Monday, March 19, 2007

scars can be useful

Here's why I love blogs-- I might not have noticed my scar's similarity to Harry Potter's lightning bolt scar had a couple readers not pointed it out.

A little googling brings up a gold mine of mythological references, and makes me love my scar even more. Yes, I love my scar.

I like the Harry Potter connection. His scar is proof of his extraodinary survival skills. It warns him of danger. It's probably what makes him able to talk to snakes. And it's a bigger part of the story then is yet known- Rowling has said that the last word of the series will be "scar".

Snips from an article I found cached, by mythologist Maggie Macary:

Harry’s scar is the great symbol of the series.... The scar is his metaphor, his most noticeable feature, the one thing he likes best about his appearance, and the one thing that makes him recognizable... A mark that reveals Harry has been opened to the world, diverted in his predictable life path, bringing complexity and a diversity of meaning into his life... The lightening bolt has deep mythological and symbolic relevance in all cultures, representing power and strength and the fertile creativity of masculine energy as well as inward, meditative power and vision.

The scar is a body’s permanent memory of its breaching, a mark of violation and yet also an endurable mark of transformation. The etymology of the word scar comes from the Greek, eschara meaning hearth. In ancient Greece, the eschara was a portable hearth that stood on graves and allowed burnt offerings to the Earth-gods and to the Underworld deities. In associating scar with eschara, a wound becomes an offering to the Underworld, a sacrificial act to placate and purify demons, ghosts and chthonic forces. The scar becomes the mark of that offering, a never-disappearing symbol of one’s sacrifice. Harry enters the story scarred. It is the essence of who he is, and it means that he is never innocent. Innocence in this sense means unmarked, untouched, whole. Harry is not whole.

Harry’s scar is the mark of a deep sacrificial darkness, the death of his parents and a childhood of despair and abuse. The wise wizard Dumbledore knows better than to heal and remove Harry’s scar. “Scars can be useful,” he remarks sagely as he compares one of his own scars to a map. In fact, Harry’s scar turns out to be a quite handy map as it ties Harry to Voldemort in a deep intimacy that exists only between the twin hero and villain in the fairy tale world.

Thanks clever blog readers!

(drawing by Mary Grand Pre, of course)

3 comments:

jwings said...

Are there any hearts with lightning bolts? (hint)

linda said...

there will be, when my stitches come out!

alvina said...

I like scars--I dno't have many, though, but I do apply some symbolism to the ones I have. Well, one. This reminds me of that scene in Lethal Weapon 2 (I think) where Mel Gibson compares scars with his tough leading lady. Each one told a story.