Monday, September 17, 2007

Reach for the Sun -- But Watch Your Back for Unforgiveable Curses


Don’t you hate it when the headmaster of your school misjudges the character of a teacher you know is up to something, and the result is the good guy gets killed and the bad guys wind up in charge again?

My weekend, particularly yesterday, was going really well up to that point in the story I finally decided to finish reading. Apologies to anyone for whom I’ve blown it, but, if you’re more behind than I am in finishing The Series That Shall Not Be Named, you deserve no more mercy than poor Albus Dumbledore.

Underestimation is the undoing of many. I keep thinking that it is impossible a character like Dumbledore’s would make such a gross miscalculation. Yet, I see people do it, every day. I do it, too. Our faith in human character can be blinding, our trust debilitating. People who take advantage of that, the way the dark character Snape does– what’s it like to be them? To suck the soul of humanity out of existence for their own gain? Or in my more standard voice, what the hell is wrong with people?

The other day I came out of my house and discovered a volunteer sunflower had bloomed in my front yard. We hadn’t known quite what it was when it started out; in fact, I nearly pulled it for a weed. But we let it go, and let it evolve. My son was the first to recognize it for what it might be. He turned out to be right. I'm glad we let it bloom, and that I didn't just uproot it because it was out of place. I hope my son's instincts continue to serve him as well as he heads down the road of life.

Mine, I’m not so sure about. I’m no dummy but I do bear the flaw of giving people (and weeds) the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes the people turn out to be flowers, sometimes, just weeds.

My mother’s home was a beautiful Victorian which she painstakingly decorated herself. When we were slogging through the task of cleaning out the house after her death, one particular now-estranged individual removed damn near everything, including the kitchen sink (although, thank Shiva, my sister got the clawfoot tub that had been in the family for generations). We joked that we’d probably see this stuff on eBay. And sure enough, wouldn't you know, about a month ago, one of my sibs actually saw a few familiar quilt patches float across the Internet auction block. Damn. Here this individual, to whom my family had only been generous, was swinging our family heirlooms on the ‘Net. It's unlikely that my grandmother, carefully embroidering each patch with a state name and the flower that went with it, imagined such a fate for her handiwork.

You can't stop loving and trusting people and opening your heart. But you can keep your eyes peeled and your ear to the ground on the off chance someone you think cares suddenly up and slings an Avada Kedavra in your direction. Have this old tune in your back pocket, too, and no one will know you're paying attention. It's called Black-Eyed Susie, as cut on Waterloo, Tennessee, the latest release from my favorite rad girl trad band Uncle Earl. Enjoy it while you practice your smile. It makes folks wonder what you've been up to even when it's nothing, nothing at all.

6 Comments:

At September 17, 2007 8:59 PM, Blogger DrDon said...

I just finished the 6th of the HP books and I was pretty shocked at the ending. Wow. Didn't really see that coming, though I should. I guess that's pretty good writing in that I didn't want to see it coming any more than the headmaster. One more book to go and, as they've been getting darker and darker, I'm sure after the next I'll be ready.

Still, I find myself fascinated by the parallels between her series and Star Wars. You could just rename some of the characters, set it in space instead of with magic, and it would be nearly the same story.

 
At September 17, 2007 9:19 PM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

Hey Doc,
I think Joseph Campbell would have been thrilled with Harry Skywalker. I really do. You can't help but pull for this kid. While his dad was no Darth Vader (far as we know), Harry does learn that his dad was no angel -- no wonder Snape had 'tude about James Dude. Any time you have an underdog hero and a missing father figure you know you're in for something.

I didn't see the ending coming either, and I'm glad I didn't blow it for you because I was genuinely worried about that. I think Harry carries a much bigger shadow than Luke Skywalker.

But I digress. I'm glad the weed turned out to be a sunflower. Meanwhile you never know. While I'm a fair judge of character, there are days I'm certain I should have studied harder in Herbology.

Grass is very plain and straightforward, doesn't lie well, and isn't trying to be something it's not. Maybe that's why I'm a 'grass fan.

 
At September 18, 2007 6:02 AM, Blogger Shameless Agitator said...

MM,

All will be revealed in the last book. Be patient and don't judge too harshly, at least not yet...

Love,
Shameless

 
At September 18, 2007 6:15 AM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

Shameless wrote,
"Be patient and don't judge too harshly, at least not yet..."

A life's work of cultivation, that.

Thanks-I know there has to be more to that story, as with every story.

Cheers! The countdown begins!

MM

 
At September 18, 2007 10:10 PM, Blogger Blueberry said...

Let us know when you get through the last book, and don't need spoiler-protection anymore.

You gotta love those flowers that are planted by birds... or by other flowers. You're liable to get something that belongs there and looks good too. :-)

 
At September 19, 2007 6:16 AM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

Hey Blueberry,
I hope I can get ahold of my son to make sure he brings it with him Friday. Although, to be honest, I'm not sure I'm ready to start on the last book!

Son of Mando actually believes the flower may have been planted by a chipmunk who got into some seed we had stored in the garage, and whom the kids have seen rooting in that little flower patch. We also got a volunteer begonia, which nestled itself among some petunias. Very peculiar, as we have no begonias, but a neighbor two doors down does!

 

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