About a month ago in England (I’m safely back in Buenos Aires now) a magician from Preston gave me a star. He magicked it out of some very ordinary looking beige elastic bands, just for me.
I’ve never seen real magic up close before, but for my whole life I’ve longed to. In my time I’ve been at parties, weddings, and corporate dos where there were magicians, but they never came near. So this magician from Preston made one of my childhood dreams come true. When he’d finished making my day, his star lay implausible, impossible even, yellow and five pointed, forged from elasticity in my hand. Barbie shrieked with delight, and I saw the little elastic band star as gold.
Just minutes before, I hadn’t even met the magician. I was at a tea party, hosted in Shrewsbury Castle by the Mayor and Mayoress of Shrewsbury, who at the moment happen to be my lovely Mum and Dad. I was joining in. I could have half joined in… sat on my seat in the reception salon of the tower (where apparently a new loo was once fitted for the visit of the Queen), eaten my scone, drunk my tea, and watched my Mum and Dad make all the effort. In fact I did exactly that for a few minutes… yes I chatted a bit to the people next to me, but to be honest in my momentary lethargy I saw the pretty ordinary looking strangers on the other side of the room as exactly that. Pretty ordinary strangers. Why bother to shift my arse and push my boundaries beyond my nice little clotted cream tea comfort zone in the corner when I was never going to see them again?
For a while I sat there in Shrewsbury Castle with that negative train of thought running through week two of my return to England. As I did so, I looked at my Mum and Dad with pride. They had fourteen unfamiliar faces to chat to, and they were making a brilliant job of it. How inspiring to watch people connecting, engaging, being interested in each other…
And then Barbie piped up,
Yes exactamundo Sallycat. What the hell are you doing? In Buenos Aires you’d be talking to these people not just staring at them… you’d be finding out who they are, why aren’t you doing it here too? Where have you gone Sallycat? This is the old you: the ‘oh it’s easier not to’ you, the ‘oh I haven’t got anything interesting to say’ you, the ‘easier, softer and infinitely more boring way’ you. Wake up! Explore! Adventure! Be curious… don’t let your soul sleep just because you’re in the UK! Wake up Sallycat! You might be missing out on magic!
As it turned out, I was. The voice of my very own dear Inner Artist Barbie was spot on. In amongst those strangers on the other side of the castle tower, hiding beneath his coach driving day job, was an Absolutely Bloody Brilliant Barbie Award-worthy mago (as we say in Argentina), and because I made the choice to join in and talk to him, I discovered him, and magic was mine.
Once, a rather long time ago now, I got off the arse of my life, chose to join in with the plans of the universe and flew to Argentina to dance tango. To be honest, magic has been mine ever since… as long as I’ve been open to it.
Here (because a few of you asked, and because it’s wonderful to be able to share a happy moment on my journey) is a video of Me and C. dancing. We’ve never danced for an audience before. Actually we’ve never danced in a big empty space before. We were were joining in the family entertainment at my Mum and Dad’s Golden Wedding Party. My Dad had just announced that we were officially novios. It was the happiest night of my life (so far).
There are two tunes, a tango and a vals.
The Happy Tango moment that this little video (homemade by me and Barbie on the AppleMac) records, kind of reminds me of the magician from Preston conjuring up his gold star from nothing more than a few beige elastic bands: two slightly nervous tango dancers, a couple of tracks of music, a crowd of people, an uncle (thank you dear Uncle Bill) behind the camera… on the face of it pretty ordinary ingredients; the smile on Sallycat by the applause at the end… oh who cares what the dancing was like eh? You tell me if that smile ain’t magic.
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