Tag Archives: reflection

Perched upon the Window Sill- a poem

I’m not much of a poet. I’ll be the first to admit I have no great joy in either studying or performing this medium of expression. I like writing poetic prose, but that’s about it. Nonetheless, I was asked by a friend to write a poem after she heard me say the phrase “Perched upon the Window Sill” in reference to a boy in our class who was refusing to sit anywhere but right at the window, looking out. It made me think back to my bedroom in France, where I would sit and look out at the streets, reflecting on life and other things. I considered writing a sonnet in honor of my Shakespeare class that inspired me, but I felt in the mood for free-verse. So here is my mildly pathetic poem dedicated to my blogging friend.

Perched upon the Window Sill

I sit there perched upon the window sill

Gazing out at the desolate street

Cafes closed up

Tables chained in uneven clusters

Rain glistens on the surface

Drops budding into puddles

Hinting at more to come.

The occasional footsteps echo on cobblestones

A shadowed figure huddled beneath an umbrella

Scuttles by into the gloom.

It’s a good day to be inside.

I am glad of the warmth

Tucked in my tiny chamber

A thick sweater shielding me

A pane of glass to protect me

Only my hand cold

Pressed upon the surface

Separating me from the rain.

This street is a different place

A new world

As though some dark spell has come upon our city

Sleeping Beauty’s enchantment

Quieting the streets.

I glance out and remember like a dream:

Sunshine

Laughter I can hear through open window

Tables full with families, friends

Sitting in the peaceful atmosphere

Of these calm French streets

But life is gone

They say rain brings life

Yet does it?

When all around me

Silence reigns

And people huddle and hide

Within the warmth of their comforting houses.

‘Tis not life.

These clouds steal voices and laughter

Take children from our streets

Replace merriment with sorrow

My eyes trace this familiar road

Curled on the window sill

Back braced against firm wood

Hands folded over knees

Curled in on self

Vulnerable

Alone.

I reflect on happier times

In streets

In life

Of other worlds that might be

Of deeper sorrows than rain

Droplets tap against the glass like fingers

I gaze out

Wondering.

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Filed under Poetry, Writing

The Things That Change Us

Rowling

When I was a child I refused to follow things that were popular. Absolutely refused. I was a bit of a stubborn girl as my mother would surely tell you if you asked her. And that contributed greatly to my choices of what I read and watched and participated in. I tended to be free thinking, wanting to enjoy my own interests without interruption from my peers. There is something both amusing and admirable when I picture my younger self stamping her foot over people encouraging her to pursue something utterly mainstream. So my reading choices tended to largely be books of my own choosing. But being an avid reader I had already begun my lifelong problem of having recommendations. And like all readers the popular books are always recommended first and foremost.

So began my lifelong dance with popular literature. And in particular, Harry Potter.

Second grade was where I largely blossomed into a reader. I became capable of reading to myself, and that development was troubling to behold. I snuck books under desks to read during class and slipped a flashlight into bed with me to keep going on my latest pursuit. And in second grade Harry Potter had just begun to become a phenomenon particularly prevalent in my age group just as I was beginning to figure out the wonderful world of books.

I was absolutely against Harry Potter to a degree where I wouldn’t even talk about the subject. To be honest, I had little idea of what Harry Potter was only that my peers greatly admired it, and therefore I wanted nothing to do with it. Of course everything changed when I went off to France for a semester with my family the next year.

Isolation tends to make me gravitate all the more towards books. And in France I was homeschooled and since I didn’t speak the language had no chance to interact with other children. So, home was my solitude and books kept me busy. But books in English were not so readily available in our small town. And in the library there were few choices. With most of the books already finished I turned to Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (they had the British version) to occupy my time. There was much irony in my caving as I had thrown a fit over a Harry Potter journal I’d been given before going to France. But Harry followed me across the world, and it seemed I was incapable of fully escaping even in a foreign country.

My mother read book one aloud to my brother and I. Within the first few pages my resistance melted away, and I was helpless to do anything else but enjoy. We devoured the first and second books together and even enjoyed watching the newly released first movie on the plane ride back to America.

While I could sit and ramble about how amazing the books and movies are, I would prefer to speak more personally about them. Because that little lonely boy in the cupboard under the stairs sparked something deep in me that I had never known before. And that was a desire to write.

I began with copying J.K. Rowling’s ideas, making a school for fairies rather than wizards and creating an orphan character as my protagonist. I remember little about that initial series, but I remember it being the first of my inspiration and that it paved the way for later books to come. Something in Rowling’s works made me come alive and gave me a desire to emulate Harry Potter in changing children’s lives through story. I think if nothing else those books gave me hope of something better, of a world filled with love and light, and in the dark years ahead of me those messages continued to remain both a prevalent part of my worldview and my own writing.

You would think Harry would have cured me of my desire to be unique in my entertainment choices, but to this day I still do meet some resistance when faced with something popular. I’ve certainly become better, but it is a fault I have to work to correct.

Today I’m a total nerd when it comes to Harry Potter. I know what house I’m in (Hufflepuff), know what character has the same Myers Briggs personality (Neville), know what wand I would have (12 1/2 in. cedar dragon heartstring), and even own a copy of Luna Lovegood’s wand from the movie along with two of the books (one in French which I can now read and one in English).

Yes, I’m a nerd, and I love it, and anytime I think about Harry Potter I know that it’s never just a fandom to me, and it’s something more than that. No matter how critical people want to be of the books or movies, I hold onto a few very special things in knowing that Harry Potter changed my life in an impossible way. As I have completed my fourth novel this year I can only look back with fondness at the little third grader who wanted to make her own Hogwarts. Because with her change in mindset she gained a whole new world. And I suppose I keep that forever in sight today, that in opening myself up to something new and different, I can gain something new.

What books or moments have changed you? Do you have any good stories of childhood reading? Has Harry Potter had an influence on you?

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Filed under Reading, Writing