“Take a lover who looks at you like maybe you are magic” – Ellie Burrows is inspired by the classic line behind our most popular Instagram post to date…. Portrait: Mikal Marie Photography
“Take a lover who looks at you like maybe you are magic…”
This quote is often incorrectly attributed to Frida Khalo, but it’s actually a line from a poem called Frida Khalo to Marty McConnell by Marty McConnell. I guess I can sort of see how that would be confusing. You can watch McConnell perform it beautifully here, and if you’re really listening it becomes clear this poem is a reflection on a break up, rather than an ode to mystical love.
But no matter who said it, taken out of context this line never ceases to inspire those who read it. It pushes our internal heart button and causes us to double-tap the external one too – there are thousands of likes associated with it across Instagramland, the Tumblrverse and the Twittersphere.
One meaning of the word is “inexplicable things” and that’s the definition I want to focus on. But first, I need to clear a bit of smoke from the air, and throw out some mirrors.
Let’s pause for a throwback: When I was growing up and would get into trouble for hanging out with the fast crowd, my mother would say to me “you’re judged by the company you keep.” And although 15-year-old Ellie would call me a sellout for saying this, my mother was totally right.
So hey Magic, I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you have to stop hanging out with the word “trick.”
I can’t tell you how many people I know who are seeking meaningful relationships via suspect means. All around me I see people trying to conjure love, undoubtedly what feels like a rather tricky business of late. In the contemporary dating world, some of the newest tricks in the book are actually very old tricks called “illusions.”
She gives him the impression that she’s fine with an open relationship in order to make him stay.
He creates a mirage of interest and strings her along because it makes him feel less lonely while he gets all those oats out of his system.
And my favorite – she doesn’t respond to a text message right away because then it appears like she’s busy and indifferent. (The latter we call playing hard to get. Since playing is the operative word, it would indicate that she is just pretending and is in fact, easy to get. Just saying.)
While these tricks can deliver results, they actually involve zero magic. And they don’t usually add up to anything meaningful.
Friends, your act isn’t working. It is time to drop the top hat and the rabbit. If you are an adult and seriously looking for love, then why are you choosing to forget that tricks are for kids?
I’d like you to consider that the illusions listed above have nothing to do with magic. Instead, they involve another M word: manipulation. Definition: “control or falsification.” And when you think about it, a stage magician is really more of a master manipulator. He is highly skilled at fooling you, but no – that woman didn’t actually get sawed in half.
But a true magician? Well, that’s something else entirely…
According to the Tarot, the Magician, #1 in the Major Arcana, is considered the bridge between the spiritual and the material. With his right hand pointing a staff toward the sky and his left bringing our attention the ground, he can channel the power of the Universe and bring it into the physical plane.
You can see it on the table next to him, which holds all four suits of the Tarot (Pentacles, Wands, Cups, Swords), each of which corresponds to one of the four elements of the ancient alchemists (Earth, Fire, Water and Air). These symbolize the proper use of mind, heart, body and soul in the process of manifestation.
A real magician is not an illusionist, but a creator. This card is all about the best use of our highest self, turning ideas into actions with the power to make a difference in our own lives. This card begs questions like “Am I using my powers for good or evil?” and “Am I tapping into my fullest potential?”
We are the magicians responsible for taking our abstract, sometimes inexplicable, feelings and bringing them through to the material plane. This is unbelievably challenging, since it requires the full engagement of physical form to lay our souls’ desires on the proverbial table.
When I’m building a relationship, I can feel my entire system using its “powers” to do so. My mind must ground the fears of judgment, rejection, and loneliness. My heart must glow with unconditional self-love, trust, and honesty. My body must swim against the current of its biological predisposition to fight or fly in the face of vulnerability in order to genuinely communicate my wants and needs.
We are all magicians who must work daily to create clear unobstructed pathways within ourselves in order to travel more freely in the confusing world around us. We are the magicians who must understand that our internal worlds are so complicated that we must endeavor to create external simplicity wherever we can.
But if instead we focus on crafting trap doors and smoke screens that are just there for effect, then authentic relationships and clear outcomes will be center stage when it comes time for the disappearing act.
So if what you’re looking for is, in fact, a real relationship, leave your bags of tricks at home. Instead, put something like the following on the table next to your drinks:
“I am going to be super natural with you.”
“I am looking for something serious.”
“I am looking for love.”
Because then you would be the fucking unicorn of the dating world, and then I guarantee your lover will look at you like maybe you are magic.