One of my early childhood memories is of my dad smoking pot with some of his friends, who were waiters, musicians, carpenters, drug dealers, even some legally-minded businessmen, and other types of characters. They would sit in the living room, playing chess or other games, talking and laughing boisterously, and filling the space with potent clouds of psychedelic smoke. The smoke didn't really bother me. Actually, I liked it. The fragrance was intriguing. I probably even caught a tiny second-hand buzz, since the reefer would permeate the air much like a persistent, all-encompassing incense.
Smell is a powerful sensory mechanism, and linked strongly to memory. My dad emitted a unique scent that was a combination of cologne, cigarettes, and of course, marijuana. His musk was ingrained in my neural network from the beginning of my entry into this Earth plane, and therefore, what might have been unpleasant to most, was, for me, a primal bonding agent that linked my instincts to a certain kind of lifestyle that went well beyond my particular family's idiosyncrasies. This stuff is archetypal and universal.
My dad also had a set of holograms that fascinated me. They were little medallions with esoteric-looking geometry and mythological creatures imprinted upon them. I would rotate them in my hands and marvel at the malleability of the images. It wouldn't be until adulthood that I would begin to understand the profundity of the holographic nature of existence, and to see how reality is shaped by the simultaneous occurrence of perception, being, and doing.
These events and ambient experiences from my somewhat pristine youth were like hints leading me towards the magic of life. They were beckoning me to discover more of the mystery, more of what was underneath.
David Blaine, the brilliant performer, magician, and transcender of boundaries, once said: "Magic is something that has a meaning. You can affect somebody with it. You open them up for a moment. You make them question. It's like a moment of astonishment. A little baby doesn't need magic, because a little baby is living in a world of astonishment. A little baby is amazed by everything around them, and that's what magic does—for one moment, it strips away all your layers and leaves you wide open."
So I keep looking for the magic...inside, outside, and wherever it can be found.
The higher power is in us.