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Old 08-22-2002, 10:48 AM   #49
Child of the 7th Age
Spirit of the Lonely Star
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Littlemanpoet, aka Imp-----

It's good to see you again. By the way, I haven't forgotten what I need and want to do to help with the writing. My life should improve drastically when both my children return to school by next week!

About Frodo the prophet. Do you remember the last scene at the Grey Havens? Frodo talks to Sam and tells him something of the years to come. He mentions the names of five of his children who are not yet born, and "perhaps more that I cannot yet see." The names are all correct, although he does get the birth order switched on two of them. That point is mentioned in Tolkien's unpublished epilogue in Sauron's Defeat. Frodo also tells Sam he'll be mayor as long as he wants to and the most famous gardener in history. Finally, in terms of going to the West, he also predicts "Your time may come."

This isn't a "prophet" in the biblical sense, but it certainly involves true telling of the future. I think there are one or two other points in the LotR where Frodo does this, but my mind won't dredge those up right now.

About your other question regarding paths in life. Imp, if I knew the true answer to that, I would have to be Eru!! But I will take a guess. And this applies not only to the characters in the book, but ourselves as individuals as well. No, I truly believe that there is no way that Frodo could turn into someone like Pippin or Sam. And the same goes for the reverse. I think we are each given certain gifts inside ourselves. We have the choice to develop those gifts or not, but we don't really have the ability to pick any path at random and go on it. I guess the proponents of the "American dream" would dispute this, but I truly feel this is part of the bittersweet nature of life.

Frodo could have chosen to ignore what was inside himself. He would have ended up corrupted and a puppet of Sauron. But he couldn't will himself into becoming like Pippin, for example, a good and decent fellow who became a leader in the hobbit community. That's not to say he couldn't have developed certain minimal talents in those areas. We could all use a general sharpening of our overall skills, e.g., learning to do more good deeds for our neighbors, becoming more aware of our community's needs etc. but there's a limit to this process. There are certain gifts and certain limitations that Eru built into us, and we have to respect those.

I'll give you a few personal examples. I have two children, both raised in the same family and community and spiritual heritage. Yet they are so different that it is unbelievable. I have a very academic son who, I suspect, may some day make some scientific or medical discovery that will benefit many people. I have a daughter who is far less oriented to school (in fact, she has a mild learning disability), but who has a very unusual gift with people. She is very much like Sam. Now what if I try to change my daughter into my son, or vice versa. The only thing I will do is drive them both away from what they were meant to become. Yes, I make sure that my son does volunteer work in the summers so he learns to be more sensitive to people, and I also have my daughter tutored so she will see more of the beauty of words. But I can't change what they will, or should, become.

And frankly I'm no different. I would most like to be a Frodo I think, but that is not me. Yes, I can focus on certain improvements in that area, but no one is ever going to mistake me for a seer! Neither am I a Sam or Eowyn or Faramir or Gandalf, even though those characters appeal to me.

At best, I'm afraid I'm a lowly Bilbo. I'm definitely a teacher and a bit of a historian. Like Bilbo, I've adopted a young one (my daughter) and also like Bilbo, I'm a bit of an eccentric given the community that I live in. If I were to go around and moan about the fact that I'm not Frodo, and never will be Frodo, I'd only turn myself into a frustrated, angry person instead of doing the best job at what I actually can manage to do and be. So if I can't be Frodo, I guess it's not too bad to be the person that Frodo most loved in his life.!

sharon, the 7th age hobbit

[ August 22, 2002: Message edited by: Child of the 7th Age ]
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