It occurred to me, the other day, that there was no word I could think of to describe what I believe is a very large group of people. Artists are particularly well represented in this group (perhaps over represented), but there are many other people in it, as well. I was looking for a word that means “people who consistently and continually perform feats of astounding magic, which nobody notices.” Given the number of people it encompasses, there really ought to be one.
By “magic” I mean all of those extraordinary, creative acts that surprise and delight us all with their novelty and by how unexpected they are. I bet you know any number of artists, artisans and regular people that produce things you have no idea how to produce, but which go largely unrecognised and unappreciated (or woefully underappreciated). Simply being a person that has exquisitely sensitive feelings, who takes note of the things that we all see, in plain sight, but which few of us take time to really observe and understand, qualifies you for inclusion in this group of people. Their audiences may be tiny, but the quality of what they do remains high and they keep at it.
I’ve just seen one of those” year in review” shows on the television, which catalogues the deaths of formerly celebrated artists, actors, politicians, humanitarians and so forth. Each one was a recognised magician of some sort. Their magic was remarked upon, noted and will be missed sorely. Those aren’t the people I mean. The group I am trying to find a name for are those people that were not in the least any less accomplished and amazing, capable of equally breathtaking acts, whose absence will be sorely felt, when they’re gone, but who, for now, are taken for granted as just another creative being, doing what they do best.
I’m referring to the non-celebrities, the uncelebrated and the quiet achievers that just produce their magical works, undaunted by obscurity, whose accomplishments really ought to be more widely praised and more highly valued, but isn’t. I mean the silent, unassuming, unknown people, whose contribution to humanity is wholly unsung, yet vital.
These people are important. They are the ones that create the very fabric of society and culture, through the application of their outstanding creative and intuitive talents. Their work brings joy and beauty into the world. Their playful, imaginative creations make us smile and their lucid insights give us pause for thought. They play an essential role in creating civilisation, as life improvers. Without them, we rapidly descend into sheer barbarism. Their task is thankless and their work mostly ignored. Isn’t it about time we gave that group of people a name, so that their contribution can at least be recognised?
In the absence of a formal word to describe this army of humanity, I propose the following: “Tragician”. It means “a magician whose magic goes tragically unnoticed”. What do you think?