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Old 01-29-2004, 01:43 AM   #95
Dininziliel's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: 3rd star from the right over Kansas
Posts: 108
Dininziliel has just left Hobbiton.

Oh! Oh! Oh! I do so adore being dead. The company is simply unsurpassable!

I have been exploring other chambers of the Downs lately and for some reason this one only now caught my eye. I've scanned a couple of pages in the old & new threads, and eagerly look forward to a few hours of wonderful reflection in the near future. For now, I want to add my bit as the time is fleeting and my shroud is looking most comfortable.

This very subject has been much on my mind of late. LotR (book and movies) and The Silmarillion have been a refuge and source of renewal for me. Life has recently given me cause to time travel . . .

LIke the previous posting person, I first was made aware of Tolkien by my first real boyfriend when I was 14. He was, an older "man" of 19 and I felt truly enthralled by everything he said and did. [img]smilies/cool.gif[/img] Actually, he did bequeath me a great deal of cultural interests that have stood the test of time--Frank Zappa for one. Anyway, he loaned me The Hobbit. I fell in love with the whole thing, and became especially fond of the dwarves. I bought a terrific (I thought) dwarf statuette, named it Balin, and made it my personal icon/totem. After I finished The Hobbit he gave me FotR. (These are all the 1st edition of the Ballentine paperbacks w/Tolkien's endorsement of them on the back cover--ah, the romance of authenticity!). I devoured it and the subsequent books as well. I also spent hours looking for cloth material that matched the Elven cloaks given by Galadriel's folk to the Fellowship and made a swimsuit "cloak." [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img] Alas, I had to return the Ballentines. We continued off and on into my freshman year in college. As I write, I am wearing the silver ring engraved with Cirth script he made and gave to me. The only word I can make out is "love." The others are a mystery.

Needless to say, the relationship traveled south to Harad (we stayed fond friends until I lost track of him about eight years ago), but the stories stayed with me.

Around 1969, I bought a poster with a map illustrated by Tolkien and put it up on my wall. A couple of years later it was time to go to college. While I was away, my mother rather ruined the poster by pasting a blue velveteen ribbon around the borders, although she meant well. During one summer while home from university, my parents decided to repaint my room. With great care and regret, I took down the poster, ripping it slightly. Thinking, "Oh, this old thing--it's already half ruined," I tossed it out. I am repenting at leisure.

Between high school and through college, I'd re-read The Hobbit and LotR a couple of times. They began to fade from mind, but one day, I happened to see the very first edition of The Silmarillion in the university bookstore. I felt deeply drawn to ME again and bought it on sight. Ever since I read the account of the creation of the world, I have envisioned its source as the notes sung by the Ainur and orchestrated by Eru. After "Ainulindale," it took me the usual 2-3 attempts to get past the next 60 pages. I now love all of it.

Fast forward a few years and re-readings. I am legally attached to a man who, despite giving me indisputable reason to legally unattach, was a superb gift giver. This was when the leatherette volumes of The Hobbit and LotR appeared--green and red respectively, and tantalizingly embossed with words in runes & of Elvish in shiny gold, red, and green. It is the most treasured among my 4 editions of LotR.

Last year I bought a set of the old Ballentine editions. I just wanted to have them in my hands again. (You can go back again.)

So, from the undertow of adolescence continuing into the crest of expected and unexpected middle age changes, the stories have been with me. They have been a guide through what could have become my own Paths of the Dead. I seem to have gravitated to them during times of darkness and fear, or simply those dread and dangerous doldrums of "dark nights of the soul." They have rewarded me with light and hope and an ever-expanding awareness of the life of the spirit in a world of the all too-fleeting flesh.

Good night, all you wonderful people out there . . . in the dark!
"It is a journey without distance to a goal that has never changed."
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