A Different Kind of Magic

My father read the first Harry Potter book out loud to my brother and me. We would curl up on the couches in the family room and listen,  getting lost in every word. I was around 6 years old at the time, and my brother was maybe 4, but even then we knew that getting to listen to our dad read us a story was something special.
My dad probably would have read us the whole Harry Potter series if we let him. But by book 2 or 3, Daniel and I weren’t patient enough for just a chapter a night. Dad couldn’t read with the speed that we wanted the story to go. We wanted to  know all the answers and every single one of the stories’ secrets.
I grew up in a house filled with books, and more importantly, a house filled with people who valued reading. I grew up surrounded by stories, and by people who loved them. I learned, early on, that stories were (are!) important. I think that’s why I’ve always bonded with librarians. I think they recognize in me one of their kind- someone who knows the way a book can shape a life. Having librarians who took me under their wings shaped me.  From  the elementary school librarian who would ask me to read books to see if other kids would like them and let me make the library my home, to the librarian in high school who would also listen patiently to my crazy stories, and often counter with crazier stories of her own. I’ve found that people who love books very often love people in a unique way- they understand character and characters better than anyone.

The day I got the remote for my camera was a dangerous day
for anyone who doesn't enjoy self-portraits. 
I understood (and understand) that books have a kind of magic about them. The way they open up new ideas and new places: exposing you to things you never would have thought to think.
I used to read constantly, but I read less now.  I suppose that I have more going on: more classes, more work, more life getting in the way of other lives I could be exploring in soft-cover pages. I miss the adventures. I miss the words.
I’m trying hard to make time for stories. To carve out the space to read and enjoy reading in ways that I haven’t in years.  And I’m writing more,  making my own words carry weight and meaning. I want to be the kind of writer that I would risk my parents’ ire to stay up past my bedtime to read just a few more pages of.
I’m never going to go to Hogwarts, no matter how much 6 year old Jordan listening to her father read Harry Potter wishes that I could. I can’t cast spells or brew potions, and a life in a magical castle isn’t quite the life I live. Maybe it’s sappy, and maybe it’s  naïve but I can make magic in my own way.  Harry Potter showed me magic, in more ways than one. It showed me spells, sure, but it also showed me how stories can bring people together. How they can shape culture and shape lives and change the world in new and exciting and fundamental ways.
I can make magic and adventure. I can make magic and adventure and history and romance and stories and tales and legends and anything and everything in between. Because I know that magic doesn’t have to be contained to wands—sometimes it’s found in words.

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