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  • Writer's pictureMo Reynolds

Accepting Contradictions

If I'm going to reach my 50 book goal this year, I'm going to have to give myself some grace and allow at least a few repeat reads/listens.

And since Jim Dale is God's gift to audiobooks, Harry Potter is my go to listening delight. The added bonus of Prisoner of Azkaban being one of my favorites of the series just sweetens the deal. And yet, the contradictions of Rowling's world sometimes give me pause. Don't get me wrong, the woman can tell a story. I'm just saying that there are several things that don't add up:

  • If Hedwig can find Sirius ANYWHERE, why doesn't the Ministry of Magic just use an army of owls to catch any undesirables?

  • If the Weasley's can magically magnify food, mend clothing, and do all sort of other, you know, magic--why are they poor and living in a rundown house?? I mean, Mrs. Weasley can stir a pot of chowder from her bedroom, surely she could have snazzed up Ron's dress robes.

  • Was Veritaserum not invented until the Goblet of Fire?? Because that potion could have solved SO many problems when used properly. Give a dash to Peter Pettigrew turn on the recording function of your wand and, voila! Harry Potter and Sirius could have lived happily ever after.

  • Exactly how big is Hagrid? The hands the size of trash can lids and feet the size of dolphins seem inconsistent with the fact that he can also sit in a normal chair and walk through a train station.

I could go on. Trust me, I think about this WAY too much. But, here's the thing, while I was clawing at the mote in J.K. Rowling's eye of storytelling continuity, I started to notice some rather large beams in my own story. Such as:

  • I lconsider myself a rather articulate woman who stands up to the objectification of my sex. And. . . I also look up episode recaps of The Bachelor.

  • I tell my children to eat more vegetables. . . then commence to have peanut butter and ramen for lunch. Not at the same time, I have some standards.

  • Actually, let's just go ahead lump all the parenting hypocrisy into one list item because we all have things to do and it would take me too long to make a list. So, to summarize: I tell my kids to do all the things I don't and not to do things that I do on a very regular basis.

  • I have actually been known to skip to the end of the books when the suspense is just TOO much, but I find it impossible to skip a single sudoku puzzle in my sudoku book. That simply feels illegal.

  • I love bananas, but hate all things banana flavored. I don't think I'm the only member of that club.

The fact is, like it or not, we are all walking contradictions, a constant tension between what we think we are supposed to be and what we actually are.

We often pursue what we think is supposed to make us happy if we were just better people, rather than just embracing the stuff that actually does make us happy. I cannot count the number of times I have tried to like knitting/crocheting/quilting/sewing. These women who love the fiber arts look so flippin relaxed and happy! I want in on that. But, after I literally threw a knitting project across the room because I was starting to break a sweat trying to knit through knots I'd pulled too tight, I decided it was time to let that dream die.

Knitting brings me no joy.

There I said it.

I feel so free.

And, perhaps, that's just fine. Perhaps the world can keep spinning around if we all like very different things. Perhaps the things that I see as contradictions are just the messy joy of being human, wrestling with the difference between ideals and reality, and once in a very rare while, finding the sweet spot in between.

The contradicting tension between where we are and where we want to be can feel exhausting. What if we could just shrug and roll with these parts of our story, recognizing that are simply some things that don't make sense and if we spend too much time trying to reconcile and rationalize and remedy, then we risk losing the joy of a story well told and a life well lived.

But, seriously, is Veritaserum that hard to make?

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