“Predictable things: that’s what people pay attention to,” writes Huss Carus. “They notice that which is large, or colorful, or in rapid motion. They notice that which is cute or terrifying. But above all else, they notice what another human being tells them to notice.”
This is a passage from Lenience of the Willow Bough, the book I was telling you about yesterday.
“If you ask someone to notice what you’re doing with the cards in your hands, they will pay attention, if only to be polite. If they find your actions interesting, they will, of their own accord, continue to watch; further entreaty will not be necessary,” Carus says. “Magic abuses the social manners of our fellows. We ask onlookers to pay attention to one thing—something obvious, flashy, and profoundly inconsequential. Thus, the looker fails to notice where the business end of the transaction resides.”
Jill Riddell is a writer in Chicago. She teaches at the School of the Art Institute and has a weakness for nature, magic, and pennies abandoned in sidewalk cracks.