I have a tendency in my life to form deeply personal connections to things. Sometimes it’s to people, sometimes books, movies, thoughts, ideas, it could be anything. It brings me great joy to feel that connection. Some of them last a lifetime, some of them just for a short time.
There are people in my life I call my friends, and I’m fiercely loyal to them. I rejoice in their triumphs, and do my best to help carry them through their disasters. Some of them have been with me my whole life, some are new. Some know everything about me, some know very little, but hopefully they all know my devotion to them. There are some I dearly miss, and despite attempts to reconnect, I have lost. A few of the losses are my fault, a few are their fault, and some just happen as people grow older and grow apart. I have hurt people, people I was close to, and nothing brings me more pain than that knowledge. And I have been hurt by those I trusted, and nothing would make me happier than to patch those relationships and renew the friendship. The worst feeling, though, might be those where we’ve just drifted apart. When there’s no reason behind it, and no explanation. But I have many wonderful friends who mean the world to me, and I’m obsessed with them. None more so than my wife, of course, but it doesn’t stop there. My parents and my family, my best friend from childhood (who I’ve been through more with than anyone, and still managed to weather the storms), my newest friends in our (still relatively new to us) home town. I cling to them, because each and every one of them means more to me than I have words to express (and if you’re taking the time to read this, odds are you’re one of them).
I have connections to many other things in this world, things that define the very nature of who I am, in more subtle ways than the people in my life do. I’ve been thinking a lot about these lately, especially two in particular. I am still so devastated about Michael Jackson’s departure from this world that it’s sometimes hard to breathe. I see and hear and read so much about him, and there seem to be so many people out there who don’t seem to be able to understand what he meant to those of us who cherished him. I want to do him justice in explaining my feelings about him, so I’ll save most of my ramblings for later, except to say that he was important to me personally, and that his loss is still felt very sharply by many on this planet.
The other connection that has been at the forefront of my mind lately is Harry Potter. I kinow that sounds unbearably silly and immature, but the series has had a profound impact on me. I’d like to write more about it in the near future, but for a glimpse of what it means to me, I offer a set of Youtube videos. I’m probably a bit behind the curve, as I usually am on the latest internet craze, but I found this fan-made Harry Potter musical, that was put on by students at the University of Michigan. It’s a cross between a parody and an homage, and it’s clear that there’s some degree of love of the source material, or there wouldn’t have been this amount of effort put into it. It’s a mark of how amazing the Harry Potter story is, that even in a fan-made musical comedy, the power of the basic story can shine through (particulary in the songs) and still be rich and moving. If you have time, I highly recommend watching the whole thing, it’s hilarious and fun. The first clip is the opening of the musical, and the 2nd takes place after Dumbledore has been killed, and Harry has been alienated from all his friends (Hermione, Ron and Ginny). Having the 4 of them singing 4 part harmony about being together and loving one another, it’s the epitome of everything that the J. K. Rowling’s vision stands for, and despite it’s silliness, it really is beautiful.
So I know all of this makes me a crazy person, or at the very least, a big sap. Everyone has people in their lives who are important to them, I imagine. And I’m sure that people can talk about how a particular book or film had a big impact on their way of thinking, or their outlook on life. But for me to say that things like Harry Potter, or Michael Jackson, or Star Wars, Hook, Walt Disney World (more on that in the coming weeks), Big & Rich, Simon & Garfunkel, Lost in Translation, Star Trek, Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse, and so many others are not just things I enjoy but a part of my life and the very fabric of who I am and what makes me me, that makes me certifiable. But it’s me, and I couldn’t change it if I wanted to. Those who know me best accept it, they might find it amusing, or silly, or cute, or just who I am.