Way back in January, an article was written about me in the Daily Mail. Another good bit of Osteosarcoma awareness done, cool. A few lovely people contacted me after that who had gone through similar things and hadn’t met anyone else who had, and for the first time, they felt less alone. This is why I do these things.
Anyway, a few months later I got an email from ‘the assistant to Sera Gamble’. She’d seen the article and in it, I’d mentioned that when I found out I was going to lose my eye, I took strength from a character who’d lost her eye (Margo) from my fave TV show, The Magicians. Sera was the co-creator of the show (for further reference, she also does the Netflix show ‘You’). Her assistant asked for my email address. Months passed and I sort of forgot it had ever happened.
Then one day, I got an email from Laurie Lieser, another producer of the show, saying that she had a video to send me.
This video contains the most wonderful, personal, heartfelt video messages from the actors, the writers, the producers and creators of the show. All talk about feeling humbled by the fact their show had helped me through a rough time, and send me the most beautiful words and wishes. I was of course humbled by the fact that some of my favourite actors (and writers/producers/directors etc.) were talking directly to me, knowing about my life having taken the time to read about me.
They had finished filming the TV show long before they put this video together.
It was set to the soundtrack of ‘Under Pressure’ by Bowie. Anyone who knows me know I’m a huge Bowie fan and it’s typical for these fantasy type shows to have a musical episode. I think Buffy started the trend. One of the musical episodes of The Magicians is set to Under Pressure. At the end of the incredible video they put together for me was the small scene from the show where Margo says ‘Bowie fan?’ and Eliot replies with ‘Margo fan’.
I am, of course, very much both.
All the messages are incredible, and I could talk about them all day, but the last message is from the actress who plays Margo, which feels pretty special. I’ve been rewatching the show (as I tend to do) and I just watched the episode where Margo comes back to Fillory from the fairy realm and found out her eye had been taken as a bargain to return. Nothing in life comes for free. I hadn’t realised it the first time around because it hadn’t meant as much to me then, but I’m sure you can understand the significance of this moment before she starts wearing eyepatches:
The incredible Jade Tailor who plays Kady in the show (an absolute badass character and clearly a beautiful, empathetic human) says something in the video that I think about every day: ‘you have to believe in magic, and I know you do based on what you’ve been through.’
I do believe in magic. I really do.
I believe in the magic of humans and moments, of nature and life. The magic of Sera having read the article and these incredible humans putting together the most amazing video for little old me. I believe in the magic of crunching through autumn leaves in dappled sunlight. I believe in the magic of finding Supertramp’s album ‘Crime of the Century’ on vinyl for £3. I believe in the magic of deciding that the person making coffee in the record store will make a good one – and they do – and them commenting on how much they love my phone case (the Bowie lightning bolt; told you I was a fan). I believe in the magic of going for brunch with my bestie Rosa for her birthday. Of stir fries and roasts, and finding out that the book you want is on sale, the magic of playing music with people you love.
I believe in the magic of dressing up on Halloween with some spectacular friends, all of which are still here despite the universe trying to throw a spanner in the works. And the magic of making new friends, finding out you have the same birthday, chatting all night in French and organising to catch up again soon.
I believe in the magic of smoked salmon and prosecco, of bunches of flowers and clouds that look like faces. The magic of finding a vase that someone is giving away that you can put those bunches of flowers in. Of listening to old playlists and rediscovering songs that had once meant so much – and still do. Of music that makes you smile, and laugh, and cry, and want to dance.
I believe in the magic of India currently flying in another circus, of not knowing my way around the sounds of my new keyboard yet, which leads to creating musical magic. The magic of rain and fireworks and night buses and black eyeliner and Facetime and portmanteaus and vegetables that perfectly soak up sauce and cats that let you pat them. The magic of the moments I know my friend Sarah has had a hand in because she promised she’d haunt me.
I believe in magic. How could I not? It’s all around us constantly.
I’ll leave you with something Sera said in my video:
‘Really why I wanted to do the show was to explore this thing that’s so hard to contend with in our spirits, which is that world is unfair and bad things happen to good people for no discernible reason. But I believe that’s also how we find our strength and meet who we truly are. And more than that, how we get to be our most fabulous selves, like Margo.’
A million thanks to my incredible new friends from The Magicians. You’ve made me a very happy Jen, this has touched my heart more than I can say.
Here is a photo of some of the aforementioned magic. I went as a pirate, it was an obvious choice.