Magic School Mini - Amelie and the Loose Tile in the Bathroom

Have you seen the film Amelie? It's a favorite of mine. We featured it as a film in our Into the Dark Night eBook.  On Goodreads I like to mark some of my favorite books with a designation I call: Forever Returning to Here. The story of Amelie would receive such a designation.

Part of living a magical life with #themagicschool philosophy means utilizing fictional stories and melding my favorite parts with my reality. Getting to embody endearing parts of a character, like Amelie, is meaningful and enjoyable to me. Our wardrobe is one place we as artists AND magicians get to have creative control and expression. It affects our living in a very tangible and bodily way.

This past Spring I filled out a style profile at Stitch Fix (this link takes you to my affiliate link) requesting an Amelie sort of wardrobe. I've also been growing my hair out for a year and just recently got an Amelie cut. Do I want to be Amelie? No, of course not. I want to be me, but picking and choosing a few things from her story to flavor my own, that's totally doable and meaningful.

I loved gnomes as a preschool child, long before seeing Amelie, but now that I've seen the film, gnomes remind me of Amelie. I have that touchpoint in common with her. 

The above photo of me, taken in my Amelie-ish Stitch Fix dress was taken in the 5th grade bathroom at one of the Elementary Schools I taught at this year. I often chose to go to this bathroom instead of the teacher's bathroom because my classes were only 5 minutes apart, and this bathroom was so much closer. 

Interestingly enough, I found myself going into the same stall every time. It was halfway through the year when I noticed a tile that was loose along the floorboard behind the toilet. If you know the story of Amelie then you know that her life gets rather interesting one day while in her lingerie in her home bathroom she is about to wash her face when she drops the lid to a bottle and it rolls across the bathroom floor and knocks into a loose tile. Behind the tile she find a treasure. I won't tell you what. I wouldn't want to spoil it. However, when I saw the loose tile laying askew in that elementary bathroom I smiled and thought, here is one more touchpoint where her fictional story meets up with my humdrum reality. 

I never got up the gumption to stick my hand into the hole where the tile was loose. It WAS a public bathroom afterall and WASN'T exactly spick and span. But I often imagined finding a treasure there, or leaving a treasure for some equally curious and curiouser 5th grader. 

This loose tile reminds me so much of the story of Boo Radley and Scout and their knot in the tree where they would exchange gifts in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. 

 So I added the loose tile to my Book of Spells. I believe its power is the ability to find hidden treasures in unsuspecting places. (LIKE A SECRET MESSAGE!) To create an opening in reality that lets the wonder in. To have a place to tuck small things that have value when the world at large might not understand the significance. To know there is someone, always someone, on the other side of that tile, who gets your love for precious little things, who understands that your as is life has GREAT meaning because you say it is so and who reconnects you with that meaning just when you were about to forget.

This in turn makes me think of Jenn Grosso and her zine I have strategically placed on my bedside table, so I see it every morning and every night as I leave dream world and enter real world or leave real world and enter dream world. Holy the Small.