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Part 97 - Magic

Do you believe in magic?

· mind,joy,friends

"Music is probably the only real magic I have encountered in my life. There's not some trick involved with it. It's pure and it's real. It moves, it heals, it communicates and does all these incredible things."

- T. Petty

I don't believe in magic, but I've seen it.

I live in Nashville, Music City USA, and I rarely go hear music. I'm a pretty early to-bed kind of guy and most shows - especially shows at smaller venues - start at 9:00 PM. In Nashville parlance, 9:00 PM translates into something more like this:

Doors at 7:00

Opener at 9:00

(actually 9:45, if you're lucky)

Headline at 9:30

(actually 10:45, if you're lucky)

Two hour set

(actually 3 hours, if you're lucky)

You get the picture. You go hear a show in Nashville and you're not getting to bed before midnight.

We took my friend Dan and his wife Ginger to City Winery last night to hear Jerry Douglas play. The show was amazing, like crazy amazing. It was magic. We got to bed just after midnight.

Magic is worth a late night. I've seen magic twice this week. The first magical moment was at our house on Thursday. Magic. The second was last night. Magic.

I don't actually believe in magic. I am a natural born skeptic. There's a broad body of science behind why music makes us emote. The vibrations of strings, reeds, and other things actually affect our mood and brain activity. There's science behind group dynamics and the brain activity associated with what scholars might call corporate worship - a group of people singing, dancing, praying, practicing yoga, whatever.

If you've ever listened to a song and cried, involuntarily, you've experienced a sort of magic. If you've ever been to a festival with undulating bodies and a charismatic MC and colored powder wafting over the crowd, you've experienced a sort of magic. All of these things can be explained by science - to a degree. There is something, however, that transcends the physical and chemical explanations.

I don't believe in magic, but I've seen it.