Sympathetic Magic

It was only my second job as a project manager. My last contract lasted barely a cup of coffee and I was scared.

I wanted good things to happen. I invoked some sympathetic magic.

Have you heard of this? It’s a like-begets-like situation. One of my favorite examples of sympathetic magic has to do with older medicines. If a plant looked like a foot, it was considered to be a foot medicine. The Ginger root, since it looked like a little person, was considered to be very beneficial to the whole body. It’s been highly prized for its healing properties.

In this new scary work environment, I wanted to bring a little magic with me to ensure my success.

I chose a big orchid. I put it out where everyone could enjoy it. Some of my new co-workers commented and thanked me.

But my new boss hated the sight of it. To be honest, she hated the sight of ME.

How could she hate me? She barely gave me a chance. And these flowers were so pretty, surely, they would win her over just like I would.

I wanted the flowers to bring beauty, life and growth into my job. But they only brought resentment.

That orchid bloomed like crazy in that office. And I made the biggest project plan of my life. But boss lady hated us more with every passing day. She would drum her dramatic fake nails on the conference table where they sat.

The day I was escorted out with my box the orchid was still blooming. I could say the sympathetic magic didn’t work. There was no growth for me there. No delight and no beauty.

My magic flowers did serve to show immediately how resistant this boss was to my presence. I did know that that box-walk of shame was coming. I just hoped it wasn’t.

I’ve been feeling yucky and stuck the last few weeks. Something needed to change. Where could I find some creative juices? Everything has been shut down.

That’s no way to think. I find what I’m looking for. So where can I find creativity happening?

People gathering and expressing themselves. That must be happening somewhere.
Yes. Sunday night jazz bands on the patio. I’d seen them doing it by the Sushi shop for years. Last Sunday I packed up my laptop and sat in the audience.

The speakers were overdriven but the juice was flowing. Words poured out.
This time, the magic worked. I have a totally different sense of what is possible. It was like my efforts were suddenly going downhill and could pick up speed.

It seems like magic is a little mysterious. My magic didn’t get me what I hoped for the first time. But that was no reason to give up on it. I’m glad I didn’t.

Faith and Hope

And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13;13

I just tore out my tomato plant. It had flowers and even a few baby tomatoes on it. It was 94 degrees yesterday. This area is good for tomatoes as long as I water them.

I’d planted this tomato plant with so much faith and love. I had hope that it would give me delicious ripe red tomatoes.

I twined it around the cage to support it growing strong. I snipped back the growth so it would put its energy into the fruit.

I had faith. I loved my plant

And my hopes were not fulfilled. I saw the green tomatoes swell. Then they were stolen.

Every single.

There were forces that I had not controlled. My environment included tomato thieves. I found racoon prints in the dust around the corner. But then again, my backyard is a harbor for a lot of fauna. They are clever and thorough. The tomatoes would all be stolen the moment they turned the slightest blush of red.

I had hope though. I thought if I buried a green tomato in the middle of plant it would escape notice.

I was wrong.

The tomato burglars are skilled.

It was nice to have hope all summer. I had hope and no tomatoes.

I also was spending a lot of time looking for my next job. I had a lot of hope for that one too. So many small green possibilities came my way. A more bountiful harvest than ever before.

I was swimming in hope. So many possibilities, more than I’d ever dreamed possible.

But possibilities are not reality. I cannot put hope on a plate.

On the other hand, hope does help feed the faith. I have faith that I will find my spot. The right position will appear and it will extend an offer.

Like those green tomatoes, I was so ready to harvest one of these. So many of these jobs were perfect for me. And I was perfect for them!

But they vanished.

Undoubtedly, I could have done something to protect my tomatoes better. Many people had suggestions.

I also could have done things on the job search as well. There are no shortage of opinions on how I should change,

Well, I did change.

I ripped out the tomato plant. I had an idea about what I wanted, but I wasn’t successful with that idea. I am going to shift my hopes to a new direction. Faith keeps me going.

I spent this whole piece only talking about faith and hope. The greatest of the three is love. Love softens the blow of all the failed attempts of the first two. It hasn’t been easy.