Monthly Archives: October 2018

I’m just wild about Harry..



I’m referring to Harry Potter, although I do like several of the other well know Harrys..the Prince, Belfonte and Houdini.  As in real life, I am often late to the party and resistant to embracing books of fantasy fiction.  I’ve long been out of the young adult reader category but as with everything else available to us in our worlds, things come to us when they need to. Harry Potter arrived on my nightstand, along with the six other volumes a few weeks ago.  I am just about through the second novel and there’s pretty much no stopping me now to complete the set.

It wasn’t that I didn’t know of his existence.  It was just when he arrived on the scene twenty years ago, I was busy being a grown up full time with occasional moments of childhood pushing through to the front.  I was a parent who “bought the books” for my then 11 year old  youngest son.  Recently,  he said to me that Harry Potter changed his life and opened his eyes and world to reading.  I decided that I needed to understand the magic behind the phenomenon. I remember that my mother, who was a reader as well, had read at least the first book, and she referenced “wanting an owl”.  At the time I didn’t realize what that meant.  I was in a time in my life that I wasn’t paying as much attention to the details around me, but more the broad strokes.

Allowing myself to slip into the world of Hogwarts, was both comforting and comfortable.  I knew enough about him to have referenced  the space under the stairs of the first house my FHB and I owned together as a “Harry Potter room”.  Harry, when I now come to know him, becomes somewhat of a parallel person to my youngest son and makes me remember what being 11 might have been like for him, as well as a difficult time in my own growing up.

Harry, the outsider, only somewhat aware of the world being different to him and for him, was a survivor who strived to connect with others. Harry’s adoptive family was abusive and cold and dismissive.  He was a target of their disappointment of his differences from them.  Despite this theme, he found his place in the world and others who were like minded, and found the world he had grown up in was not the world he had to live in.

I am asked to write  letters of recommendation for some  of the senior class students who are heading to college.  There are some that come from an easier life, and others who lives are challenged from the start, and are often metaphors for the characters in Harry Potter.  They all have their powers but they haven’t culled them or they are unaware of their potential.  My own growing up was more economically stable than some of the students, but in terms of feeling out of step or place, or not feeling as connected to others as we hope, can reveal and remember where I was at that point in my development.   I like that I can write those letters and see their magic.

For years, I have called my youngest son, “Harry” as a sign of affection.  When each book was published, I made sure he would own it .  I only now recognize the power of the books.

Harry is someone we can probably recognize, if not in ourselves, in someone we know.  The world he lives in is the world we might live in, with the good guys and the bad guys and the struggle to distinguish them from one another.  It is a universal tale.  Sometimes it is good to go back in time to books written for young adults by adults who remember the struggles of growing up.  It’s never to late to read a book whose time was meant for reading now, and not then.  Several people have suggested I see the movies.  I choose to rather read the words J.D. Rowling chose to tell a story of a wizard in training and I try and imagine which character I might be.  Perhaps I am Hedwig the owl or perhaps Hedwig’s character is a voice from my own past, delivering a message.  I would like to imagine it is.

Come with me to Privet Drive and find something unexpected.


Life in Tangles



This Monday morning was filled with a series of non-threatening, non-life altering, but still annoying events.  Columbus Day is one of those weird school days off that goes back to 1492 (according to what I remember from elementary school) which we used to celebrate, of which little is really spoken of these days.  I generally work at job #2 on those kind of days because that’s just me and I still get to sleep at least ninety minutes later in the morning.  It is a day filled with good intentions like cooking ahead for dinner or tomorrow’s dinner.  It’s making sure the bills are paid, cat is fed, litter box cleaned.  It was also the morning where scattered and disorganized was the special du jour.  I just could not get out of my own way without creating significantly more work for myself.  Somewhat counterintuitive.

I was making a lentil loaf, which might not be everyone’s choice for dinner, but we like it.  Everything seemed to be on track when I dropped a container of brown sugar (while reaching for something else), all over the floor.  It was like one of those science experiments which demonstrates the breadth of the egg’s contact with the ground based on the height it was dropped from.  There was no egg (vegan recipe) but the sugar covered a huge area in places I am still finding about 14 hours later.  It was quite early in the morning which meant I didn’t want to wake the neighbors with the vacuum going, so I swept up what I could.  Still crackles when I walk around.  That was followed by a malfunction in my FHB’s beard trimmer, as it hurled itself to the floor and was emitting a loud whine and when I picked it up, while covering my ears, it would not shut off. My FHB had left for work earlier, so I am not sure how it landed on the floor, but the cat looked a bit guilty as she sat and groomed herself.

I have moments, on days like this, when I just believe that I should just stand in place and not breath or move.  I wonder if the earth’s gravity adjusts while we are just doing our daily things and we don’t notice, like an earthquake, slightly imperceivable, but then we stop and think “did the earth move?”.  I am generally moving around, especially when I have to get things done and get out of the house so I merely consider not moving but never stop.  I stopped for about a second and then just kept going, while in the back of my head wondering what’s next.

It seemed like things were going smoothly and I was ready to leave when I decided what I needed to add to my outfit was a necklace.  I am not much of a fashionista at any given moment.  My best hope is that my shoes match one another and my lipstick is on my lips and not my face.  Yet, some days I want to wear a necklace.  So I went to the closet where I have several hanging up and grabbed the one I wanted and the hook gave way and down they went, like a group of paratroopers in a group jump.

My mind was saying loudly “walk away, just walk away…”.  Who among us, actually listens to their mind in those moments.  I thought “no, not this time…I want to wear that necklace” as I could see it at my feet in a pile of silver and gold.

I picked up the pile, grabbed a pair of tweezers, as this is not my first untangling  rodeo, and sat at the dining room table and began to separate the chains and gently pull apart the various necklaces, one by one.  I took some breaths, and with no noise but the sounds of the cars driving by, I moved and maneuvered each piece with the precision of the guy that dismantles bombs until they were all separated.  I picked up the one with the coin pearl, placed it around my neck, grabbed my car keys, shut off the lights and hoped for the best.

Made it through the day.  One day at a time, one necklace at a time.