J.K. Rowling sends ‘Dumbledore’-penned letter to shooting survivor

Originally posted on Shelf Life:

[ew_image url=”http://img2.timeinc.net/ew/i/2014/06/20/jk-rowling_612x380.jpg” credit=”Andrew Milligan/AP” align=”left”]

J.K. Rowling sent a personalized handwritten note written in the voice of Albus Dumbledore, from her Harry Potter series, to 15-year-old shooting survivor Cassidy Stay, according to The Telegraph.

Last month, a gunman killed Cassidy Stay’s siblings and parents in a shooting in Houston. At a memorial event, Stay paraphrased Dumbledore from the movie adaptation Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, saying, “Happiness can be found even in darkest of times, if one remembers to turn on the light.”

In response, people started an online campaign to have Rowling meet with Stay. Rowling sent her the letter (written in purple ink), a wand, an acceptance letter and school supply list for Hogwarts, and a signed copy of The Prisoner of Azkaban. A spokesman for Rowling told The Telegraph that “the contents of the letter remain private,” and did not say whether or…

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Is this working?

But often now this body she wore, this body, with all its capacities, seemed nothingㅡnothing at all. She had the oddest sense of being herself invisible; unseen; unknown.

(Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway)

I got my hands on a copy of Mrs. Dalloway to personally have a look on Ms. Woolf’s uptake on privacy, which was talked about in this article from The New Yorker.

Honestly, I only got to page 16, reading rather slowly because I was trying to grasp every bit of the descriptive, to create a picture in my head, and a vivid one at that. However, maybe it’s because of my visible-through-a-microscope imagination that I couldn’t. There were details that kept slipping, that’s why. Do you suggest I work on my vocabulary further?

Seeing that my comprehension is quite pathetic, I put the book down for another day.

Nevertheless, I have highlighted bits and pieces and voila, today’s feelings put into words, written at the start of this post. As a human being, I believe I was entitled to experience, on some days, this particular state of mind: that my life is this tragic universe.

I most certainly detest myself whenever I let myself wallow in destructive self-pity, which aids the deteriorating of my considerably valuable self-esteem. Therefore, I make it a part of my living-this-one-life ethics that I have to, I need to give myself convincing pep talks.

I’ve been doing this since I stepped out of school, handling this occasional depression, which for this post I’ll be calling post-graduation depression. Although a year has passed since I graduated.

(END POST)

No, no, no. See? Reading what I have written, I see how I was trying to inject humor in it. That’s me, with the pep talk, inducing humor to help myself lighten up.

Out.

Sitting on the decade-old swing on the porch, she watched the gloomy clouds threaten to take over the town with a tremendous amount of rainfall.

Before retrieving the car keys and after discarding the remains of the ice cream a neighbor gave her, she carelessly wiped her cheeks.

What a mess she has made on her face, letting the salt mix with the sweet. Even so, it’s lesser a mess than what her life turned out to be.

Moment.

Though, I’m not a fan of their group 2AM, I’m head over heels for this man’s voice. You must know, a habit of mine is scouring Youtube for videos of the songs I like sung live. Tonight’s a session for Korean drama OSTs and I found this HD video of ChangMin-ssi singing Moment. (I’m not Korean and when I first heard the lyrics “Love is the moment niga odeon geu nal geu sungan” believe me, I immediately searched for the translation because hey what do you mean by love is the moment lalala? Then I found the translation and I’ve come to appreciate the song even more.)

It’s close to midnight and my heart is pounding, I was literally squealing because this The Heirs track sung live is much better than the recorded. It’s not A-okay but ChangMin-ssi seemed to fully grasp the feeling of this song, it brought down the house, and my heart, as well.

One day.

One time I had to choose between the colours black and gray. I went for black. Looking back, I answered with the first thing that came to mind.

Why I went for black, I must have only considered my clothing preference.

Today is an in-between day.

The sky is a pale, pale gray. It has been raining since the early hours of morning, and the sun was stuck behind restless clouds it must have decided to rise somewhere else. Even the sun probably wants someone to appreciate her warmth and lights in shades of red and orange and yellow.

This amount of rain wouldn’t have prevented me from going out, but other circumstances made us move today’s arrangement to sometime tomorrow or the day after.

A gray weather has almost always brought me a sense of calm. Except when it’s a typhoon bringing with it strong winds, I have always enjoyed rainy days like today. For one, it encourages me to write. This in-between moves me to just lay my thoughts down, whether on my journal or on a blog. And, if today’s meeting pushed through, I would have taken the chance of wearing a sweater since it’s cold outside. If it were a tad colder in our country, I would wear sweaters, pullovers and be bundled up every day.

Today is an in-between day.

While reading Mythology (Edith Hamilton’s) and occasionally forgetting who is who and who did what, I read about Prometheus and his brother Epimetheus. Forethought and afterthought. Deep thinking and mere spontaneity. They must go hand in hand, they should.

Let us behave ourselves accordingly, outwardly ordering our lives, while within all should be purer, wiser, incorruptible.” (Plutarch)

Literary hangover.

Firstly, I thought the Winter Carnival was the separate peace the book was talking about. And then I got to the end, well, almost,  and Finny was the separate peace. And then Mr. Knowles kills Finny with his own bone marrow. Then again maybe I shouldn’t point fingers at Mr. Knowles because it wasn’t him who entered Finny’s bloodstream and stopped Finny’s heart.

How is it that a clean break killed Phineas altogether? Is that supposed to be a metaphor? Like it’s just you deluding yourself to thinking things are under your control when in fact they are not? You think this life, your life, is in your grasp, that you’re holding it tightly however, some parts are still slipping away through the cracks. Slowly, then all at once. (No, this is not Hazel Grace of The Fault In Our Stars falling in love with Augustus. That’s another story.)

I have bits of Gene in my genes (did I just write that); I also have “some ignorance inside me, some crazy thing inside me, something blind”. At some point I’d act on impulse and I’d push people away. Which is both good and otherwise, depends.

I have highlighted more on my book but I’m only writing Gene and Finn’s lines, the former from page 85, the latter from page 191.

…and I lost part of myself to him then, and a soaring sense of freedom revealed that this must have been my purpose from the first: to become a part of Phineas.

I believe you. It’s okay because I understand and I believe you. You’ve already shown me and I believe you.

In the book, it’s also written that nothingㅡnot a tree, or love, or death by violenceㅡendures. And something the author says, that it’s a story of “growth through tragedy”. Nice would be an understatement.