In 1981, Stephen King published a novel called “It”, about a monster that terrorizes a small town in Maine. The monster appears to people in many forms but the most common is a white face clown named Pennywise. You may have seen the TV mini-series some years ago. The main characters are a group of seven kids that band together to fight Pennywise in 1958, only to find that he is back in 1985, and they, now adults, have to do it all over again.
While the front story is a horror story, the back story is about childhood and how kids handle fear differently from adults. The kids are able to believe that they, as a group, have some special power together and they exercise this power in illogical, childhood ways, that often work.
For example, one of the kids is confronted, while alone, by the monster. Terrified, he pulls out his “bird catalog” – his hobby – and begins reciting the names of birds – holding the catalog in front of him like a cross against a vampire. It drives the monster away. Since he believes in the catalog and its truth, it becomes his talisman.
As adults, we have more difficulty connecting with this power and believing. Our rational minds get in the way. We prefer to believe in disorders and medications than in the power of our own mind and spirit to face our fears.
Magic is for children you may be saying.
Yet how do we create our fears? We imagine the bad things that could happen to us, and we make them real in our imagination. Then we tell ourselves they are real. Does that sound like casting a magic spell to you?
Meditation on Magic
What do I believe in? What are the spells I caste in my mind to bring my fears to life? What do I believe in that will protect me? What are the talismans I can hold out against my fears?