On Magic and Meaning

I believe if there’s any kind of God it wouldn’t be in any of us, not you or me but just this little space in between. If there’s any kind of magic it must be in the attempt of understanding someone sharing something. I know it’s almost impossible to succeed but who cares, really? The answer must be in the attempt. (Celine, Before Sunrise)

As a firm believer that [almost] everything can be explained by science, my feelings toward magic sway back and forth consistently. However, I know that a part of me still believes that there are surreal forces in the universe that compel and lead individuals to certain paths they least expect. I don’t believe in a man-made, biblical god (and I tend to discourage others not to revolve their lives around it, albeit as a form of subtle persuasion), but that beyond what we can control, there are unfathomable forces.

Amor fati, or the ‘love of one’s fate’, is a concept I would like to live by. As a person who tends to want to control her own destiny, amor fati is a nice contrast and a potentially interesting principle to live by. It is the viewpoint that everything that happens in life, including suffering and loss, is good or necessary, because they are facts of life, whether we like them or not. The key is acceptance: of what was, is, and will be. That creation and destruction is a cycle we live by, and we, too, will eventually be destroyed and be caught up in this eternal recurrence.

We are individuals merely trying to get through every day, lives revolving around fixed paths.


Sometimes, life can be incredibly unpredictable. One morning, Girl wakes up to find a stray Italian greyhound at her doorstep, calling out to her. This breed is known to be mischievous, agile, companionable, intelligent, and affectionate. Most people would ignore its bark, wait until its tongue hangs of exhaustion, and let it move to the next house.

Sometimes, the Girl is not most people. She lets the greyhound inside and gives it a place to live and thrive in. They get along well. They develop a very deep relationship with each other. It’s probably love.

How do we know this is so?

1.) Physical, tangible signals point to infatuation.

2.) Cerebral processes provide added meanings to falling. It’s how we make sense of it all. (Based from third-person accounts from friends, it always happens this way: the encounter between two individuals comes first, and the Giver or Receiver assigns meanings to it in hindsight, whether it’s through a quote, a song, a movie, a dream, or a fortune teller’s prediction. The experience is what we make of it.)

3.) Other times, the meaning makes itself. In a spur of the moment, a certain conversation leads to an unspoken synchronicity, two individuals suddenly realizing that the meaning they’ve both been looking for has been here all along.

I believe there are different kinds of magic in this world. One does not necessarily invalidate the other, but if there was any kind of magic in this world, it is beyond what we can define, what we can assign a meaning to.

The universe has its own way of letting us experience life on a disorderly order kind of way. And I am awakened, restless, and burning for what magic this life has to offer.


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