Sunday, July 17, 2011
Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone
What were you doing December 25, 1998? What mind memory do you recall now, 13 years later?
I recall exactly: I was reading Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone. Alysa was a teeny little 6 month old, having come home earlier in the month. Oregon's winter was dark and gloomy, wet with rain and a little freezing cold thrown in for good measure. It had even snowed earlier that day but it had melted by the time I sat down with the glorious gift of this book from my mother.
She picks books really well for me-- especially this one. While I have no idea if my sister and brother even read this book or the series, I know that I couldn't put this book down. In fact, I disappeared into this gem, only to resurface later when I had finished it. This would happen 6 more times, as the other books in the series came out.
I love the Harry Potter series. Love it! Each time a new one came out, I HAD to buy it. Had to: no borrowing here. I have had several books that rank with this type of dedication: Where the Red Fern Grows, Shane, Five Smooth Stones, Dancing at the Rascal Fair, The Narnia Chronicles, Deadline all among the long list. These books I had read and reread many times. But not the beloved J.K.Rowling books. I know, I know: I can hear your surprise and scorn from here. You likely are ahead of me, having reread this series years ago. Well, just know that I am joining you now.
Surprised by the details my brain selectively forgot and warmed by all that I remember, I am loving this book AGAIN. True Harry roots guide me further into the Wizard world: those nasty relatives the Dursleys, Hagrid (I would love to hang with Hagrid), Ron, Hermoine, Quidditch. I still think I was born in the wrong time period--aging has not changed how I can see myself as a Quidditch seeker. I can feel the closed-in limits of the room under the stairs that the Dursleys force Harry to live in. I can almost feel the soft, white feathers of Hedwig. I can imagine the dire worry of sitting under the Sorting Hat. Draco is one of many bullying characters that remind me of others in my life that I find my way to have compassion for. McGonagall and Dumbledore live in me like a few other teachers, and Howarts sounds like a school that I could have seriously gotten in trouble at (while also finding my way to be a good witch!).
But greatest, my admiration of J.K.Rowling renews with each word I read. I remember my utter amazement of her writing way back on those dark winter days in 1998 when I read the beginning of the series. As her life story became more public, my admiration grew closer to worship. How many napkins have I written on in my writing past, only to ball them up and toss 'em? Rowling refused to let her dire life situations stop that inner voice that told her to write. And now 13 years later, I am reminded of the power of the printed word, of stories that hold onto dreams, of worlds that must be written about.
Excuse me, I must go read some more.