A surprising fact about the magician Bernard Kornblum, Joe remembered, was that he believed in magic. Not in the so-called magic of candles, pentagrams, and bat wings. Not in the kitchen enchantments of Slavic grandmothers with their herbiaries and parings from the little toe of a blind virgin tied up in a goatskin bag. Not in astrology, theosophy, chiromancy, dowsing rods, seances, weeping statues, werewolves, wonders, or miracles. All these Kornblum had regarded as fakery far different--far more destructive--than the brand of illusion he practiced, whose success, after all, increased in direct proportion to his audiences' constant, keen awareness that, in spite of all the vigilance they could bring to bear, they were being deceived. What bewitched Bernard Kornblum on the contrary, was the impersonal magic of life, when he read in a magazine about a fish that could disguise itself as any one of seven different varieties of sea bottom, or when he learned from a newsreel that scientists had discovered a dying star that emitted radiation on a wavelength whose value in megacycles approximated pi. In the realm of human affairs, this type of enchantment was often, though not always, a sadder business--sometimes beautiful, sometimes cruel. Here its stock-in-trade was ironies, coincidences, and the only true portents: those that revealed themselves, unmistakable and impossible to ignore, in retrospect.
You can't be a physician and not believe in Kornblum's type of magic. The human body is amazing stuff--no short of real magic. Further, human relationships are remarkable. And human stupidity is unfathomable (to put a little more cynical spin on it!).
In a parallel way, I believe in super heroes. Not in the web crawling mutations of a teen photographer, not in the x-ray vision of an alien orphan, but in the very personal super heroes of life--the poem writers for the upset, the activists for the oppressed, the courageous folks who walk away from mistakes, the ready friend to the struggling, the unwavering voice of faith, the (I could go on, but I'm too lazy--insert something here that describes you)... these folks are heroes of mine and accomplish in a slow and quiet way the super-human task of human life. They do what everyone does, but do it exceptionally.
I aspire to be super. But being super in life, much like Kornblum's magic, has many imitators and often remains unrecognized. Perhaps someday I can be as super as I want to be.