When I was eleven years old, I found out that my favorite author was long dead.
I was sitting in a huge chair in a podiatrist’s office, striving to keep my attention on how Lucy Pevensie was going to manage herself in an invisible wizard’s house rather than the surgeon who was taking apart my big toe, and I said I couldn’t wait to finish my book, and how excited I was to start on the next one. My doctor agreed that C.S. Lewis had done the children of the world a great service with the Chronicles of Narnia. I expressed my hope that Lewis would repent of his decision to stop at seven books, and write more.
The doctor smiled up at me apologetically and said, “I’m afraid that won’t happen. You see, he died before you were born. In fact, he died the same day Kennedy was shot. His death got lost in that fog.”
I didn’t hear another word after that. C.S. Lewis was dead and as far as I was concerned, once I had finished The Last Battle, there would never be another book for me. On the plus side, I forgot that half my toe was flopping open.
There is magic in knowing that certain people exist in the world, non? Some people leave gaping holes when they are gone. People like Lewis, or John Hughes, or Elvis. As long as they were alive, there was hope for more of the Something Special they brought to this place. Whether it be a fairy tale, or a painfully and sweetly funny movie, or another comeback special in Vegas–there was an underlying hope of something special yet to be.
I feel that way about Pamela Dean. She is working on a new book, and I have this bubbling excitement for the day it appears. It’s a bit like knowing Christmas is coming. For me, there is magic in knowing Pamela Dean exists.
I feel that way about certain artists, musicians, even some politicians and ministers. I am going to be so sad when Charles Stanley dies. Don’t even get me started on JK Rowling! I need her to live forever and write more about anything!
Just something I was thinking about in the shower.
Whose art or work brings magic to your world?