Like legend and myth, magic fades when it is unused


All they require is our recognition

“Today, children are given toys to look up to as heroic figures. Rock performers and movie stars form their pantheon – an amoral pantheon where the performer who eloquently speaks out against drugs is arrested two weeks later for possession of heroin. Where the stalwart heroic figure from the silver screen is discovered to be a wife beater.

“The subtext here is that one may do anything one wishes – one need only make certain not to get caught.”

“And the magic?” Janey asked when Goninan fell silent.

She’d been having trouble making the connection with what he was saying to what she had supposed they were talking about.

“Is real,” he said. “It is your perception of it that makes it true – our recognition of the true shape or spirit of a thing. But like legend and myth, magic fades when it is unused – hence all the old tales of elfin kingdoms moving further and further away from our world, or that magical beings require our faith, our belief in their existence to survive.

“That is a lie. All they require is our recognition.”

by Charles de Lint (born 22 December 1951)
from The Little Country (1991)
The Lost Music – Border Spirit
image – Mark Cummins

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