Saturday 16 July 2011

The Ministry of Magic

I did. I read every one of the Harry Potter adventures. I cried and laughed, and did every thing you are supposed to do when you believe. Faith, when it is being written by a skilled author, requires only that you keep reading.
Perhaps it is exactly that simple with life.

In the summer of 2008, J.K. Rowling gave a commencement address for Harvard's graduates, in which she revealed the real secret to success: her speech was entitled 'The Fringe Benefits of Failure'. It is not just her books, but the author herself, who inspires faith.

Recently I learnt of two people who, for various reasons, came to a point in their life when they could no longer read fiction. They just could not believe in the story. The made-upness of it all. And, lately, the same shadow has been casting its grouchy little net over me. I cannot remember the last story I read, all the way through, with belief. The news is too real. The ready streaming tweets and updates and instant global imagery is a too powerful reminder of our extraordinary desire for awareness and our equal helplessness.

I want to know the truth, the true state of things. And I want magic, equally. I want an elder wand for invincibility, an invisibility cloak for crossing borders safely and a healing stone of resurrection from pain and suffering.

Then again, maybe I have them all. Maybe this life of mine is magic, just as it is. We come to our own rescue, don't we? Onwards, Shaista Potter!!
friendship...where magic really begins...


Sherry Blue Sky said...

As always, I so love tha magic you weave with your words, Shaista. Yes, you are your own magician! Because you do believe! I especially love "I want an elder wand for invincibility.......and
a healing stone of resurrection". Words dont get much more magic than that, my dear. Yes, our lives are magic. When we look back and see where the path has led us, we realize we could not have gotten here any other way. Keep believing and keep writing and weaving your spells.......I am one who rarely reads fiction - there are just so many books written about peoples' real lives, by the people themselves and I find real life is often more "unbelievable" than fiction. Sigh. I so love my books!

steven said...

shaista you know there's magic in everything. different kinds much like going into a bakery and seeing all the amazing kinds of food, or walking in a forest and seeing all the plants and birds and animals. it's incredible. fiction's a place to play in. let the usual rules settle into the background. i read lots, i always have since my dad came up with a rule when i was ten that i had to read six books a week. i am so thankful to him for that although at the time i was often anything but thankful!!! we create our own magic from the magic that is gifted us through whatever our circumstances. i'm grateful for the magic you share! steven

Lisa said...

hello shaista, it has been a while since i visited you, but you are on my mind, and i am glad i dropped by today. we are the magic (we are not the magician).

Ruth said...

I have not been enamored with fiction myself, even though I was an English major. (If Jane Austen were still writing, I'd gobble it up.) I always have felt that it's too easy to create the story any way you want it to go.

Then I tried writing a short story. It is so hard! And I learned to trust that the author is telling the truth in fiction. If it doesn't ring true, then it doesn't work.

I personally love the Harry Potter movies more than the books, but that is just me. I'm the only one in my family who feels that.

Shaista said...

Sherry - that's exactly it, real life is captivating in itself, and I find magic in people like you, and Ruth and Steven, Oceangirl, Jeanne-Ming, Terresa, not to mention my inspiring family.

Shaista said...

Steven - six books a week! I can only imagine that not being fun if you had to deliver a book report on them! But that does remind me of just how many books my brothers and I did read throughout childhood, so maybe the living of life, now, is the thing to concentrate on.

Shaista said...

Oceangirl - I love that... 'we are the magic, not the magician'... Perfectly phrased. Thank you for holding me in your thoughts :)

Shaista said...

Ruth - I think this is something we bloggers seem to share... Having already read a lot, we are now in the stage of writing a measure of our own truth. But writing fiction is hard, and that is also something I have been thinking a lot about. Will email you about this further xx

Riz said...

I didn't read fiction for almost 10 years after we left Bombay. Just got bored with the usual stories and tired of reading permutations of present day life. Plus there was so much nonfiction to read about so many different things. Until I moved to London opposite a library, and needed to occupy myself on the tube. Having the option to start and stop as many books as I liked allowed me to try a number of different books until I found genres and authors with the imagination to keep me engaged again. Recommend taking a break from fiction. I'm sure you'll go back to it again at some point when it feels fresh. We've been enjoying your kindle books on the road... well some of them :)

Shaista said...

Riz - thanks for the advice. I think I started to move away from fiction soon after the hospital admissions in 2009. Like you say I may come back to it when it feels fresh. Terry Pratchett is still alright though :)
Maybe I just want to save my eyes for the real thing, the real life/non fiction reading. And it is this having to choose what to 'spend' my eyes on, that is at the heart of the matter.
Glad you are enjoying some of the kindle books!

Riz said...

If you haven't read Mort and Pyramids yet, check them out. Some of my favourite Terry Pratchetts!

SG said...

Your post made me smile. This morning, when I got up, I wanted to write something about magic, and I did. And then I came to your blog, and read about magic.
Once upon a time, I was an avid fiction reader. Today I prefer non-fiction, though I still read fiction. I read Harry Potter for the escape it allows me from my world.

A Cuban In London said...

"made-upness". Here I am, writhing on the floor, or as they say in Twitterworld, LMAO. It's ironic that in writing about fiction you have created a word. Only in your rich, beautiful world that could happen. Only in the Anglophone world, I would add.

Many thanks. This was a great post.

Greetings from London.

Cloudia said...


Your life IS Magic!!!!!

Aloha from Waikiki;

Comfort Spiral


Elizabeth said...

I think of all of life as story, really - and if imagined, it's only more real.

Your blog is so beautiful --


Really perfect!
I love

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