pegkerr: (candle)
Today is the anniversary of the awful day that Rob and I learned that the suspicious PET scan he had recently received was not lymphoma coming out of remission, it was leukemia (caused by the first chemotherapy he'd received) that would go on to kill him a little less than three months later.

It is Samhain, the day when the souls of the dead are said to approach as close as they ever do to the living, Halloween, the day before All Soul's Day.

It seemed to be an auspicious day to do a Tarot reading, and given the day, the anniversary, and the fact that I most usually use my Harry Potter tarot deck, it seemed right to find a Deathly Hallows Spread. I found one quickly:

1 2 3

1: The Elder Wand - something that is both winning and losing
2: The Resurrection Stone - what has been lost and will not, cannot, come back
3: The Invisibility Cloak - what you've come to accept

Here is the Tale of the Three Brothers and the Deathly Hallows:

I drew three cards. All three were reversed. I thought about the reversals, but the reading seemed clearer if I just ignored them.

1: The King of Cups

The King of Cups. The book about the Harry Potter tarot says this can be the archetype of the injured King, the man who fell into guilt and learned wisdom through pain and suffering.

Well, I don't know about guilt, but this card to me is plainly Rob. Cups are water. Rob was born in November, and that is under Scorpio, which is a water sign. Wounded, pain and suffering: check. He won because he defeated lymphoma, but he lost, defeated by leukemia. And I lost him. Cups seems right, as he is right at the center of my grief (emotion, love).

Edited to add: I've thought more about why Rob's card would be in this position, the Elder Wand position. The fact is, when it came to fighting cancer, Rob thought he was undefeatable. And for a while, it looked as though he was right. He went through four or five chemos, radiation, four surgeries, immunotherapy. He beat the odds to an extent that it astonished his doctors and his--arrogance, I guess, that he would always beat them almost irritated me. At one point, I asked him how long he thought he would live with lymphoma. "Oh, fifteen to twenty years, I guess." Eyebrows raised, I asked the doctor. "I met you a year ago," the doctor said, "and in that year, eighty percent of my patients with your diagnosis have died."

Like the eldest brother in the tale, Rob was undefeated. He beat lymphoma; he was lymphoma-free when he died. But he was taken out by a stealth opponent, who betrayed him, arising directly as a result of his chemotherapy.

He fought cancer for four and a half years, but I think he only really understood he was going to die when the doctor told him so the day before. Like the eldest brother in the tale, Rob died in his sleep, rousing only the last few seconds before his breath stopped to see me and Fiona, keeping watch over him.

2: 6 of Cups - Happiness

What has been lost and will not, cannot, come back? Well, the thought that happiness is lost and never coming back — isn't that a kick in the teeth. Yet, yes, the happiness I had being married to him is over. That is what grief is about. Note that this card specifically references Felix Felices. We always said that Rob was lucky in his fight with cancer...until he ran out of luck.

Another tarot book talked a bit about how this card (if you ignore the reversal) is about the past, previously, formerly. Memories. Thoughts of past loves. Faded, vanished. Longing, yearning. Traumas, mistakes.

As I enter this season of the anniversaries leading up to Rob's death, this also feels right. This feels like I'm looking back at those painful points (Halloween when we learned of the leukemia, Thanksgiving, when he entered the hospital for the last time, Christmas, when we were so sad to be apart, and the end of January, when he died).

Edited to add: After thinking about it, I realized: Harry used up the Felix Felices (gone, never to come back) to appeal to Slughorn on behalf of his mother (gone, never to come back) in order to get a truth he needed. An interesting play off the concept of memory/nostalgia incorporated in the card.

Thinking some more about why this card is in the Resurrection Stone position. The second brother in the story could not stop looking backward toward his lost love (nostalgia), feeling that all his hopes of happiness were tied to her. But she was gone, and the knowledge destroyed him. This card is a warning, like the warning that Dumbledore gave Harry when he was spending too much time gazing into the Mirror of Erised at his lost family: "It does not do to dwell in dreams, Harry, and forget to live."

3: Princess of Disks

This card, I'm pretty sure, is me. Luna is a character we meet in the aftermath of grief. The book says,
"Love, warmth, protection, being in tune with nature, being at rest with oneself, caring, growth.

The Princess of Earth (Disks)
[I was born in April, under the sign of Taurus, which is an Earth sign] is a somewhat shy but very creative and warm-hearted young woman. She is trusting and open to new ideas and willing to follow through on her plans, no matter what. She is reliable, kind, and in tune with the cycles of nature within herself and within the world around her. Her insights are powerful, not necessarily at a superficial intellectual level, but because they express a deeper sense of truth....while her unshakeable belief of nargles and blibbering humdingers exposes her to the ridicule of her fellow students, it expresses a deeper truth: that this world is full of magic and surprises, if only we open our eyes and believe. She also acknowledges that sometimes knowledge is only achieved through pain. She can see and befriend thestrals because of the death of her mother."
Yes. I can see thestrals now. And yes, I think my pain and my grief has led to a lot of growth in the last year. I would hope I am reliable and kind. I would be honored to be like Luna in these ways.

I've created a Widow's music playlist. Many of the songs explore the myriad aspects of grief. I like playlists that follow a narrative arc: the beginnings songs focus on widows who want nothing more than to follow the beloved into death (the first song on the list is "I Am Stretched on Your Grave") and the last one that closes it out is a song that is suggestive of the sort of wisdom that Luna has mastered, understanding death as she does. (One my Harry Potter fanfiction stories puts it this way: "Because you know death...Because you've faced it and fought it and feared it and denied it and accepted it and you understand it, as much as anyone still living still can.")

Danny Gokey
"Tell Your Heart To Beat Again"

You're shattered
Like you've never been before
The life you knew
In a thousand pieces on the floor
And words fall short in times like these
When this world drives you to your knees
You think you're never gonna get back
To the you that used to be

Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of grace
Yesterday's a closing door
You don't live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you've been
And tell your heart to beat again

Just let that word wash over you
It's alright now
Love's healing hands have pulled you through
So get back up, take step one
Leave the darkness, feel the sun
Cause your story's far from over
And your journey's just begun

Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of grace
Yesterday's a closing door
You don't live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you've been
And tell your heart to beat again

Let every heartbreak
And every scar
Be a picture that reminds you
Who has carried you this far
'Cause love sees farther than you ever could
In this moment heaven's working
Everything for your good

Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of grace
Yesterday's a closing door
You don't live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you've been
And tell your heart to beat again
Your heart to beat again
Beat again

Oh, so tell your heart to beat again
pegkerr: (Default)

(Link credit here).

One of the commenters to this on the original link remarked:

"I hope you don't think that surviving depression disqualifies a person from being a hero."

The OP replied:

"Um. No. I've battled depression and anxiety. But I don't think Bella qualifies as a hero."

Good caveat and true reply.
pegkerr: (Default)
I went and saw the movie for the fifth time. Because, you know, I needed to. And I bawled, yet again. I've been listening to the soundtrack on endless repeat.

Shamelessly stolen from [ profile] rachet:

How many times have you seen it? Planning on going yet again before it leaves the theaters?
pegkerr: (I'm ready to talk about the book)
Shamelessly stolen from [ profile] madlori:


Did any of the rest of you really see this? The structure wasn't quite so clear as this, but...yeah. Beautiful.
pegkerr: (Neville Deathly Hallows)
I loved it.

I'm so sorry this stage of my life is now over. I've read a number of commentators whose reaction to seeing the last Harry Potter film is an acknowledgement of farewell to their childhood. I almost feel the same, even though I'm fifty-one years old. And yet I also feel it's a huge mistake to dismiss the books (or movies) as 'only for children.' Or even worse, 'merely for children.'

I had an interesting and even moving talk with Fiona the other night, where we discussed what the Harry Potter books have brought to our lives. For both of us, for our family, really, they've changed our lives. Harry Potter seized Fiona's imagination in particular and ignited what will clearly be a life-long love of reading. I was already a reader of course, but it was due to Harry Potter that I really got involved in most of the internet stuff I do today: Yahoo groups and then Livejournal, which in turn led to Dreamwidth, Twitter and Alternity. It's been a phenomenal bonding experience for our entire family. We read the books together, and for years, the girls went to sleep listening to the Jim Dale CDs, or we listened to them on car trips, including our daily runs to and from day care.

I've talked before about the common thread in all the stories I love the most: choosing the heart of flesh over the heart of stone. That's all what Harry Potter is about, and it's particularly clear in this movie. The battle was awesome. The strongest part for me was the part that stuck most closely to the book, from Snape's death (no matter what the location) through the scene in the pensieve followed by the scene in the forest. The devastation in Harry's eyes when he emerged from the pensieve said it all (and Radcliffe really nailed that moment.) Voldemort attacks the school because he knows that hurting the people Harry cares about is his strongest weapon. That, of course, is the weakness of the heart of flesh: caring will always hurt in a way that the heart of stone will never experience. Yet that caring is what leads to the heart of flesh's triumph. It's what ultimately convinces Harry he must lay his life down. "I never wanted any of you to die for me," he tells his parents, Remus and Sirius in the scene in the forest, and you utterly believe him, and still entirely understand why he takes that final sacrificial step. Heartrending.

The variations of the very last duel from the book were not pleasing, but probably unavoidable, considering all the wand lore that got dropped. But on the whole, I was extremely pleased with the whole thing.

And yay for Neville!
pegkerr: (Default)
Full of spoilers but oh, yeah, this is my favorite movie review so far. (if you ask 'of what movie?' then you haven't been paying attention.)
pegkerr: (Default)
The latest 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2' featurette recaps all eight films in the blockbuster franchise over the course of about five minutes...

pegkerr: (Default)
"The stories we love best do live in us forever, so whether you come back by page or through the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home."

pegkerr: (No spoilers)
From some more of the coverage I've been reading:
Harry Potter cast members have named their favourite lines from the entire series on the eve of the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 premiere.

Nick Moran (Scabior) : “Hello, beautful.”

Warwick Davis (Professor Flitwick): “Wingardium leviosa.”

Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood): “You’re just as sane as I am.” Because it gives no comfort at all.

Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy): My favourite line is actually one of Daniel’s. I was improvising and said, “I hope Mr Potter will always be around to save the day”. He looked around and said, “Don’t worry, I will be.” He was 12 years old! That was pretty impressive.

Helen McCrory (Narcissa Malfoy): It’s from the final film, when I stand up in the Forbidden Forest and say - “Dead.”

Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy): “My father will hear about this.”

Ralph Fiennes (Lord Voldemort): “I can touch you now.”

Emma Watson (Hermione Granger): “I’m going to bed before either of you come up with another clever idea to get us killed - or worse, expelled.” It just seemed like the wittiest, cleverest line.

Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley): I say “bloody” a lot and I always get a thrilled from saying it because it’s a rude word.

Julie Walters (Mrs Weasley): My favourite has got to be “Not my daughter, you bitch.” It’s so incongruous, I can’t believe Mrs Weasley would say that!

Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid): It’s in Diagon Alley and I say, ‘“You’re Harry Potter. You’re the one who got away from You-Know-Who.”

Michael Gambon (Professor Dumbledore): I hardly ever know my lines in the film. But my favourite is when I appear as a ghost on the station platform in the final film. I say, “Harry...” And I felt like crying.

Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom): “Why is it always me?”

Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley): It was my first ever line. I said “Good luck” to Harry.

Oliver Phelps (George Weasley): It’s when Harry and Ginny are kissing and George comes up behind them and goes, ‘“Morning!”


May. 31st, 2011 12:18 pm
pegkerr: (Snape Yay)

Can't wait to see this movie!

pegkerr: (Wizard Rock)
Ryan Seiler of Ministry of Magic has just released his first solo album, Into the Wind. Man, he's a wonderful songwriter with a wonderful voice. Here's an acoustic version of his song "Don't Leave," based on the part in Deathly Hallows when Ron abandons Harry and Hermione during the hunt for the horcruxes, (the original electronic version of this song was also released on Ministry of Magic's latest album Magic is Might). You can buy the song for $0.99 here.

Good luck, Ryan. I foresee a long and successful career for you. You're a talented guy. Subscribe to his YouTube channel here and follow him on Twitter at @ryanseiler.

Please, for my own information, comment if you listen and like.
pegkerr: (Default)
You adorable bad-ass!

Cannot WAIT for this movie....

Edited to add: It also amazes me how much he looks like the person we chose for Frank Longbottom's icons in [community profile] alternity, Luka Bloom. You really could believe they are father and son. Compare, for example, this image with this image.
pegkerr: (Default)
We went to the midnight showing, although, infuriatingly, they had some kind of problem with the projector and the movie started an hour late. My review )

So...deeply satisfied. Can't wait to see it again. And even more, to see Part 2.
pegkerr: (Wizard Rock)
I just received my shiny new album from RiddleTM, "This Time Around." Wonderful, wonderful, courtesy of the identical twin songwriters, Victoria and Georgia. Man, I'll buy everything those two girls put out.

I thought that today, the release of the first part of Deathly Hallows, would be a good opportunity to highlight one of my favorite songs of theirs, "For Jo." (This one's from one of their album, "Secrets of the Darkest Arts," also well worth your money.) Link for purchase here.

Lyrics )

And here's another one of their delightful songs, 'Beans.' )
pegkerr: (Default)
If you have to ask which movie, you aren't paying attention. (Or, duh, look at the tags.)

Who else is going to the midnight show?
pegkerr: (All we have to decide is what to do with)
I really REALLY admire the Harry Potter Alliance.
The Deathly Hallows Campaign spans the nine months between Harry Potter films. From November 2010 through July 2011, Harry will be struggling to destroy Voldemort’s horcruxes. At the same time, Harry Potter fans across the globe are joining the Harry Potter Alliance on an epic journey to destroy seven real world horcruxes.

Join this adventure as we shine the light of our love at Lumos Parties on the night of the movie’s release.
Sign this petition to help us fight the “Starvation Wages Horcrux.”

Join our exciting Dumbledore’s Army meetings the last day of each month to find out what the next horcrux will be and how we will fight it. Tweet with the hashtag #deathlyhallows, discuss creative tactics, follow our blog and YouTube.

There will be even more ways for you to be involved as the campaign continues!

The moment the Harry Potter Alliance has been waiting five years for has arrived and Dumbledore’s Army needs you!
About the first Horcrux, the Alliance says:
On November 1st, 2010, the Harry Potter Alliance sent a letter to Time Warner, the parent company of Warner Brothers, inviting them to switch to Fair Trade chocolate for all of its Harry Potter merchandising. When Hermione Granger discovers that the food at Hogwarts, chocolate included, is being made by house elves–essentially unpaid, indentured servants–she immediately starts a campaign to replace exploitation with fairness. Similarly, the cocoa industry is plagued by inhumane and unjust economic and labor conditions. Therefore, by switching to Fair Trade chocolate, Time Warner can ensure that no chocolate in Harry’s name is being made under inhumane conditions (including starvation and child slavery). Together we can fight the Starvation Wages Horcrux!

How you can help

Sign the petition now to show your support for Fair Trade chocolate. We are uniting as Harry Potter fans to ask Time Warner to stay true to the spirit of Harry Potter! And we need your help to spread the word to Harry Potter fans!

* Sign the petition and help your house with the House Cup! You have until December 31st, 2010 to sign!
* Tweet your support for Fair Trade Chocolate!
* Shine a light on the need for Fair Trade at the movie release on November 19th!

Please print out the petition from here to get your friends, family, and members of your school, work, and community to sign! When you’re done, enter all of their names and give credit to your House!

Share on Facebook or and Twitter.
What I did today to make the world a better place )


pegkerr: (Default)

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