As I make my way through the Magicians, I can't help but think about all the magical academies that I never found my way into. No matter how many wardrobes I shut myself into hoping that this one will be the one with a path out, I was foolishly alone in the dark. I practiced intensity, silence, single word chants for hours, all of it fell short of a mirror shimmering into a chessboard land. I have traveled backward through the woods speaking to animals of all kinds and with no response. I met those who like to play in cloaks and salt rings chanting verse from the sinister Crowley; it never felt any different than LARP--formidably pretended.
The schools of magic. Closed.
In every story, there is this sense of the mind being pushed beyond its capabilities to weave itself within the threads of unknowable. Grit and practice are present on all those pages. Latinate charms and Greek monsters. Gods of all flavors weaving new tales of human bravery. Then there are the books and libraries who treat all those pages as sacred. Not an e-reader in sight, just tattering leather, and antique chairs and lamps. Study looms large in magical formation.
Today it occurred to me that there was one absolute way to enter the world of magic. It was so evident that it is embarrassing.
If you want to spend your days in the worlds of curious creatures and lands never traveled. If you're going to find the secrets of hidden places and eat from the tables of native tribes. If you want to float above cities brandishing a long bow with nymphic provenance. Then you must be willing to work for it.
The passage was always the pen.