Again, it's been quite a while, hasn't it? Too much has been happening, but the silence was getting to me. My hands have physically been itching for my pen (fine, keyboard) and this post was inevitable.
A while ago, I was having a bad day. The kind of day that combines the perfectly ghastly elements of things actually going wrong, along with my beautiful darling of a brain rehashing ideas and memories that really needn't surface ever again. Simply put, it made the idea of sitting under my blanket and crying my eyes out till I fell asleep sound particularly tempting. Of course, that didn't work out. I'm not telling you any of this to garner sympathy or attention. I'm telling you so that I can focus on what helped me get out of this funk. A few hours of watching my favourite episodes of Friends, followed by indulging in my Potter-mania, and I could already feel my world getting back on its axis.
I know, not everything can be solved by watching TV or reading. However, it can make you feel a tad bit better. You know why? Because for that moment, you get absorbed in those characters, their lives and their experiences. For that moment, that is your individual reality. And THAT is the highlight of my post. Not the healing power of popular culture (though that deserves a post on its own), but the idea that so many individuals can make one common thing their personal reality for a moment, and each see it as their own happiness.
Lost? Let me explain. When you watch something like Friends, during that time it is only you in the world of the six friends, standing inside that beautiful apartment with the purple door and its golden frame, watching Joey mooch food from the fridge. Even though the show has millions of fans all over the world, it is just you, absorbed in that time and moment, and no one else. This is the sort of individual escapist bliss that I love about the Potter canon as well. No matter how many people join the fandom and how many of your friends are Potterheads, at the end of the day it is just you and the halls of Hogwarts. The fact that something so well known can feel so private amazes me. Not only does it feel personal, but in fact when some random person starts telling you about how they've just discovered the same show or book, it almost sparks a little bit of possessiveness in you!
For those of you who do not understand these examples, let me try something else. Music. I don't think I know of anything else that is so widely heard and yet is so intensely personal. Think of that moment when you're listening to a piece of music or a song that you really like, earphones plugged in, volume high, eyes closed with a wide grin naturally on your face. Even if you've spent hours at your music class studying the intricacies of the song with seven other people, those few minutes with your earphones and your smile are yours, so intensely yours. Similarly, those goosebumps that you get while watching a great theatrical piece, even while you're part of a large audience, are just on your skin and in what you see on stage.
This feeling of belonging, of the joy of solidarity of your self with any art, it is amazing. Also, it is something that has been engaging my attention more and more these days. The idea that both you and I can not only like different things, but also like the same thing, see so many different reasons to like it, and make personal attachments to it while temporarily negating the rest of the world, is to me the best way of seeing art.