Blog - Alyssa, Lover of Magic

For You, Lover of Magic and Seeker of Stories

by Alyssa Noelle Coelho, The Avatar

Mrs. Kearney was known for the students that would interrupt her class, sent from other classrooms by other teachers asking her to keep it down. She was a screamer, a shouter. She had all the pep in her step and animation in her facial muscles of a Kindergarten teacher. This was a woman who loved her work. The monsters Beowulf battled sprouted to life as the land of the Danes and the land of the Geats painted the walls of her classroom. Bradbury’s tattoos stalked between the desks and whispered behind our ears as she gave each one its own voice in the shadows she puppetted while the teacher’s assistant shined a flashlight on the whiteboard, against the Illustrated Man’s skin, just below the starry night that illuminated the ceiling of our seventh grade English classroom. 

“You have wisdom beyond your years in the spaces between your words.” I’ll never forget the words she left in her chicken scratch on my final paper after I’d thanked her for a magical year. Tears flowed that last class as I’d wondered if I’d ever find another storyteller who understood me. She was unlike any other writing mentor I’d had until that point, and the magic she doused my young vision with lasted me long into my university years.

Fast forward eleven years to a starkly different scene. Me, in the fetal position under my desk, mascara running down my face as I pried my eyes open to measure the damage I’d done to the walls of my room. Shattered glass, ripped paintings. The grief of the last three months without my father had spiraled me, and I wondered how the magic my childhood eyes understood so clearly, the enchantment that permeated my life, could’ve evaporated so suddenly.

“So, there’s this author…”

“Oh great, another book recommendation.” I sighed.

My sister laughed, “This one is different, Sis. I swear. It changed my life many years ago, and it sounds like it might be just the one you need right now.

The Way of The Peaceful Warrior was in my mailbox three days later. And, three days after that, I’d finished it and ordered the rest of the Peaceful Warrior series. 

I’d finally found a storyteller whose words spoke to my adult self while reawakening the child within, the believer in magic, the seeker of more. After attending Dan Millman’s retreat in Costa Rica, he signed my book with the exact same words, reminding me that it wasn’t him who was the teacher, “You have wisdom beyond your years in the spaces between your words.”

That plane ride home was one of remembrance, of recollection… that we are our answers—our magic.

A poem for you… 

You, who have forgotten the power you hold in the spaces in between.
You, lover of magic and seeker of stories…

I wish they’d taught us more

About stories growing up,

About how truth dances in

The spaces between the words

And in the corners of pages

And in the suspension before

The ink bleeds from the tip 

Of our present.

I wish they’d told us to listen

To the parts we skip over,

To the characters with no voice

And the authors with no pen,

Because we learn instead 

To fill the space

With the noise of tomorrow

And the pain of certainty.

So, we forget the stories 

In the silence

And the sanctuary

In the breath

Before we speak.

But I’ll tell you this,

In a world so concerned

With sense,

I have no desire to make

More of it.

I want to leave you

On your knees,

Pried open 

By magic and story,

With the words

You never dared to share,

The words you never knew were there

Bleeding from your tongue.

2 thoughts on “For You, Lover of Magic and Seeker of Stories”

  1. I love this! Thank you for reminding me that there is more than all the noise that surrounds me/us and to slow down and take it ALL in! ❤️

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Scroll to Top