Magic Stories but Small
JULY 3, 2023

This Be The Verse

They fuck you up, your mum and dad


Dear Friend, 

As I held you in my arms for the first time, I was surprised by the feeling of fear. 

The truth is that I had not expected you to be so fragile – nor was I prepared to be given, so shortly after your appearance, such total power and responsibility over you. I held your trembling body and watched your eyes open and fill with magnificent wonder. And what would happen if I dropped you? 

I tightened my arms around you, but of course my fear was not about your body. 

Over that first wonderful season we spent together, I could see every day how your eyes sparked with new sensations of love and amazement and adventure. But this only caused my fear to deepen. Because I began to understand that, sooner or later, I would have to break all of it. It was actually my job to drop you.

So my work began. When your spirit wanted to run in spectacular puddles, I broke it in consideration of the cleanliness of your shoes. When you wanted to climb to high places, I told you that you cannot fly. And when you were drawn to villains like the wolf from the cartoons, I engaged them as my accomplices in crimes against your childhood. 

I have broken so much already – our bond has become so complicated. And whatever I do, it seems, I will let you fall even further. 

For example, if I insist on your discipline and drive you to success, I will make my love a reward for your achievements and make it a corrupt currency. If I give you comfort every time you fail, you will learn to seek help or pity – or simply surrender in the face of challenges. I will suffocate you by making you in my image. Or I will abandon you. 

What I fear most is that I will let you fall in ways I don’t even know. This is because I also fell once upon a time. And the wounds that I can’t see are the very wounds I’ll be trying to pass off to you. As you grow up, there is a thought you’ll often hear about what happens when you don’t remember the past, and this is true of our personal history too. 

So we find ourselves in this very delicate situation, friend. I fear there is no easy way out of it. You will fall hard and far from me.  

But one day, many days from now, when you’ve finished falling – when you have gotten up and licked your wounds and learned to fly from high places on your own two wings – I hope you will fly back to me. On that day we can finally sit together and talk about what went wrong and why. You can tell me about the flaws I passed down to you in this miserable history – and I can try to figure out where I got them from, or if I created them just for you. 

And then, when we’ve exhausted the topic, we can talk about an alternative history. This history is not one we are often asked to discuss in therapy. It finds no place in our culture of complaint. It is difficult to even write in the privacy of a letter such as this. But on that day we should also talk about the fact that trauma isn’t the only thing that is passed down.

In this alternative history, you will find shadowy ancestors who dreamed you in specks of light. You will meet heroic men and women who fought with honor to protect even your possibility – who fell with mumbled prayers on their lips. You are their prayers come true. You have been sparked from them – exploded out of the mountainous centuries. So I have also given you what they have also given me – infinite faith, hope, and love. 



More Magic to Come

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