
It takes a long time
before you can celebrate the results.

It gets worse before it gets better.
That is part of it.
Each step, particularly at the beginning,
is an act of faith.

There will be surprises.
Any place with history will have them,
buried under the paint and plaster.
And each surprise will take more work,
detours. No need to plan or schedule.
You just do the work.
Day by day,
until it is done.

The faithful are always rewarded.
The old can, indeed, become new.
To an outsider, it seems like magic,
but you know the truth:
it is work.

About this poem. 

A hard day getting started this morning. I had dreams of betrayal and the early morning  demons had a field day with that. But I know the drill. Thanking the two wonderful counselors of my past, I systematically snicker-snacked them (read Jaberwocky if you aren’t familiar with that term.) into submission and began my day.

So much of life is like that, isn’t it? People don’t see the magic that goes into what we do, our work, our art, our faith, our very lives. They just see the magic.

And that is why we believe in fairy tales. Never thinking how long and how much work and practice it took the magician to learn his spells.


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