Daily Archives: 9 October, 2011

Talismans and Magic

Today’s Music: Lindsey Buckingham
A talisman (from Arabic طلسم Tilasm, ultimately from Greek telesma or from the Greek word “telein” which means “to initiate into the mysteries”) is an amulet or other object considered to possess supernatural or magical powers. (Source – Wikipedia)

Lets talk about magic.
Not the kind where you teleport yourself from home to work so you can stay in bed later. And not the kind that bends the evil starbucks lady to your will.
Lets talk about the other kind – the kind that anchors you to this life, that gives you strength to endure and even beat the challenges of the day. The kind that reminds you of who you are.
I have several talismans like that. Most of them I keep with me all the time. Despite the fact that none of them look the same, and that some of them are replaceable for a few dollars, all of them have special meaning to me.
Join me for the tour, would you?…
From Club Med
This is my Club Med dive token. It entitled me to up to 5 dives during my stay there in October ’97.
My old boss sent me there as thanks for putting in an ungodly amount of work in a short period of time when we built our second restaurant. I went, planning on lying on the beach, drinking way too much. but my friend Ace, who came along for the trip (and picked out all my clothes, thank goodness) wanted to take the PADI Open Water Diver course, and convinced me to do it with her. Diabetics are not supposed to get certified to dive. So I never did, even though it was really high on my list. But Ace was lying on the form anyway (we both smoked over a pack a day), and said I should too.
So after thinking long and hard about it (at least a minute), I filled out the form, checked NO for the questionable stuff, and learned to dive.
It. Was. Fantastic. One of the smartest moves I ever made, lying on that form.
The token was needed to get on the Club Med boat to go out to the dive site. Afterwards, I could have thrown it out, or returned it, but I kept it. I found myself looking for it late at night and getting comfort from holding it, remembering how much fun Ace and I had, and it reminding me that sometimes it was important to break the rules. And that sometimes the rules were stupid.

I put it on it’s cord shortly after that trip, and with the exception of maybe 15 to 20 days, it’s been around my neck ever since. I don’t wear it out, I don’t talk about it, but every so often, when I’m about to do something out of my comfort zone, I give it a quick pat and get the strength I need to do whatever it is, because I’m a diabetic who learned to scuba dive on a whim. So I can do anything…

Ever since I “borrowed” my sisters guitar all those years ago, I’ve wanted to be able to play it. Still want to bee able to play it.
I can make some nice phrases, keep time, stay in key. But I’m not a great player, might never become one.
But I’ve been at a long time. Probably longer than I’ve pursued anything so far. And it’s always been there for me.
I keep that pick in my wallet. Sometimes it gets changed out for another, but there is always a guitar pick there.
It’s magic is that it carries with it tenacity, perseverance.
It reminds me that I may not get there, but sometimes trying is just as important.

And the most important talisman, that I draw an awful lot of gris-gris from,

This is my wedding ring. It’s white gold. On the inside of by my wife’s and my rings is incscribed (in Hebrew) “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine”.
By the time we went for the ceremony, we had been together for many years. We got married in large part for the legal benefits and standing, which are stronger than common law.
So the ring isn’t what married us, but it is a physical token of the bond between us. (It’s also fun to clink them together to activate our “Wonder Twin powers”!)
I spin my ring around my finger. I clack it against my desk. And I rarely take it off. Because it is a tangible reminder that it there is someone out there who is relying on me, who trusts me, and who thinks I am worth it.
When I feel overwhelmed by responsibility, I spin my ring. I like having that reminder always there. It reminds me of who I am, and who I can be. And that I am trusted and loved by the most wonderful girl in the universe.
And there’s a heck of a lot of power in that.
Magic power, even.