I was going to write about Ben Cardall's 'The Roobik Booklet", but after some lengthy thought, I've decided to put that post off until next week. Instead, I thought I'd take a moment to address something that has greater application and broader importance.
Earlier this week, I read on a social media site that Jose Prager (the owner of this fine website) suffered the loss of his grandfather. Accompanying the announcement was a picture of this man, laying on his side, holding the hand of his great-grandson. The caption above the image read "He showed me how to use magic to change people."
I don't know why, but I was touched by the quiet dignity of this man, depicted reaching out to a member of the younger generation. And the caption made me realize how powerful the gift of amazement is, especially in a world that makes such tremendous demands upon its citizens. The magic that he shared makes us all young again and lets us see the world through fresh new eyes and, if only for a moment, the impossible is possible.
As I sat gazing at this picture, I felt that the loss was not Jose's alone - though he undoubtedly felt it keenest - but it was a loss suffered by all of us. I was reminded of Hemmingway's statement:
"And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."
The loss of a comrade is the loss of the whole brigade.
I extend my gratitude and respect to this man. He helped to safeguard, propagate and uphold a tradition that means a great deal to me.
Like many before him, and many after, he will be missed - but the magic that he created will live on in the smiles of those who remain, always.