The Chariot, from the Phantomwise Tarot © 2004-2013 Erin Morgenstern

I have just read The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern (no relation). Very few books have created a place that I longed to be able to go to in real life. I have wished Hogwarts were real, and that I could slip through the ivy-covered door into the Secret Garden; and now, oh how I wish the Cirque des Rêves were really touring around the world, bringing its exquisite magic to us. I would be a Rêveur, one of the people who follows it around, a beauty groupie. I would knit a Rêveur’s crimson scarf for me, and one for Joy, and we would go into the Cloud Maze tent, and the Ice Garden, and the Hall of Mirrors, and see the illusionist work impossibilities, and take in the intricacies of the clock, and wander through tents where everything is made of paper and covered in words. I don’t know if the Munchkin would need to come along (though she would enjoy Widget and Poppet’s acrobatic kittens). She already seems to live in a magical world.

But then, according to the author, we all do.

“Is magic not enough to live for?” Widget asks.

“Magic,” the man in the grey suit repeats, turning the word into a laugh. “This is not magic. This is the way the world is, only very few people take the time to stop and note it. Look around you,” he says, waving a hand at the surrounding tables. “Not a one of them even has an inkling of the things that are possible in this world, and what’s worse is that none of them would listen if you attempted to enlighten them. They want to believe that magic is nothing but clever deception, because to think it real would keep them up at night, afraid of their own existence.”

Or as Stan Shunpike, conductor of the Knight Bus, says when Harry Potter asks him why the Muggles don’t hear the bus,

“Them!” [said Stan contemptuously.] “Don’ listen properly, do they? Don’ look properly either. Never notice nuffink, they don’.”

“But,” Widget says, “some people can be enlightened.”

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