The nature of magic

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at
Mon Jan 8 05:44:06 EST 2001

JOdel wrote:

>The more I think about this the more likely the probability that any magic I
>produced would have the same general characteristics as my everyday work.
>Nothing to write home about and embarassingly in keeping with the low-risk
>mentality of a civil-service lifer. It would be solidly competent, sometimes
>quite attractive and always on time. But never dazzling, and seldom original.
>Not sure what form it would take (word-based, process-based, whatever, etc.)
>but certain constants can be antcipated when the producer is a person of
>good, and fairly wide memory, considerable resourcefulness and virtually NO
>Few people wanting to employ a magician would hire me at all, but anyone who
>did would have few complaints about the work not getting done, or not getting
>done in an acceptable manner. There wouldn't be any awards passed out comming
>in my direction, but my employers wouldn't feel cheated. They'd just need to
>hire someone else for the projects that they wanted to impress anyone with.
>Mr Chesney would probably have approved, if he ever knew I existed (unlikely).
>Rather discouraging, on the whole...

Yeah, I know what you mean.  I went around for about two weeks 
thinking that all I'd manage to come up with, given magical ability, 
was a lot of cleaning-up (as in housework, not as in Querida in YotG) 
and a lot of transportation spells.  How boring can you get!

Then, I realized that it's only in DL/YotG that Healers are distinct 
and the only ones who seem to heal, and came up with a lot of healing 
stuff I'd like to do: headaches first off, then the kids dental work 
_without_ the required tooth extraction, and often painful (we won't 
even mention costly and time-consuming!) brace-wearing.  But from 
there, I started slipping oh-so-easily into much more worrying areas. 
Hey, if I'm going to fix Becca's crooked teeth, why not give her the 
most sparkling, whitest set possible while I'm at it?  And if I can 
throw a protection spell around both of them to stop their being hit 
by cars and the like, why not some kind of emotional protection?

See where this leads?  I've always firmly believed that having 
everything go perfectly for you is the worst possible way to grow up. 
But that depends in part on the fact that no parent _can_ protect 
their children from being hurt.  Would it really be possible to sit 
back and let the truly nasty kids who give Cara a hard time for not 
being "cool" (ie, liking to read a lot, and liking to watch Sabrina 
on the tv and not Big Brother), and not "tweak" them in the right 
direction a little?  And hey, why not "tweak" the stupid parents who 
teach them that all that's important in life is being first, or most 
popular or most attractive?  And then, well, how could I possibly not 
try to do _something_ about the children who are abused?  Or get 
hooked on drugs?  Or alcohol?

Yep, I've discovered the potential to want to rule the world, which 
is always the last thing I've ever thought I had.  But I'd only be 
working for the good of the worlds (as the magids have to swear to 
do)!  I think I wish I hadn't gone beyond the boring housecleaning...


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