The Harry Potter Chronicles
Credits: Unsplash – @roland_loesslein
DISCLAIMER: if you’re not a Harry Potter fan, scram. Move along. Wingardium Leviosa outta here! If you are, take a seat, have a sip of butterbeer, and let’s get started…
Oh, wait. First things first. I’m a Gryffindor, OBVIOUSLY. My Patronus is a teeny tiny kitten who hisses very loudly, and I got the Deathly Hallows symbol tattooed on my ankle. Yeah, I’m a hardcore fan, I told you.
Side note: that tattoo also means destiny in real life, but who cares about real life, right?
In the summer of 2001, my dad gifted me a book. A book that – little did I know – would completely change my life. I was an 11-year old nerd, so a book was a safe choice for me, and a guaranteed way to keep me entertained. I was spending the summer in Torino, my hometown in Italy. I picked up the book on a warm afternoon, cozied up under a blanket with a glass of fresh aranciata – the quintessential Italian summer refreshment – unaware of the journey I was about to embark on. Needless to say, I didn’t put the book down all summer. I would only take mandatory breaks for basic needs such as showering, feeding myself and eventually sleeping – when absolutely necessary. The moment I flipped that last page, I felt a sense of emptiness, but also a deep feeling of belonging. This made complete sense. I was a wizard, too!
I kid you not, the rest of that summer, I waited for that Hogwarts letter by the mailbox like a hawk. I eventually grew out of it – or did I? – but remained obsessed and whenever a new book or a film came out, my obsession would only grow bigger.
Credits: Unsplash – @rae_1991
Harry Potter has enchanted millions of kids, who are now very grown up adults, and has become a part of our collective unconscious. Just a few weeks ago, one of my digital idols, Eva Chen, Director of Fashion Partnerships who happens to be one of the funniest and most authentic human beings on this planet, was ‘sorting out’ her friends, colleagues and relatives into Hogwarts ‘houses’, and the so-called contest became insanely popular, to a point that it even made it into her highlights. Another epic example is the instagram account Gryffindior, which creates witty collages of Harry Potter characters mashed up with iconic fashion moments, thus creating a legend beyond the legend – a Harry Potter inception of you will…
Decades later, A LOT of people are still very passionate about the ‘chosen one’ and frequently embark on Potter marathons, as if they were still kids ready to rock up to that first day of school, cook some potions, fly on brooms and ‘lumos’ the shit out of their lives. Fact: I am seriously considering booking a holiday to London to visit the Harry Potter Studios as.we.speak. Kids will be kids.
The magical world we all discovered through the Harry Potter books was filled with wholesome values such as friendship, bravery, love and solidarity, some of which seem somehow lost in today’s world, and it’s no surprise we would all feel more comfortable in a world where friendship, honesty and courage are rewarded, where love conquers all and where, at every corner, a little magic appears. Our lives are getting busier by the minute, work is more and more demanding, personal commitments and obligations are never ending and we’re all struggling to keep up. As a result, people are seeking new ways to chill, calm down and just escape.
Credits: Unsplash – @larm
- the tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy “virtual reality offers a form of escapism”
Escapism is the reason behind us wanting to be wizards. The reason why we couldn’t put the books down. We got so sucked into to the wizarding world, we didn’t want to get out. Even 10 years ago, we knew that the real world was a crazy place and we needed to have somewhere to go to and just escape, a world that – as unrealistic and supernatural as it was – felt more real and more relatable that the world we live in sometimes.
I’ll leave you with a few words from the most iconic and wise Albus Dumbledore:
“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light”
Let’s do that.
’Til next time