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PRACTICAL MAGIC - the old ways and the new

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In the early 1980s, a gentleman came over from India and established a religious commune in Antelope, Oregon, a day's drive away from where I went to college, in McMinnville. Although popular, he was widely considered a charlatan and con-man and the commune ended some years later amid financial scandal (including 24 gold Rolls Royces) and abuse allegations. These days, however, I see this man's picture everywhere with all sorts of profound quotes and such - the evolution of myth has removed him completely from reality, and it's easy to place good words over a dead man's picture. This sort of development, combined with having worked in the sciences, has made me a rigorous reductionist, wielding Occam's Razor in a manner worthy of Sweeny Todd.

BUT - I am also a true believer in ... something that is neither charlatan nor ignorance nor forgotten history. I don't think shoelace fairies and dryads as such exist, but I have observed that it makes a difference if I conduct myself as if these things were true. I have no idea why.

Lyrics

PRACTICAL MAGIC
Kray Van Kirk
(c) Midnight Commander Music

In the old ways
Before I tie my shoes
Like the old days
I say "Oh please excuse me"
And give the shoelace faeries time to fly

In the old ways
in my mailbox lives a gremlin
Eats up the junk mail
And then calls out with a happy grin
"Come quickly! There is news from far away!"

I have heard, I think it's true
One is one and two is two
Yesterdays tomorrow
The old ways and the new

The water sprites
Living in the garden hose
Waits for just the moment
To turn around and soak my clothes
Whenever I just drop them on the ground

A wood nymph
Mixes sun and rain
Living in the apple tree
With salamander fire
By her gentle alchemy

Like the old days
When I lie down at night
In the old ways
Leave a candle warm and bright
To safely guide the shoelace faeries home