The Power of Potter

I started reading through the Harry Potter series a couple months ago with the kids. We are currently on book 4 (Goblet of Fire). It’s turning out to be wonderful therapy for us all. It’s double wonderful for me as the plot and themes are fresh to them as they are experiencing all the emotion and applying it to their own lives without knowing what happens next. We’re feeling Harry’s frustration, rage, confusion and wonder right along with him.

I know how the story ends. I know Harry has as much potential to be villain as hero throughout, and the line differentiating the two maddeningly blurry. What heroism he displays is awkwardly stumbled into, often with much reluctance and resentment. All he ever wanted was a “normal” life and family – what any of us want – to be loved and valued and to belong. 

I am experiencing the stories in a whole new appreciative light. The overarching theme is how the damage of trauma, grief, injustice, and family-of-origin dysfunction common to every human uniquely manifests in each person based on their individual choices and experience, complete with the extreme of malignant narcissism brilliantly developed in the character of Voldemort.

For the last year I’ve been on the run hunting down horcruxes and figuring out how to destroy them one by one, and I’ve had to go into some desperately dark and horrifying places to do it. I would not have survived alone, much less conquered anything, without the help and talents of the most faithful and loyal few.

I’ve seen ahead to the reality of the shattered, pitiable, subhuman soul of the one obsessed with power, total control, chaos and destruction.

voldemort

All the Dark Lord sympathizers, the sycophant Deatheater posers, have been identified and dealt with. I’ve learned how to keep the dementors at bay. Now all that’s left is to point wands at each other amid the crumbled, smoking wreckage of our life together and end it.

harrygif

Knowing J.K. Rowling’s back story and the life circumstances which gave birth to these stories, it all makes perfect sense.

I too have conceived my own story and have been scribbling notes for quite a while. I’ve gone about it rather backwards (’cause like Harry I have no idea what I’m doing until I do it), but I “published” those scribbles on my blog ahead of the actual book I didn’t know I was writing. Now that I finally do, it’s time for me to make the most of this sacred awful gift of “down time” I find myself in to do it for reals.

Today I am thankful for the power of words. For expression. For the expansiveness and fluidity of metaphor. For life become art and art become life.

snapefair

It’s never escaped mine. My kids hate Snape right now. Maybe by the end of the books he will become their favorite character as he is mine.