Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dwelling on Dreams

I've been rereading the Harry Potter series for the first time in a decade. It's strange to take a walk down memory lane with these books again with the views and perspectives as an adult and a writer. I'm seeing WHY so many people fell in love with them, and I'm falling in love with them all over again myself. It's reminded me why I admire and idolize J K Rowling so much. The depth of detail she created in her world, a world that's right outside our own, that we could possibly find if we stepped into a little hole-in-the-wall pub and went out the back door, or got lost of a back road and found a strange little house with a family of nine redheads, it's unbelievable that it came from one woman's head. I think I read somewhere that the Harry Potter series consists of a thousand named characters? Maybe an exaggeration or me misremembering. Many only get mentioned in passing, never to be seen again, but those little details make the books come alive. It's so developed, so rich, you can for a moment believe it's actually real.

What I wanted to get to, though, is the question of something Dumbledore says.

"It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live."

It does not do to dwell on dreams. I can understand what JK meant, but at the same time, I can question it. Our dreams can take us over, but they can also drive us onward, no matter how impossible it may be. We can use our dreams to push us towards a better reality. Where do we go without those dreams? What pushes us forward? What is the separation from dreams and ambition? Where is that line drawn?

I'm a dreamer. I always have been and always will be. Awake or asleep, my dreams drive me. By day, they push me onward, keep me writing, knowing that if I don't, I'll never be an author signing her book for eager fans. It's a dream I have held tight to ever since I was a child, and I hold to saying that in my darkest hour, it saved me. By night, they take me to distant lands with unfamiliar faces, telling me their stories that I may record them, hold them, save them for the day when their story begins on the next page. At this moment, I have fifteen different plots, some detailed, some plain, all from dreams. Even I find it strange that they're coherent enough to make a story out of, but I'm not going to look a gift muse in the mouth.

Dumbledore may be a wise old wizard with years of wisdom behind his words, but I think, in this case, I'll respect his opinion and continue to dwell on my dreams until the day I can make them a reality.


  1. I have a response to this. It became too long. I think I'll make it a blog post instead.

  2. Just remember, Dumbledore doesn't say don't dwell on dreams. My take is that it is more a warning to also remember to live and not focus solely on dreams at the exclusion of life. I don't think he is recommending that we stop dreaming or stop being inspired by dreams. More of a dreams are great - only if you live your life while enjoying them.

    1. Most of the time I've seen "Don't" when people are discussing this. I really prefer your translation. Everything in moderation, right?

    2. Definitely everything in moderation. Dumbledore gave that wisdom to Harry when he was looking into the mirror. I know several people who would prefer to sit in front of that mirror (if it existed) all day long because it would show them their heart's desire. Yet they would forget to live. They'd lose touch with everyone and everything they care about because they think they already have it by looking in the mirror. We all look into that mirror sometimes. As writers, we tend to take some of the things we see and write those stories down. I will admit, sometimes I get really sucked into the story I am writing and start to focus on only my writing, but to live life I have to snap out of it and find a balance between stuff of dreams/story pages and the other joys of life. So to me, Dumbledore's wisdom is to keep living life - not at the expense of letting go of your dreams, but in finding a way to make your dreams reality. Don't sit in front of your dreams and do nothing. Instead, enjoy your dreams and look for ways to bring them about.

      Looks like I'm starting to ramble now...