When I hit the blue “publish” button here, I will become one of a multitude of bloggers who are writing about the end of Harry Potter, the defeat of You-Know-Who, and last installment of the Harry Potter franchise, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (speaking of which, am I the only human being on this earth who doesn’t know what “Hallows” means?). For me, writing about it is therapy…I am officially in mourning. Losing Harry is like being separated from my favorite blanket, or being evicted from the house I grew up in. For years, if there wasn’t a new Harry Potter book to look forward to, there was always the next movie. Now, there will be no more Hogwarts. No more Quidditch, invisibility cloaks, or nearly-headless ghosts. No more spells, moving staircases, or secret rooms.
My step-son bought me the first two books for my birthday a few years ago. What made him do that, I have no idea. I’m not representative of the ideal target market for books like that, what with my being over thirteen years old and all, but I had seen every Harry Potter movie to date, so I guess he thought I’d enjoy them. And, I did. I steamrolled through the first two books, then had to surreptitiously sneak into the children’s section of the local Barnes & Noble like a teenager after curfew to get the next two. I was mortified that someone might recognize me for the closet Potter fanatic that I was, so I’d spend the time walking to the cash register silently repeating to myself that I was buying them for my grandchildren. By the time I got there, my cover story was firmly implanted into my psyche, making it impossible for the clerk checking me out to discern the truth.
“No,” my condescending countenance would say, “these are not for me…I’m far too intellectual and emotionally mature for this type of twaddle. They’re for my grandchildren.”
Admitting I was hooked on wizardry, witches, and Severus Snape (not to mention words I could pronounce without sounding them out) was just a bit more than I cared to contemplate.
Which perfectly illustrates the main difference between a pragmatist like me, and a creative genius like J. K. Rowling (who comes up with words like “Hallows.”) I don’t dare to contemplate, and she does. I am handicapped by literal-cy and she’s not. People like her have the courage to give their imagination free rein and allow it to peer into dark corners normally deemed off-limits by social or religious convention. Creative types ask, “why not?” and then proceed to craft a world from scratch, based on a whole bunch of “what ifs.” I can do that, too, but my “what ifs” are more like, “what if I took this laptop and threw it through a plate glass window?”
Rowling created a truly believable and exciting world, right down to the last werewolf and death-eater. Gene Roddenberry did the same thing with Star Trek, crafting a credible version of the future that was almost prophetic. And, one of these days, I’d like to attempt to do the same thing. And I will.
Just as soon as I get my laptop back from the Doberman next door.