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Showing posts from July, 2008


"So, the first question we must ask ourselves is, what is a boggart?" Hermione put up her hand. "It's a shape shifter," she said. "It can take the shape of whatever it thinks will frighten us most." (Rowling, The Prisoner of Azkaban, p. 133) The boggart - "fear itself," as we behold it in Harry Potter, evolves from the British belief in a house spirit. The boggart exists to muddle intermittently in the conveniences of its house's inhabitants, (ie spoiling the milk, spooking the horses, chilling the beds.) As legend explains, a simple horseshoe on the door can keep boggarts away - but beware of claiming or naming a boggart - it'll become yours for life! This passage, as only children's literature can do, explores the mysteries of the boggart, touching on the immense and abstractions of fear itself in a particularly adult way of thinking and reasoning. What is the relationship between humans and fear? The trick to dispelling fear - re…

Road Trip

We realized what kind of people we are, sitting on our two folding chairs in the middle of a parking lot in Yellowstone, making our daily peanut butter sandwiches on a makeshift table (two cardboard boxes,) with utensils salvaged from a McDonald's run, marveling at the various makes and models of the RVs and campers surrounding us. Almost all of our earthly belongings crammed into our 4 door Elantra bounced (we have no shocks) across the country with us, a bike tied to the bumper, a box of vittles precariously laid over a crate of camping gear, and the two of us, two days into sleeping in the great outdoors, camping and driving through the upper 90's with no AC. A sight to behold! A sight to elicit responses such as, "now aren't you glad we have a camper?" or "y'all need any help?" or, resonant of my dad's personal favorite from growing up, "stay in school, kids, stay in school." Somehow we have become those people. And somehow w…