The Magician’s Umbrella

28 July 2013
2:55 pm

T. —

I’m in trouble. This is the notebook that I found in Strasbourg, which I ended up buying in Colmar. Then I discover what it can do. And that they’re pretty much non-available outside of the Belgium/France area. Apparently 80% of the notebooks made by Brepols stay in Belgium. How is that fair, when they are so beautiful??

A few months ago, Andrew found a site called Wantful, wherein you can send a present to someone by choosing 12 items for them based on their taste or what you know of them. The site turns your list into a booklet or e-book, like a mini-catalogue of presents! They get to look through and see all the descriptions, while never seeing the price, and they get the final choice of which single item they would like to have. We’ve sent four so far, and just spent the last 30 minutes choosing all of the items for my friend who just got married yesterday. I’m already placing my bets on which ones they would most likely pick =).

I’m in the middle of reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Have you read it? Have I told you about it yet? I woke up to a downpour of rain outside, and when I hold an umbrella now, I can’t help but think of the Magician’s Umbrella:

Outside, the rain is heavy and the street is dark and almost completely deserted, glowing windows dotting the streets. It is not as cold as Celia had expected, despite the chilling wind.

She remains distracted as she walks, considering the cards, but she slowly realizes that she is rather warm. At least as warm if not warmer than she had been sitting near the fire with Isobel. More than that, her clothes are still dry. Her jacket, her gloves, even the hem of her gown. There is not a single drop of rain upon her although it continues to pour, the wind causing the rain to fall in several directions beyond the standard gravitational pattern. Drops splatter upward from pond-like puddles and blow in sideways but Celia does not feel any of them. Even her boots are not the slightest bit damp.

Celia stops walking as she reaches the open square, halting next to the towering astronomical clock where carved apostles are making their scheduled hourly appearance despite the weather.

She stands still in the downpour. The rain falls so thickly around her that she can hardly see more than a few paces ahead but she remains both warm and dry. She holds her hand out in front of her, beyond the cover of the umbrella, and regards it carefully but not a single drop of rain falls upon it. Those that come close suddenly change direction before hitting her glove, bouncing off as though she is surrounded by something invisible and impermeable.

It is around this time that Celia becomes certain that the umbrella she is holding is not her own.

– pp. 199 – 200, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern


One day, I will have a great reason to visit Hofstra University : to see the Stephen Dunn Collection.

Good morning,


One thought on “The Magician’s Umbrella

  1. I forgot to say that I haven’t read The Night Circus yet, but you mentioned it before.

    And I want to visit Hofstra University, too. For Stephen Dunn, of course.


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