I just finished reading Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. And just finished with the requisite sobbing my heart out. Oh, wait, not *quite* finished with that, apparently.
Book seven came in the mail today. I haven't even opened it. I didn't sleep well last night, and I promised myself I'd go to bed at a decent time tonight. Meaning, of course, right after I finish this blog. So I should probably leave it in its package.
Tomorrow I have my first Italian lesson, so I might take my book with me to read while I get myself some dinner in the Galeria food court and wait for my class to start.
Or, well, I still haven't seen the new movie. Didn't manage it this weekend. Maybe on Wednesday I'll go do that instead of hanging out at the Volcano. Even though I haven't played pool in forever. Who knows.
Somehow, this time as I read, Dumbledore's blue eyes became my father's. I saw Ruddygore on Sunday, and there's a song about a little flower that shelters under an oak tree until the tree is torn away.
That's how I feel right now. Five years after his death, these things remind me of him, and how he taught me and sheltered me and loved me.
And left me.
I'll be fine. Really I will. It's just... It never goes away.
A thought came to mind recently. Probably not original, but somehow it made sense. I was thinking about how this will never go away. It may smooth itself out, and become less jarring as the years continue to pass. It's already less acutely painful than it was. At least most of the time.
But it's not something I can eject from myself. I can't leave it behind, because it's now part of who I am. I can't live away from it. I can't live apart from it. I have to live through it, with it, around it.
And the image that came to mind was the grain of sand that becomes a pearl. How painful it must be at first. Sharp, jagged, a focused little dot of agony. And slowly time and faith and love and life begin to smooth it over, round it out. Sometimes it remains knobby and awkward, but maybe it can grow into a soft brilliance of perfection. Always lodged inside of me. It can't ever be comfortable.
But maybe it becomes a thing of incredible value and beauty. I've felt for a long time that Daddy's death wasn't something that had some absolute message, given to me from outside. I do believe in God, and I do believe he is here with me, and has a plan for me. But I do NOT believe that my God killed my father to open my blinded eyes, or to test my faith.
I do believe that God calls to me through this pain, though. And helps me to create my own meaning, gives me the strength and patience to slowly make my grief, and my father's death, something of worth. Something that happened not in vain. I'd still have rather it hadn't happened, of course.
But it did. And these things will happen. Life is as much about losing as it is about gaining. But you can turn the tables, gain a little with the loss, and you *can* beat the house, I believe.
And thinking of this brought me to one of those recurring ideas I have sometimes, and tend to bring here when I'm ready. The idea from John Keats' letter to George and Georgina Keats from February 14th to May 3rd of 1819. (You can tell I'm an English major. I always cite my source.) Keats' presents his ideas as an alternative to the Christian view, though the two aren't mutually exclusive. I've linked the entire letter above for anyone who's really curious, but I'll end with the essential passage, and leave you to ponder how this fits in with my pearls:
The common cognomen of this world among the misguided and superstitious is 'a vale of tears' from which we are to be redeemed by a certain arbitary interposition of God and taken to Heaven-What a little circumscribed straightened notion! Call the world if you Please "The vale of Soul-making". Then you will find out the use of the world (I am speaking now in the highest terms for human nature admitting it to be immortal which I will here take for granted for the purpose of showing a thought which has struck me concerning it) I say 'Soul making' Soul as distinguished from an Intelligence- There may be intelligences or sparks of the divinity in millions-but they are not Souls till they acquire identities, till each one is personally itself. I[n]telligences are atoms of perception-they know and they see and they are pure, in short they are God-How then are Souls to be made? How then arc these sparks which are God to have identity given them-so as ever to possess a bliss peculiar to each one's individual existence? How, but by the medium of a world like this?