Saturday, November 10, 2007

Potter Puzzles

The main question in my life right now is that concerning my university. Through the past months, I have been through some of the most agonizing times and some of the most insomnia-causing nights, all to have come to some wonderful conclusions. I have learned much about life and myself. And fortunately, despite all of the unknown, many answers have come my way.

But the largest matter on my mind is the question of where and how I am to spend the next four years of my life. I won't give my entire history with this question here (it is lengthy), but suffice it to say that my long path with this question has led me to two possibilities, that of either staying at BYU or that of transferring to a different university that I have selected.

Who would have thought, however, that this week, and this night, would have made this problem seem so acutely crucial in my life? Consider the dissonance that these following occurrences have caused me. Tonight, when I finally (for the first time) planned out the rest of my college courses as if I were to stay at BYU, the website somehow deleted all of the planning work that I had entered. This is not a problem that is frequently encountered with this program. A mere glitch? Or a sign? I am inclined to believe the former, although I truly don't know. "Coincidences" of this sort are prevalent in my life.

And it has been uncanny how frequently I have seen the alternate university that I have chosen referenced on t-shirts and in other forms. I met a girl at a service project today from its home state. And the people sitting behind me in the movie theater tonight were talking about the tree huggers from this state (how I want to be with fellow tree huggers!). And these situations are truly only a tiny fraction of all of the odd coincidences pointing me towards this university. I know that we see what we look for, but I have honestly experienced too many odd experiences with this university to brush them aside as the product of a selective mind.

Thus, I found it extremely odd tonight when more answers and questions came to me in the form of a movie, namely Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Before the intense action and emotion of the film had begun, I began crying in the theater because of the emotions I felt. I feel a resonance with Dumbledore, the archetypal god of the Harry Potter series and a man who has been identified as being gay. I love Rowling's overarching message of inclusion and compassion within her stories; to me, one of the strongest messages of the books is to love those with less pure blood, to love those that are outcasted, misfitted, or otherwise different, to love those of different species and forms, and now, the ex post facto knowledge of Dumbledore's sexuality lends the theme of the book to include loving gays, as well. How beautiful a tale Rowling created. I love her.

The movie taught me that the greatest way to conquer evil is hand in hand with supporters in the cause of the light. I need supporters. I believe I have many. I recently gained the support of my best friend, a man that said nothing to me other than to express his happiness about my gayness. I have never been received with such a positive light, and his acceptance utterly changed my world and outlook. I wonder if I need more of his form of support, support that doesn't have any religious complications to confound or cloud it. I honestly do not know. But I know that it was beautiful and transforming. Maybe by transferring, I could find professors that loved me because of who I am, including my sexuality. I could find friends that would love for me to be open with them in all things, including spirituality and sexuality. I might be loved in the most wholesome way, and I need that. That is how darkness is vanquished.

The strongest message that I have been learning in my life is that of fear and love. I recognize these two forces as the basic powers that guide all that we do, the one leading to greater light, the other to continued and stronger darkness. In Harry Potter this is evident, as well. Voldemort's greatest weapon is fear; it is how he controls and destroys people. Love, on the other hand, can truly triumph over all, healing the broken wounds and giving breath to the fallen. In my life, I know these two forces to be at work. And it is my deepest truth that I always want to act out of love and not out of fear, as difficult as this may be.

But do I fear replanting my roots, transferring universities, and accepting the unknown? Or do I genuinely love my classes at BYU, the resources here, the opportunities to study abroad, the excellent programs, the quirky professors, the brilliant students? I cannot say. But I will be grateful for what I have, for I feel I have been given all. I know that I love my life and those within it, and for now, that is enough of an answer for me.