Boring Magic . . .
. . . is the best magic.
Frater RO has written several times about his desire to shoot fireballs out of his fingers. If anyone ever manages it, it’d be Fr. RO. Seriously, the man has some chops. I imagine the words of power wouldn’t be safe for work, though, but then again, fireballs tend not to be . . . .
Aaaanyway, my point is this: fireballs are awesome. But most magic is really kind of boring. I mean, not really. It’s actually awesome, but in a way that doesn’t look all that fancy. Back when I was in grad school, my magician friends and I used to hang out, and we’d joke that we should write a roleplaying game about grad school. It’d have a magic system, and you’d have real spells, like the kinds we actually used in our day-to-day lives: Find Book in Poorly Cataloged Library. Summon Time to Sleep. Create Cheap Food. That sort of thing.
Truth be told, that’s the kind of magic I still mostly do. I’m riding high off of a success right now: it’s a magical technique I learned to make it more likely that I’ll get my To Do list done. I learned it from a spirit. It is, on the face of it, pretty boring. In fact, it’s almost just psychology. I would hesitate to even call it magic if I had learned it in a book. But it works. The items on my to-do list have a tangible sort of gravity. So instead of walking past the piano, going, “I should practice later,” and not getting around to it, early today I walked by the piano and felt it tug at me. That isn’t a metaphor. It pulled me, very gently. So I sat down and practiced.
The best part is, it has a side effect that’s quite nice. Even things not on my to-do list get done. They don’t have the same gravity, but doing something tends to lead to doing something else. So in addition to completing my entire to-do list (including items that usually take a week!) in two days, I also mopped the kitchen, updated my blog, and did several other chores I don’t much care for.
I’m still way too damned busy but instead of overwhelmed, the magic keeps me focused.
Fireballs — still very cool. Getting everything you need to do done in time — priceless.