The blog post just before this one goes by the title of “See It Like It Is”. I began writing that post in February of 2013. I completed the post in February of 2017! Why so long? Where did I go? Well I didn’t physically go anywhere. In fact I spent the winters in between watching those very same blue jays and wood peckers. They really are fun to watch have at the suet! I like to think they are friends and they get by just fine sharing the food I put out for them. So, I didn’t completely leave. However, after experiencing an unexpected loss I “sort of left”. I had some difficulty bringing together my “Experiencing Self” and the burgeoning, “Writer Self” that was eager to write. When we experience loss it can overwhelm our sense and dredge up other losses and disturbing experiences that make it challenging to continue focusing on what we intend to focus on. That’s what happened to me for a while. I always expected I’d return to “The Mind’s Eye” blog. So, this post is my “return”. While I let go of blogging for a time it didn’t take too long for my creative mojo to fire back up. I needed to re-focus on creative pursuits after the grieving was over and I have enjoyed several music and writing projects that sprung up out of the post-grief phase of moving on from tragedy. One of my favorite projects has been the creation of my very own podcast!
Potterwatch has been an ongoing joy to produce from my home with a little help from my daughters. I’ve enjoyed the Harry Potter book series since reading it to my eldest daughter when she was 7. I’m on my third read through the series and now have added motivation to dive back into the magical world of Hogwarts. The podcast idea was sprung after I attended a conference run by Harry Potter fans called “Geekycon”. Geekycon used to be called “Leakycon”, inspired by the “Leaky Cauldron”, a pub from the book series. Many creative types of HP fans attend these conventions and its hard not to get the itch to come away with a creative idea or two. Of particular inspiration was the way many creators have combined their passion for a fandom with a cause. In Potterwatch I highlight the ethos of the Harry Potter book series. Specifically the value of friendship over power and control.
There are three segments to the podcast. The first one is called, “Inside the Pensieve” where the special guest explores how the Harry Potter book series has influenced their life. Often the guests highlight small or larger ways that the books have inspired them to make a difference in their personal or collective experience. The guests have included teenagers, a magician, the CEO of Lumos, business owners, a Harry Potter festival organizer, and a pair of junior high school students. In the second segment, “Voldemort’s Corner”, I encourage the special guest to consider the cautionary tale of “Lord Voldemort”. By considering the arch nemesis of Harry we can understand our own “dark side” and that of others. I often review a book of some biological, psychological, or social relevance to factors that contribute to leading a life of connection or disconnection. Book titles have included, “The Science of Evil”, “The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness”, “The Mindful Brain”, and “Culture in Mind” among others. The third and final segment of the show includes a “Wizard Rock” tune chosen by myself or the special guest. Sometimes we get a Harry Potter parody song or or other Harry Potter inspired music. Wizard Rock is a new genre of music which has sprung up around the Harry Potter fandom and includes an ever growing cadre of Wizard Rock bands. I even had the opportunity to write and perform my very first wizard rock song in episode #7!
So, this is one of the projects that I focused on to connect me with myself as I recovered from a time of disconnection. It was not easy to stay out of the pathway of despair let me tell you. A little Harry Potter craziness and special time with family really helped me stay connected to myself and others dear to me. Do you have a favorite fandom? How about an old book series you read as a youth you haven’t re-read yet? Find some friends that share your passion for a good book, movie, or comic book series and have at it!