Friday, July 15, 2011

The End of an Era

There we were, my friends and I, sitting in a packed theater, all excited for the movie to start with a full 30 minutes left before even the previews - yep, the midnight showing of Harry Potter 7.2.

As we waited, my friend and I admired the wand she had fabulously whittled down from a normal stick in her backyard and wondered what we were going to do with it.  

Friend: "This is the very last Harry Potter premiere that I will ever attend for the rest of my life."

I tried to be cheerful, "Maybe in 20 years, they'll re-release the movies into theaters.  You could bring the wand to that then." 
Friend: "Haha.  Yep, and knowing me, I'll still have the wand.  I can tell my kids - I made this wand for its original release in 2011.  Wow, my kids will think I'm so OLD." 
We both laughed at the idea of it. 

I'm not normally sentimental about movies like that but waiting outside the theater afterward, on Harry Potter movie high, and watching all the clever and fabulous costumes of those in attendance with us, it was a different feeling to realize that this really was IT. 

That got me thinking to other endings in the past few weeks.

The retirement of Yao Ming - this came across my desk just today, actually, even though it's been in the news now for a week.  He was the first international to ever get a 1st draft pick in the NBA without prior US basketball experience.  He is impressive as a strong basketball player and an all-around good person on and off the court.  He will be sorely missed.
The launch of the last shuttle, STS-135: The first launch happened in the very year that I was born.  That means that anyone my age or younger has never known life without the space shuttle.  It was a matter-of-course growing up.  Gone were the days of stopping all activity to breathlessly await every detail from space (found in the earlier missions of Apollo).  Instead, we just accepted it as almost routine - the US launches shuttles, those shuttles do important stuff in space and then they come back down.  Until, suddenly, the era of the shuttle is over.  And we're all grasping at straws, wondering, "What's next?"

While waiting to start teaching Chinese today, my friend and I discussed languages.  I asked him about languages that were dying.  He explained his philosophy, "I'm not one of those people who insists on maintaining the culture we have right now forever.  Things change; cultures change; languages change.  It's always been that way."

Good philosophy: culture changes.  The end of one era only means the beginning of a new one.  What's next?

1 comment:

  1. the end of an era indeed. le sigh. it was a pretty cool wand though. :-p