- She made a self-fulfilling prophecy about her works: "There isn't a child in the world that won't know his name." Is there? I think not.
- There are no electronics in the books. No laptops. No cell phones. No computers or gizmos or gadgets. These children, the little wizards, had to read (gasp) books and study and learn.
- There is no commercialism: no Pepsi cans, no Nike sneakers, no Tommy Hilfiger clothing, no iPhones.
- There is no romantic drama (well, maybe a little between Hermione and Ron at the dance, but the plot does not center around it). Children grew up with other things in mind besides hooking up. Like learning. And maturing. And their role in the grand scheme of things.
- We learn that there are causes worth giving your life for. There is stewardship for others. Life is lived for the greater good.
- Though religion doesn't enter into the storyline directly, all that they need has been provided for them. The herbs for potions, the creatures, the knowledge.
- No matter how hard a person seems, they may have a very soft and tender spot in their heart. Snape's storyline in particular and his "always" love for Lily.
- Good always conquers evil.
- There are people around us who simply don't stand for something. The Malfoys couldn't really commit to good because of it's restrictions, but neither could they commit to evil because of it's dangers. They just drifted.
- There is pure evil out there. It will try to win. You have the power to overcome if you believe.
- “Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.”
I can't tell you how long I resisted the whole Harry Potter movement. I thought if it was that popular, it must be junk.
Boy, was I wrong. As a writer, I find myself in complete awe of Ms. Rowling's brilliance. She created not just characters, but an entire culture: creatures, games, food and drinks, sub-stories, sports, curriculum, language, spells, potions, and the like. An entire universe.
And it's not just the world she created, but the writing is so beautiful as well. She tells a great story in a lovely way.
It is jam packed with storylines of integrity, humanity and accountability. It is good vs. evil, but the whys and wherefores of it all.
Here's what I love most:
I once had a good friend say to me, "Man, I'd hate to live inside your head!" And she meant it. As much as she cared for me, she was a little afraid of me, I think, for some of the things I just blurted out in her presence. I have a very leaky filter. I often embarrass myself or those around me without ever having the intention of doing so. I really don't have a malicious bone in my body, but I say things to try to shock people into laughter for the sake of taking some of the seriousness out of their lives and it sometimes backfires.
To that end comes today's post. I sometimes think too much. Here are my latest thoughts about shoes. I have one style of shoe that I like. Those who are closest to me know this. Black, flat Mary Janes. That is my shoe of choice. Mary Janes, because they are kind of timeless and retro. Flat because I have always worn dresses and flats. I will not forsake comfort for style. Black because they go with everything.
BUT . . . they have to be a certain type of Mary Jane. There are so many different styles—the strap on the ankle, the strap up by the toe, and the strap right across the top of the instep. Wedge, high-heeled, spikey, flat. Open toe, closed toe. Embellishments, plain. Mine have to be right across the top of the instep. Here's where the weird thinking too much comes in. If the strap is up on the ankle, it signifies holding me back and that makes me crazy. Up by the toe makes me feel like I'm going to trip. But right across the center of my foot plants me.
Most of you know of my gypsy existence (over 75 addresses in 56 years) and that all I ever wanted was to have a farm and stay put. So the strap across the middle holds me in one place. Different from holding me back. Holding me back would mean impeding my dreams.
Now, before you think that is really crazy, let me share with you where the whole concept came from. I used to co-own and help run a medical massage therapy practice. It was a good business and worked with local hospitals to help alleviate pain and stress of patients. We also had an office where patients would come for relief of their serious illnesses. It was a real feel good business and I miss it, but it is in good hands.
Anyway, one of the thing we learned was how to deal with terminal patients. Touch is very, very important, but it has to be done a certain way. When someone is very near death, it is so important to be there with them as they cross over. That being said, when you hold their hand, you should never put yours on top of theirs—always slip it under. The reason is that mentally, if your hand is on top, you are holding them back. If you put your hand under theirs, you are letting them know that it is okay to go. When I learned this, it brought tears to my eyes because I got it. Having done hospice work, I know that sometimes all people need is permission to go and the knowledge that you will be alright without them. That you will take care of what needs taken care of.
So, placement is important and that is why I like black, flat Mary Janes with the strap across the middle. That is all. Pleasant deep thoughts to all of you out there!
This morning I had the honor of driving a dear friend to the food bank to get some much needed commodities. As I sat in my car observing those in line, it struck me how jovial they all were. Here they were standing in very cold temperatures and freezing drizzle and they were laughing and touching one another on the shoulder, making the best of their circumstance.
Flash back to the summer of 2000. I was then the executive housekeeper for a man of considerable power and wealth. I was responsible for managing his estate, including his 9000 sq. ft. home and swimming pool, as well as his two Rottweilers. It was a dubious task, complicated by the fact that he was severely OCD. I would literally get down on my hands and knees to measure the angle and distance from the wall of his favorite recliner in the TV room. Though my grandchildren, nieces and nephews will tell you what an accomplished liar I am (just for fun), I am not in any way exaggerating what I tell you here. Damian was a hot mess. All boots had to be lined up in order of color and the tips had to be exactly even with the edge of the shelf. All monogrammed dress shirts had to be in same color order with cuffs turned out a certain way. Ham had to be wafer thin, but not to the point of breaking. The contents of his kitchen were: ham, sour cream and onion Pringles, Diet coke, and Hershey's miniatures. That is all. Other than the occasional Styrofoam takeout container.
Anyway, those details are outside of the point I want to make. It's just that he was such a fascinating enigma. The point is that he lived in solitude and utter fear that someone would sue him and take his money away. The millions and millions of dollars he had and he lived, not enjoying them, but in fear that he would someday be without them.
The people this morning were happy. They had hope. They knew that the whole group was in the same boat and they were not alone. They knew where they stood. They knew that if they worked hard enough, the poverty could disappear in an instant.
Damian, on the other hand, was miserable. He had fear. Like many others I've know who were of some affluence, they didn't know where they stood. What they did know is that it could also all go away at any minute. They had no idea if anyone of their friends felt that same fear because it wasn't something that you spoke about in good company. So they live in fear and misery and wretched apprehension, always wondering and waiting.
I have mostly been a have not, with intermittent glimpses of have. I love the hope I live with. It is my most bosom companion and keeps me going everyday. The interesting thing is, this holds true for money and for love. When you have it, you fear losing it. When you don't have it, you have a delicious longing for it.
I have been so out of it! I can't believe how long ago my last post was . . . I feel so disconnected.
It began with some deadlines, then a few service projects, a respiratory infection, the dog ate my blog post, the sun was in my eyes, the blog post is in the mail, I promise, and my husband doesn't understand me.
Well, some of that is true, then I just felt like embellishing because I know that's what you've come to expect of me. I call it embellishing. My mother calls it lying.
To-ma-to, to-mah-to! What are you going to do.
But I think I'm back now. I've gotten an extraordinary amount of work accomplished this morning. Still have a bunch of articles to research and write, but the book editing is complete and sent back, lotion made for Amy, and making veggies for Thanksgiving dinner with Rose and the family tonight. I'm back in the game.
The worst part of not blogging is that, even though we don't always do reciprocal communication, I know I'm connecting with you and I feel your love (and anger, and anguish, and frustration, and pity, and sympathy, and I even sometimes see the eyes roll back in your head.) But I also feel some laughter occasionally and that makes this class clown's life worth living!
Shoot me a comment and let me know how you're doing. I love hearing from you! I actually print out your comments and keep them in a journal.
One more thing. I just have to shout to the world how much I love my children and their children! I mean, how blessed am I to have brought up some of the most amazing human beings to ever walk the planet. And now seeing them parent my grandbabies is joy beyond description.
Becky Lyn Rickman
Mom of many, servant to my cats, Cary Grant's other girlfriend (still trying to work out the logistics of that one).