Find the Magic

Brave Writer

Every subject in the universe has magic in it. It’s up to us to find it.

Magic. Enchantment. Delight.

Pick the word you like best.

  • I know the delight of puns, the music of alliteration when terms trip off the tongue, the value of vivacious verbs, the goodness of the precise word, the emphatic power of an exclamation point.
  • I know the intimacy of a character as best friend, the window into another world I’ve never known, the lingering over a book after it’s finished savoring the end.
  • I know the shock of card tricks, the satisfaction of getting the right answer, the seduction of writing in code, the maddening nature of fractions, and the joy of their precision and practicality in quilting.
  • I know the anticipation of our backyard nuthatch descending the tree trunk head first, the startling volcanic overflow of baking soda and vinegar, the graphing of leaves falling off our front yard maple.
  • I know the surprise of familiar yearnings and dreams in people who lived long ago and far away, the abject terror of war, the digging up of fossils in a creek bed so old we can’t count the years, the tantalizing invitation to revisit old documents to ask them our new questions.

I know these experiences because I learned with my kids. They got up close and put their bodies in the way of learning. They pushed me to find the connective tissue between “academic objective” and “personal value.”

That intersection is boldly marked: “Magic.”

When I talk about magic, I’m saying that children relate better to surprise and mystery, risk and adventure than they do to rote memorization or testing. The joy and amazement that drive their participation in sports, games, and play CAN and SHOULD animate their school subjects.

This post is originally from Instagram and @juliebravewriter is my account there so come follow along for more conversations like this one!

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