i write for inner peace.
When the Swords Vanish
As my audience in magic grows as distant as my practice has gone recluse, I can only etch onto the cave walls of my hermitage what I wish to leave behind. I know all earthly works will vanish one day as sure as these gig conquests are becoming less, and I sail onto new adventures beyond the fortune and glory of crowds applauding at the shores. Magic is my martial art, and I am peaceful not fighting: I keep chanting this to myself, as I direct my training inwardly as breathing, or skyward as prayer. I wanted praise or recognition once, and perhaps still do as one would want chocolate. The rebel kid in me still wants to storm the palace of the magician hierarchies and declare my convictions, as Samurai of long ago would declare their lineage before battle. I believe, as the great mage Rocco declared to me, that magic is from the soul. I may not have the swiftest hand for sleights, the sharpest mind for thinking up effects, or the DNA of an entertainer, but I am left with my soul: my sword. My goal as a magician is to unsheathe that, entertain heaven.
Be ready for WHEN THE SWORDS VANISH, my new book of poems written for the martial art of magic. Coming soon when you least expect!
Magician to Alchemist
I have a new effect: Magician to Alchemist.
The purpose of this blog is to report my findings in my study of magic: my hidden findings; not the ones that involve learning new effects, routines, or even performing principles. The purpose of why I practice magic with the fervor of an alchemist is and always will be hagakure: hidden beneath the leaves for me to reveal.
I am a proponent of seeking the secret to mastery, like some rare earth metal or a planet with the elusive conditions to support life. Mastery is as elusive as time-travel, or getting into heaven on worldly works alone. I admit my faults and falls along the way, and my ego stares them down like an adversary yet to be defeated. I hate rivals. They bring out the fool in me, and I'm convinced to try and chase them down like shadows and catch up to their every move. I hate praise, and its allure, because it sways me away from my journey like a siren with its attractive words: praise God, and no one else. I wish to impart that on everyone I perform for, including the self I see in the mirror of my practice sessions. I fear criticism, like praise, because it can cause me to believe completely in the public opinion of others, and seek to validate every second of love-work I put into this art form with their judgement. I don't want to impress them, or to live in the shadow of proof. I don't stand behind proof, and instead, aspire to love what I do without proof. I have faith that I am in love with this art form; with my fiance; with God; with the belief that any good that comes from my magic is God's doing, and that any bad is from my own human imperfection. I am a horrible magician. I am naturally clumsy, socially awkward, set in my ways, and as oblivious an observer of people as they come. How I'm getting away with doing this for a living, I don't know. I know that I am capable of bringing out the God within through this alchemist-intense practice of this art I love only second to my fiance, my family, and God. The people who are not my audience for a fleeting moment of time, where praises, worship, and paychecks are at my grasp, are the ones worth practicing magic for; and getting good at it for. I hope to master this art in secret hopes of mastering self. The magician is the character of transformation.
I'm just going to be upfront with all the magicians in the scene that happen to be here reading this, and amazing me with enough non-indifference to come visit me here in the late-night corners of my alchemist-like lab: f**k learning new effects. The best effect learned in the practice of magic is the transformation of self. Do that, and I believe the reactions you'll get will go far beyond words, bookings, and tips.
And if you don't care to take any part of these findings I am humbly offering you an entire page of after years of laboring in the lab, oh well: God bless!
Hidden beneath the illusions I create are purposes that extend to serve things greater than themselves. I am a deluded practitioner at times, sharpening my swords blindly with the intent of getting good for no one's sake but my own. Musashi would have been pissed. A certain chaos swirls out of slashing in vain. My ego is inflated, and the very essence of why I have chosen to pick up this sword of Magic becomes Hagakure: hidden beneath the leaves.
The samurai of long ago served their lords until death, with a selflessness that feared neither humility nor defeat. I revisited my samurai inspirations and have noticed that my reflection is blurry. Why am I struggling to be good? Who is my adversary? The competitor in me strives perfection without a second thought, constantly measuring my ascent with that of my peers, and racing to the top with no idea what to do when or if I get there. The top is lonely: an elusive point in the sky that can do no one else any good by being there because there is only room for one. The reasons I do magic have become as Hagakure as the world beneath the clouds: far away, and out of reach.
The purpose of this sword in Magic is to serve: to transcend my own selfish desires for others. I need to be with my fiance: to travel to that far side of the world to see her, and to eventually close the distance by bringing us to one place. Magic will make the money I need to do that. My mom also needs money: she's never going to be out of debt, and works too much to try to pay it all off. The money I make from gigs will help her with that. Jadu- the precious feeling of baby-mind astonishment that people rarely feel- is a light that needs to be spread. Magic lets me to serve this to those around me. The House of Flying Cards, a dojo of practicing magi whose love for magic is what unites all the members, needs my magic: to hold that community together, help members grow in love with what they do, and hopefully be a light to them on their journeys. Also being in a dojo keeps me humble: always a student and never a master. The soul mirror: only in doing one thing with the diligence of a polisher can some kind of inner clarity be achieved. I read once about a monk in the Tang Dynasty who achieved enlightenment by chopping bamboo, and I seek the same inner clarity through disciplined practice of magic, slaying demons like ego, pride, and greed on the way. To praise God for his blessings: the act of doing magic as a job alone makes me prayerful enough to give thanks and praise before every gig. Meeting RPG characters on my journey, and putting me in a position to be an RPG character of my own to them on theirs: my light can only be spread only if I'm out there, meeting people face to face through performance. Otherwise, my reclusiveness gets the best of me and I end up staying at home, seeing no one and holding whatever light is in me back. Seeing the world: my magic has caused me to go places I wouldn't have been to and meet people I wouldn't have met otherwise. Seeing the world can only bring me closer to my real self, and destroy any rigid frames of mind that stand in the way of getting there. Love: the act of doing magic teaches me to love what I do. Being in magic is being in a relationship, and if I can stay in love with what I do, this sword can only be a humble precursor to loving at greater levels. I once heard any art form is a bridge to heaven. If that is so, then climbing to the top might not be so bad.
The Move Unseen
A blog for magic.