Sunday, January 12, 2014

30 Days of Quotes About Life ~ Day 12 ~ J.K. Rowling

Day 12 ~

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” 

J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Ah. Potter.

In true Harry Potter nerd fashion, I have to wonder where this quote actually came from. The original title of the book was Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, changed to the Sorcerer's when first published in the United States based on the assumption that American readers wouldn't want anything to do with a book title involving the word philosopher. I don't believe anything in the text was altered, but I could be wrong.

Fascinating, is it not?

A little insulting, too, one could argue.

Then again, I've been accused of being a head case more than once and probably over analyze things more than most people in the universe, let alone most Americans.


I have mad love for the Potter franchise. I read the first five books aloud with my children, mostly over the course of one summer when my oldest became interested in them. We would pour ourselves into the text and immediately watch the movies after each one. It is one of my fondest memories with the kids that I have to this point, and helped to make two of my kids the avid readers they are today.

These particular words were spoken in the story by Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts.

Though he is clearly a fictional character, I think that any muggle like myself would tell you that he probably reminds us all at least a little bit of someone in our lives who helped us learn about the ways of the world when we were impressionable and young.

Dumbledore was wise, and that wisdom came from a lifetime of experience. This quote embodies so much of it, in so few words.

Dreams are an essential part of who we are. They give us hope, they give us direction, they give us something to work towards, they can bring meaning to what we are doing when it seems like there is none.

And yet, dreams are not real.

They are illusions of the world the way that we envision it within the confines of our heads. Nothing more, nothing less. Once attained, they are real. Until then, they are fictions residing in our minds.

I find myself getting stuck, probably far too often, in this alternate universe. Dreaming for something that may never be, wondering what the world will be like when it happens, knowing that it probably never will. There are times that it takes everything in me to reel it in, to let it go, to live in the here and now. I'm not going to lie.


Dwelling in dreams too much comes at the expense of now. It sacrifices the reality of today for a hypothetical tomorrow.

No matter how much we want them, dreams aren't real. Don't sacrifice what is for what isn't.

Dumbledore was a wise, wise wizard.

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