THE BOY WHO LIVED

273 The Boy Who Lived

I’ve been sitting at my desk for some time now, wondering what to say. For one, it is not July 31, anymore, and oh, I don’t know, I’ve only been working on this illustration for the past week or so! Well, to be fair, I had a visit from a Dementor of the Muggle kind – a flying cockroach. – There was no way for me to avoid writing the word; you must be picturing it right now, and I’m sorry (unless of course, you like them or are an entomologist or summat).

He was flying around in the room I share with my sister on the night of the 31st. Upon spotting him, we conjured our respective Patronus charms whereby we sealed him in with copious amounts of insecticide. (An Avada Kedavra would have sufficed, but that would have been dark, dark magic, and also, we were fucking scared.) Anyway, my computer was in the room; caught unawares, I had to leave my baby in there with the critter. (We heaved a sign when we found his body, a few days later.)

And now, that there are no more secrets between us – I thought to include a modification of an excerpt from a post I wrote on Medium in 2016…

“Every year, I do this thing (I may have talked about it before)  – I read the entire seven-part series of Harry Potter because it is something that makes me really happy. As an exercise, what’s even more interesting for me is re-discovering so many details about the stories that I might have missed before, and I enjoy making notes of doubts that occur to me while I’m reading the books, et cetera, et cetera, and in the process, fall in love with the books all over again. It is definitely one tradition I hope to never tire of.”

This, mis amigos, is true! I have been re-reading the books, every year, ever since 2012. I have not yet begun them yet, this year. I will be, soon. – The illustration you see is one I re-worked on from ‘the’ personal series I did, last year, on occasion of it being #HarryPotter20 and all that. The wonderful wizarding world of Harry Potter continues to enchant me, year after year, and this post is meant to pay ode to some of what I feel about the series. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to describe it all coherently, and perhaps that is good because I don’t know, I wouldn’t want to ever leave it all behind.

To paraphrase from another great, great yet terrible wizard, “Harry Potter is my past, present, and future.”

P.S. The illustration, here, features my favourite trio of fictional friends: Ron Weasley, Harry Potter and Hermione Granger. Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans (hello, Earwax and Vomit, d’you see ’em too?) make up the background, along with some magical sparkles and the like.

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Artwork by Roanna Fernandes

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INTERPRETER OF MALADIES

272 Interpreter of Maladies

A bezoar is a shrivelled kidney-like stone that can be used to save a witch or wizard from poison, according to Pottermore – Professor Severus Snape told us this much in the very first Potions lesson in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Why am I randomly telling you about bezoars?

Good question.

Well, for one, I think we all know what’s tomorrow (and yes, I’m celebrating)! I also drew this last year, as part of personal illustrative series I worked for my Tumblr blog etc. But it’s not just that. Bezoars are on my mind, because I have been thinking a lot about the magic and mysticism of odd objects, and how a belief in them can bring us much comfort and joy. And in this case, particularly, a bezoar can also be the antidote within your body that reveals itself when potent poisons threaten to shut down the system.

Sometimes, with some intervention from the forces above – I gain a better perspective on things that maybe have been going downhill, or that have had an adverse effect on me. That being said, we also must actively seek solutions on our own (we’ve got to take that first step), however, whilst not always trying to take care of every little thing going wrong in our lives. – I am making plans to talk to a professional/therapist about my life’s happenings, gain some insights and you know, take it from there, but, but I’ll say that there is nothing like feeling fixed in a mere moment. A good thing having happened out of the blue, either by your doing or external forces; it’s so much more encouraging/inspiring when that comes from within…

Your own antidote, your bezoar.

As it is the eve of Harry and his creator’s birthday, let us now pause and think about our own Dementors and manifestations of Lord Voldemort. We must remember this: “Light is lovely, light is luminous.” Darkness is a temptress, wanton and winsome but wicked and willful. We must practise our Patronus charms, and always be armed.

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Artwork by Roanna Fernandes

EMERALD CITY

271 Emerald City

Hi friends!

Well, it has been a hot minute (and then some) since we last spoke; a super toasty one, I might add. – For some time, I thought a hot minute meant time that goes by, real quick. As it turns out, it means the exact opposite! I don’t know why I said toasty though, it seemed to go with hot minute? I’m rambling. (I have an interesting idea for how this post is to unfold, however – I must that I am gathering thoughts as I’m writing them; will you keep reading, ¿por favor?)

July was long (now that I think about it), and kind of lovely – in a wholesome way? There was something about this month – Minila Louisa was in the city for a week so we spent  time together; I did a lot of cooking/reading/writing etc. How was your July? (By the way, were you curious at all, about the shop in the photograph accompanying this post? It occurred to me that you might have been and I didn’t think to write about it then, but I could cover it in a post to come, etc.)

Okay, and so, it begins…

“Buenas noches, señora… How are you, this evening?

I see, I see. I can tell that your energy is dispirited and distressed too.

Shall we begin, then? – Hand me your palms, please.

Is this comfortable? Do you feel alright? Oh, you can smell them – why, they’re these new incense sticks I picked up from Auroville!”

P A U S E

“Hmm… I do see some questions, here. Much worries you, is it not so, señora? Pero, don’t be afraid. I’m here to listen, to help…

That your energy is tainted is no secret, this much, we know. What I see for you is you closing the door on something that should have long been forgotten. This door continues to rattle, opening during your weakest moments and ultimately, interrupting your present, and fruition of your new dreams. This particular door does not safeguard secrets but deep dejection too – for none of it was ever truly real. Forgive me, señora, I think you sense this too. It must be bolted and soon, so that its outline may grow faint with the passing of time. The new I see is all around you! Positive particles swarming like fireflies, hoping to cultivate your core. Harness their potent power; tap into your own.”

The first part of the session ends.

“Do you wish to look into my mirror, ahora, señora?” #espejomágico

P.S. What did you think? – Erm, so you know how I love magic and all things -related. Like, yes, I’m kind of a Potterhead so that’s a given. There’s that, but also more. From the point of view that magic can alter your mindset (focusing on the good), heal your hope (seeking solutions) etc.; belief (whatever power it is that you place your faith in) can be incredibly empowering/soothing. And everything is kind of magical, don’t you think?

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Artwork by Roanna Fernandes

 

SIGNET OF THE TIMES

270 Signet of the Times

(I’m back, friends!)

Ever since publishing my last post, I felt reinvigorated – enough to consider what the next post was going to be about. And it came to me quite simply (they have only been on my mind for the longest time)… Signet rings!

The history of signet rings (how they came to be, basically) is what is most interesting to me. Back in the olden days, illustrious folk used to seal important documents and maybe, secret letters (each) with a glob of sealing wax that was impressed upon with their coat of arms. I don’t quite know if typically, it used to be first, a stamp (with the wooden handle) and then later was turned into something convenient, i.e. having the seal set within the bezel of your ring (it would have been easier to have your stamping ring on you at all times). (Speaking of which, I have been longing to make my own sealing wax kit!)

To have your own trademark in the form of a seal is very exciting to me, and from what I have deduced, people usually opted to create motifs that are only theirs, much like a logo that forms the signet. Maybe a fleur-de-lis or rose combined with perhaps their monogram or something else representational like an animal, object or ornament etc. These motifs tell you about the individual, what they stood for or were associated with; which is perhaps why it may have been restricted to certain sects of people (kind of sad because I am a common woman and had I been born then, I would certainly have loved to have the means to forge a crest as part of my legacy).

Getting to the jewellery bit (sorry it took forever) – I do have quite the thing for antique and heirloom pieces, could you tell? Signet rings are exquisite to have and hold; of course, in today’s day and age, it might not be the simplest to get your own such ring made (it would be fairly expensive, for one)… Even so, here are a few I spotted on the interwebz that left a lasting impression on me (see what I did there, heh):

Cosma Signet Ring, KATKIM – $990

Femme Ring, Wolf Circus – $140

Giulia Ring, CINCO – €45

Grande Dame Signet Ring, Maison Mayle – $250

Morena Saint Ring, Five and Two –  Rs. 3,039.71

Signet Ronde Gold, MIMI ET TOI – €80.00

Slim Signet Ring, Ariel Gordon – $450

Wyatt Signet, Merewif – $66

Closer to home, I’ve spotted one on Sreesha’s website, SHOP LUNE and something kinda sorta like a signet ring on KICHU (I mean, the signet ring has Egyptian roots and this could very well pass off as one!). I also have a ring from Forever 21 (not pictured here). I bought it a few years ago, and I love the almost arabesque inscription; it is even better that the signet opens up (like a locket) to reveal an embossed symbol of a Roman cross. I’ve been wearing it a lot, recently; I’ve come to think of it as my very own Papal ring (ha)!

P.S. This post has been exceptionally long but if you’re still here and reading, I should tell you that year’s Met Gala theme, Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination contributed further to my thinking about heirloom-like, almost Victorian fashions. I would have loved to see close-ups of anyone wearing signet rings at the event but sadly, when I was researching for this piece, I didn’t find any. Should you have any information, I beseech you to share it in the comments below! (In order of their appearance, the picture credits are as follows: Wolf Circus, FINE LIFE CO, Marko MacPherson, LUV AJ, The Deeps, Merewif, HONESTLY WTF, Merewif.)

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Artwork by Roanna Fernandes