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Kansas City MO 64131





Cindy Maddera

In a past life, I was a magician's assistant. This was in the late 1800s in England, but we traveled all over to perform our act. The Magician had developed this amazing trick where he'd inject black ink under his skin and then, as I stood next to him, a black tree would start growing out of the tops of my feet and then twist and grow all around and up my body. It really was a great trick and of course other magicians wanted to know how the trick was done. 

The Magician carried everything in one of those traveling trunks. The trunk was unique because from the outside it looked like a regular trunk, but the inside was bigger. There was enough space to carry all of our things and a little sitting area where I could sit and read. It was very cozy and comfortable which was important because I'd often ride in the trunk when we traveled to save money on train tickets. Once inside the trunk, no one knew I was in there. This is where I was one evening after a show. I was sitting comfortably in the trunk, reading a book. The Magician had gone out for the evening. I thought I would have a nice quiet evening to myself until I heard the sounds of someone rummaging around our room. I quickly blew out my candlelight that I had been using to read with just in case the trunk leaked out any light and sat as quietly and still as possible. 

Suddenly the trunk lid popped open and I felt a hand grip my upper arm and yank me out of my cozy little spot in the trunk. The man shook me and demanded I tell him where the plans for our famous trick was kept. I told him over and over that I couldn't. You see, there were no plans. The Magician had never written it down and in fact really only knew how half of the trick worked. I knew the other half, but not the Magician's half. This was how we'd managed to keep it a secret all this time. Incensed, the man gathered up all the papers he could find in our room and trunk. Then he grabbed a length of rope, bound my wrists and threw me back into the trunk. His plan was to dump me and the trunk into the river. I could feel the trunk being dragged down the hall and bounce down some stairs. Then I could feel the rattle of being dragged across cobble stones. 

I screamed as I felt the trunk falling and then landing in the cold water below. The trunk started to take in water quickly. I frantically started looking around for a way to get out or something to cut the rope binding my wrists. One of the great things about being a magician's assistant is that you learn escape tricks. This was how I managed to wriggle my hands free of the rope, but when I shoved on the lid of the trunk to get out, the lid wouldn't budge. By now, water had almost completely filled the trunk and I barely had space to keep my nose out of the water. I took one last gulp of air, dived to the bottom of the trunk and then torpedoed myself at the trunk lid.  But just as I was about to hit the lid, it popped open and there was the Magician. He had been on his way home and just crossing the bridge when he saw a man shoving a familiar looking trunk over the ledge and into the water. The Magician grabbed my wrist and headed towards the surface, where we broke through the water gasping for air.

OK, maybe this didn't really happen in a past life, but is exactly what happened in a dream I had the other night.  Dreams can be scary. They can be weird and make very little sense. Dreams can be insightful, helping to solve a problem you've pondering. They can inspire us to do something great.  But for today, for Love Thursday, I'm honoring those dreams that spark the imagination. Because I believe that great things can grow from that spark.

Happy Love Thursday!