Amidst the anxious excitement over plans for upcoming trips, continual vendor haul posts and countless exhilarating store openings, a gentle reminder was needed. A reminder to myself that what feeds the soul, truly feeds my soul, is immaterial. It cannot be bought, nor won, can neither be checked off a list, nor added to a planner agenda. In fact, it’s difficult to capture at all in writing and photos. What fills my soul is connection; to friends, to family, community, and (introvert that I am) even to beloved characters from books and movies held so dear. Perhaps the universe provided the opportunity to reconnect without me even realizing it was needed. However manifested…I am grateful.
Reconnecting with community occurred last weekend at our high school’s musical (which happened to be High School Musical). My husband is a teacher, but outside of Speech and Debate related functions, I’m not in touch with many local families. It was nice to reminisce about how these teenagers have grown and to catch up with a few former coworkers. I tend to forget too easily about the community ties that exist and have sustained through the years, especially in the smallish town where we live. I left feeling somewhat abashed for too often residing in my own world, but also touched, and with a renewed esteem for many fellow community members.
Connecting with a friend and revisiting a beloved fandom came by an invitation, of sorts, to Hogwarts. My good friend got us tickets to the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Film Concert series performance by the Columbus Symphony Orchestra.
I hadn’t heard of these CineConcerts before which blend live music and visual media. But if my love for the world of Harry Potter and classical music wasn’t enough reason to attend, then the rare occasion of getting dolled up to enjoy a lovely dinner and night out with a friend certainly was.
The concert format featured the orchestra playing live, all of the music that was recorded in the film, while the movie was projected with dialogue and subtitles onto a gigantic screen. The conductor had a flat screen on his podium which flashed varying lights in conjunction to the climactic movie moments. The music was heart-stirring. I especially enjoyed watching the frenzied Quidditch match performance, and of course had chills during John Williams’ Hedwig’s Theme.
If you’ve ever attended a viewing of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show“, in which crowd participation is expected, and raucous, this was, in comparison, a tamer experience. One can’t sing along to instrumentals but there was quite a bit of cheering and a few choice comments from the sold out audience. Most vocal reactions were to the first screen appearances of fan favorites, Hagrid and Snape, with hearty cheering, and some booing as the Hogwarts houses were announced. The crowd in my section was conspicuously hipster, with clouds of patchouli scents wafting all around. It made me smile however, to see many gray-haired fans alongside young ones wrapped in their Hufflepuff scarves.
Speaking of Hogwarts houses, have I ever mentioned that I’m a Slytherin? Of course, my librarian side is Ravenclaw and back when I took the Pottermore beta test, that’s the House I was sorted into. I don’t consider it to be the definitive test since everyone knows that when you answer intelligence to what you value most, you’ll be Ravenclaw.
Many years ago, I took the comprehensive 100 question quiz in which I must have attempted to skew my answers to Ravenclaw, causing my true nature to come out, hence Slytherin. Ah well, if it is so, there are a handful of soulful Slytherins too plus my husband and many friends are Hufflepuff, so they keep me in check.
As much as I would love to indulge in the merry merchandise of all things HP, its just not feasible. I daydream over the International translations of the books, but what I currently own are an incomplete set of library cast-offs. The illustrated editions are exceedingly gorgeous, so I plan to keep requesting those as presents.
Here sits my humble Harry Potter shelf.All of the items were gifted except the darling character bookmarks from Happy Hello Co. I’m too much of a bookmark geek to pass those up. The framed quote was made by a student and the stick-like wand is a real stick, fashioned and painted into a wand presented to me by my nephew when he was nine.
The Funko Pops were stocking stuffers and though I want a few more, I must be selective due to space. My husband knew Harry with Hedwig and Fred Weasley were musts!
The Half-Blood Prince is pulled out because that’s the book I’m currently into from the series. I started it a while ago, but that’s a story for another day.
Any HP collectors out there with beloved items to share? Strong opinions on which Funkos I should get next? Would you attend a CineConcert? Apparently they tackle a wide range, from Star Trek to It’s a Wonderful Life. I’m looking forward to attending another in this series sometime. Until then it’s good to know the fandom continues to change and grow.