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Magic paper



Last week, I dropped a spell I had drawn on my sketch pad into the canal from a bridge. The paper was folded in two and, to my surprise, it did not sink at once—the thick drawing paper kept it afloat, though already filled with water down the fold.


I experiment with different ways to activate spells, to burn them or immerse them in water—and this one worked the very next day. As it happened, before it fulfilled, I walked down the canal again and saw, about 1/4 mile in the opposite direction, upstream, the same paper again.

But it wasn’t the same paper, still afloat a day later—it was a whole sketchbook with empty pages open (it looked like it had a fold down the middle, as with the paper, thanks to its spine). As I watched it in the rain, a woman walked past and said to her child, “Someone’s lost their sketchbook in the canal.”


It was synchronistic, for I had not thought of it as a sketchbook until that moment—but it was, just as my paper the day before was from a sketchbook. The woman’s observation was itself synchronistic—she could have said “a book”, “a drawing book”, and so on; but it was a sketchbook.

Specific—it was as if the canal had returned my spell to me, double (or, in fact, the cosmos had returned it to me).


I tried to recover the sketchbook, since I had to hide from the downpour anyway—but there were no long branches about. For a time, I threw stones and twigs behind it, so as to create circular ripples to drive it towards me—and this would have worked, if I had more time and if I had larger stones. As it was, it was a slow way to draw the book to me.


Nonetheless, on the day the spell was fulfilled—on the day after the spell was cast into the canal—the magic paper was returned to me, under the weeping willows.

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