The View You Choose

Having just seen the new Harry Potter film, I was contemplating the underlying message I find in JK Rowling’s work. No, it’s not some dark Satanic point that seeks to overthrow the basic power structure of the Christo-centric universe. Not exactly, anyway. In my opinion, the most important lesson to be learned from Harry Potter is this: there are people in this world who see magic, and those who don’t. Much like there are people that imagine the world is becoming a hell-hole, and those who imagine it can become a paradise. It doesn’t matter, really, from whence you feel that the magic, or power, emanates. What does matter is your motivation for harnessing it. Next to that, is your interest in how it affects other people. Or something like that.

Among the views with which to judge this life
are found just variations of a pair:
the one, that looks upon the world as filled with strife
and seeks for naught beyond its veiled despair,

with tired and jaded judgments placing blame
on circumstance and temporary might;
for those who look in this way, life’s a game
that designates the one who wins as right.

And sadly, with this vision they proceed
to deem imagination foolishness;
Upon the world they let their bitterness exceed
their hope, and thus, destroy real happiness.

Some unseen, greater prize in vain they seek
to line the coffers of their empty hearts;
and without joy, at length, they deign to speak
of where one’s duty ends, and knowledge starts.

The other view sees the same time and place,
but seeks beyond the surface of the world
and to its mad illusions gives no chase
preferring the whole oyster to the pearl.

Where others see mere folly and lost wealth
attending those who linger on the path,
concerned with more than benefit to self,
they look upon the flower’s bloom, and laugh.

In each small thing, a sense of grand design
and purpose is observed by eyes like these;
and in the commonplace, they seek and find
beneath the surface, subtle energies

that form the substance of all that exists;
yet this discovery breeds no sense of pride,
nor puts their name on some great hidden list;
’tis rarely fame and wisdom coincide.

Of course, within each group, a varied lot
that spans the gamut from glutton to saint,
exists, and each must find their chosen spot.
For some the vision’s strong, for others, faint.

But it is from this pair of points of view
that all the world divides in sects and creeds:
the one, that sees no magic left to do;
the other, knowing better, disagrees.

06 JUN 2004

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