It would be great if life came with an endless supply of gillyweed. On the days when the weight of the world submerges us under water, you would just eat a bit of plant and find yourself growing gills, breathing freely and appreciating the subterranean plot of real estate you find yourself in. Or just more able to navigate the sharks in the water, tuning out the DUR DUR, DUR DUR, DUDU DUDU DUDU soundtrack clanging in the recesses of your mind.
There is so much information, so much competing for our limited time that it can be quite overwhelming across so many facets of life – including fandom. You can love to read, to comment and review and sing the praises of your favourite genre – but then you can also find yourself drowning under the vast swell of a never shrinking to-read pile.
Same for the latest compelling drama to hit whichever steaming service that floats your boat. There is so much sci-fi, so much comic cannon fodder out there at our disposal. It becomes an iceberg that you can only cling to the top of, wondering desperately what you’ve missed as your fingers slip down the surface. Frankly, my boat is at present jet-propelled by the Austen-lite fluff fest of Sanditon, and Theo James’ frequent need to bathe without his clothes in seawater. He sure don’t need a boat to stay afloat.
Alas, we don’t operate in the Potterverse and magic can seem to be in short supply. In a world full of people who can seem cut off and inaccessible thanks to the bubblehead charm (aka social media and the like), it can be both reassuring and plain life affirming to have people reach out and pull you back to shore when you fear you may drown.
I received good advice from several good souls last week, when my feet were in the water and sinking fast. Firstly, to stop worrying about all the things you don’t know. Enjoy being an enthusiastic amateur. Watch the things that give genuine enjoyment. Yes, be open to new things – both for leisure and for work. But don’t fret the wider picture. There’s a lot of ground in the world and very few people ever get to walk it all.
Step back, have a cup of coffee and hug the dog (or attempt to hug the four legged claw machine known as a cat). Look outside the window. Be kind to yourself. Eat toast and jam (perfect medicine, I’ve found). Watch a feel-good movie – Hocus Pocus fit that bill perfectly for me this weekend. Seasonal, wickedly funny and rather beguiling.
There will always be submerged wrecks and sharks lurking below the surface, waiting to snag us. But there is also coral and neon fishes and sunlight on the waves. Let others be your life raft, if need be. Float a little. Remember that even the rain has a purpose.
Breathe. And thanks as always for reading.