Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Why I love Tolkien

I love Tolkien. I was brainwashed at an early age, as my Daddy would read us Lord of the Rings every night as my 9 yr old self lay in my top bunk, the ceiling becoming a world full of gold and green and silver, soaking in the wonder of stars and self sacrifice. He says it much better than me...an embattled army whose only goal was to distract the overwhelming enemy long enough to give the rest of the world a chance 'There they raised, fair and desperate, the banner of the tree and stars." I loved all Tolkien meant by the word 'fair'....something to do with green trees on the golden light of high morning, of great deeds done for love of all that was good, of the intense longing for the undefinable something of the moonlight on rustling branches beneath a cold wind and bright clear stars. Something to do with the elk-calls in November in Yellowstone park when the mist still clings to the mountains. Something to do with Rachmaninoff's Vespers aching in my heart. But not so ethereal that it wasn't as homey as fresh bread with butter on it eaten with lots of jam at 10 am with the morning sunlight streaming onto a chaotic table of 8 siblings a baby trying to stuff the jam spoon into her mouth.
I couldn't find a word to describe what Tolkien called 'fair.' It was a long story, and follows the tortured musings of a preteen/teen mind, but in the end, I found the word that fit. Holy.
Holiness is something so little understood, so dismissed, so written off as already understood when in fact we are just categorizing it, instead of seeing it with open eyes...because perhaps if we did we would fall on our faces.

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