Saturday, July 21, 2007

Harry Potter: Worth Fighting For

Picture: Alex Nobody’s Opinion: After our daily dousing of uninterrupted bad news about everything from fires and floods, to the idiotic bickering of our politicians, to the insane meanderings of Al Gore, to the enormous greed of our elites, to the “be sure to watch for” the upcoming attack of at least five of our major cities…

Isn’t it nice to know that the one small thread of hope for many millions of readers all over the world these past five years; especially for the children, was held together in a fictional character called Harry Potter?

Harry Potter---a the boy who’s pure soul and innocence talked to every age, old and young. The young man who went beyond all odds and defeated the evil Lord of darkness every time.

And isn’t it nice to know that the author has had enough and decided to end it all?

Good God.

Well, you can hardly blame her. So much genius, soul, and suffering went into her work that she really does need to stop. Great art comes along so very seldom in history, and the whole Harry Potter series has been just that. All great art has a beginning and an end.

The Harry Potter books and movies have captured the hearts and souls of the whole world. And we can be forever grateful for J.K. Rowlings enormous efforts.

It was said Stephen King tried to talk her out of stopping the series. If anyone knows the world’s nightmares, and how important it is for the human race to believe that goodness will prevail, it’s Stephen King.

From the sound of the news bits though, Stephen didn’t convince her. It’s likely the whole wizard school was destroyed…along with Harry, Lord Voldemort, and hopefully…that snotty blond kid character, Malfoy.

Like most adults, I was introduced to Harry Potter through a child. He came into my life one day…out of nowhere. His name was Alex, and like Harry, he was extremely lonesome. Alex’s life had been hard. He did not see his dad much and his mother was very, very busy.

Alex was seven, and looked just like the movie Harry Potter. (see picture) I “babysat” him one night, and as we lay down on his pillow together and snuggled up, he bought out his most valuable prize…would I read him Harry Potter?

“Harry Potter?” I said. “Never heard of him. Who’s Harry Potter?”

Then Alex put his head on my shoulder and listened to the story of Harry. I instantly fell in love with this small child, who took Harry Potter as his guiding light on how to deal with pain.

We became soul-mates. I became his grandmother for life, and he became my grandson. (We are not related at all.) Harry Potter was our secret escape from all the people in our lives we could not change or deal with.

But, like the darkness in the last Harry Potter books, Alex was abruptly taken out of my life…forever. We both cried…buckets.

His parents divorced…he moved somewhere. Last Christmas I went looking all over the city for his mother, with a wrapped book under my arm as a present for Alex.

After three days, and a lot of miles, I gave up. But not without a deep hole in my heart.

Unfortunately, too many children are growing up being torn from home to home with no security at all. Never to see parents or grandparents again.

Harry Potter was a god-send for them. They could dream…of being wizards, and being loved, and having friends…and being winners despite the nightmares going on around them.

When the movies came out, like millions of people all over the world, I saw the characters of J.R. Rowlings come to life, taking her books and stories with the magic of film to the ultimate emotional experience.

We all took joy in watching the actors grow up. And every time the world got a little harder, there was another Harry Potter movie showing us hope.

The themes of Harry Potter…friendship, courage, hope, right and wrong, good and evil: these universal themes are not new. They have been propagated throughout mankind’s history…from the tales of Hercules, to the Wizardry of Harry.

We need these truths to aspire to. We need to know that good will overcome evil. Some might even say it’s in our DNA.

Great art is usually a reflection of the times it is created in. The wizard’s war in the last books seems to mirror the war between the East and the West that we all know is coming…much like the Lord of the Rings reflected Tolkien’s experiences from WWII.

Where a single lone soul named Frodo made a difference.

I didn’t want Harry Potter to end. And I certainly didn’t want my little Alex to forever be taken from my life. J.K. Rowlings says we need to learn to live with loss.

Ah well---that’s true.

But I also pray and hope that J.K. Rowlings somehow gives the children of the world another door, of hope to walk through with her ending.

Hope is essential for us all. After all, listening to the daily news does not give you much.

Something tells me, she will not disappoint us.

So tomorrow, in the mist of all this seemingly endless political bickering, I will force myself remember what Harry Potter said at end of his last movie:

Something that Harry realized when thinking about the vast evil he was up against. Something that would give him an edge.

“We have something worth fighting for,” he said to his friends.

That we do Harry. That we do.

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