I can travel through time. I can fly without an airplane. I can visit other worlds, other societies, on distant planets elsewhere in the galaxy.
I don’t do it literally. I do it by reading, and the movie version of it plays in my mind, an additional lifetime. Experience beyond the boundaries of my normal life.
I have rafted on the Mississippi in the 1830’s with an escaped slave and a couple of con men who pretend to be a duke and the rightful king of France. And the voice of Huckleberry Finn guides me as we overcome ignorance, racism, and an inability to get away from the things that pursue a boy who doesn’t quite understand how the world really works until he finally gets it right by listening to his heart.
I have fought giant squid with a whaling harpoon alongside Ned Land and Captain Nemo on the deck of the Nautilus, trying to comprehend the wonders under the sea without the villainous robber barons of industry turning scientific discoveries into the business of making war.
I have grown up on the Great Plains with Peta (Fire) of the Mahto band of the Dakota Sioux, learning to live with the spiritual power of the white buffalo in Ruth Beebe Hill’s book Hanta Yo! written from a story told by a Sioux painting on a ceremonial buffalo hide.
And all these many lives and wisdoms that I have added to my own I have achieved by the magic of deciphering… reading and understanding… books, many of which were written by men who died before I was born.
Anyone who would say that magic isn’t real… well, how do you explain the power of a good book?