so last week a few things came to an end:
- i finished the hunger games (and eagerly and voraciously dove into book 2; so in need of book 2 was i that i clicked on the buy it now button and had it instantly delivered via amazon kindle to my kindle for ipad. im halfway through book 2 — catching fire to be precise — and although im not exactly hating the ebook experience, i am longing for the affordances of the good ol’ paperback.)
- i went with an earnest crew to watch the last of the harry potter films: harry potter and the deathly hallows, part 2. it was indeed deathly and strangely hallowed, as if the several hundred of us sitting in the imax theater in midtown at midnight as thursday bled into friday were treading on ground that while not exactly sacred, was ground that was indeed special and worthy of note. hallowed in a way that recognizes the build up, the hype, but most importantly the reality of having lived with someone’s fantastical worlds and words for over a decade. and the filmic ending of this series was indeed fantastical. i didn’t even mind the absurdly designed 3-d glasses resting on my face as i watched characters make their final pass on the screen, and listened as my fellow audience members sniffled, almost in unison, for pretty much the entire last third of the film.
- my dear little sister’s single life was officially decreed to be over when a dhoti-clad priest declared her to be now, and forever more, the partner/consort/companion to her new husband. this was the first time i noticed the following 2 things at a hindu wedding ceremony: a) a priest who performs a wedding ceremony with a healthy side of schtick; and b) the range of meanings, implicit and explicit, embedded throughout the 2+ hour ceremony. a small sampling:
1) to the bride: no matter how many children you have, always keep your husband at the forefront of your mind. and if that’s not clear enough: even if you have 10 kids, treat your husband like your 11th.
2) to no one in particular: it may just seem like this is just a boy and girl and a priest doing something religious up here on the stage while people may or may not pay attention, but what’s happening up here is important. (at this point, i think he turned and look explicitly at me as if to say: “stop distracting your sister! she is supposed to look demure and chaste, not sassy with a smirk on her face!”)
3) to the audience: marriage is performed over a rock because a rock symbolizes strength and you want marriage to withstand many different forces and pressures. it’s not just a rock for no reason! i mean, it’s a rock, sure, but do you know why it’s a rock? think about it. (at which point, the handful of people sitting in the first few rows who were paying attention and spoke tamil were howling with laughter.)
but like emerson notes in his essay “circles,” endings are always followed by beginnings; such is the wonder of a circle, of life as and existing within circles. i like to think of each of us as moving constellations, encountering one another’s constellations and thereby creating new ones for us to engage, ponder, and possibly even disengage; but like a circle, we move forever onward. and back. and so on.
so the trilogy progresses — and the others were right: this one is a “read it in one big chunk” kind of read. i feel like i’ve gotten through the toughest part which is the very premise for these books. now it’s just a cheer-fest to the end, whatever that may be.
the hp books and films, although finished, also represent possibilities for new beginnings. as this article suggests, these books and the films and the rest of the transmediated franchise have provided enough “sentence starters” to last several lifetimes!
some may erroneously conclude that a wedding and marriage is the dissolving of an individual into the making of a pair. in contrast, i take a cue from khalil gibran’s poem “on marriage” and his 2nd stanza in particular:
Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
this new beginning is one of many i hope she and her husband will encounter, sometimes together and sometimes alone, but always in support of one another. in harmony, but not necessarily the same note; in tune, but not always the same chord.