Thursday, July 26, 2007

Ageless Classics

Yesterday I got Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I was late coming into the whole Harry Potter phenom. I remember hearing about the character and the success of the first book but it was not until my friend Sinead gave me Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets the Christmas after it was published did I first read the story. I had heard the book was written for children but whether or not that was so, I was hooked. I went back to the book store and bought the first book. Magical, is all I can say. The experience of reading the Harry Potter books takes you deeply in the world of make-believe and that is not the monopoly of children. (Check out George Bush's foreign policy to see more of adult make-believe in action).

This experience with the Harry Potter craze made me think of the friends that I have; ageless people in many ways. Today is the 75th birthday of one of my dearest friends of the past thirty years, Norah. I called her in Ireland where she is visiting (she is from Ireland as well) and she was completely surprised that I remembered her birthday. But, see, I have wished her in person or over the phone a happy birthday on her birthday for the past thirty years and she always reacts as if it were the first time and just happened to remember. It's so funny. But my friendship with this lady in spite of a thirty year age difference has been one of the most important in my life.

Then there is her daughter, Sinead, who gave me my first Harry Potter book who I consider a friend as well in spite of our twenty year ago difference. She is the same age as my dear friend Peter in New York, whom I've known since he was fifteen. When I first moved to New York City I was working with a guy then named Billy (he changed it to Will later) who was all of sixteen. He was part of a production venture along with me. But in spite of the fact there was a ten year gap between us, he became a very close friend. We had much in common including a similar sense of humor and appreciation for the art of carefully-crafted sarcasm. That was the first time I realized that I could appreciate the friendship of someone much younger than myself the same way I had always appreciated the friendship of those old enough to be a parent to me.

How the hell does all this tie in with Harry Potter? Well, I'll tell you. Magic. Going against the grain, stepping out of the comfort zone and enjoying new experiences and not cutting yourself off from making new friends based on age or any other criteria. If you click, you click. Why think about age or anything else? Author J.K. Rowland has created one of the greatest characters in English literature and the Harry Potter series will be a classic future generations will enjoy. It won't matter when the books were written - the appeal is widespread. It doesn't matter for whom the books were intially geared towards. Children and adults can enjoy the work.

I will keep my precious tome by my side until I finish it. And I will glory in the unexpected and magical.

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