March 24, 2018

concerning hobbits

Last night, P.J. and I sat by a nice fire, reading.  I asked her if the Silverlode was the same as Loudwater.  She said no, Loudwater was the name given to the Bruinen.  I said, "Oh, okay.  I forgot."  We went back to our reading.  The faithful fire crackled.

I'm undertaking another re-read of Lord of the Rings.  I don't do it every year like Christopher Lee used to do (he can't now, as the lighting is shitty in his coffin, but the books were sacred to him).  I try to every few years, though, when I most need it.  The escape is all-encompassing.  It has served me well over many years.

I first read it two months after my son died, when Fellowship of the Ring hit the theatres.  We saw the movie thirteen times in two months. I was submerged in the Tolkien universe, understandably far preferring it to the real one at the time.  The story line of Arwen and Elrond was poignant and gave me an analog at which I could direct my profound sorrow and draw catharsis.  I was madly in love with Hugo Weaving for a while because of that.

But the books - ah, the books, with their detailed descriptions of hillsides and forests and the inseparability of the land from the journey of the characters, provided sweet immersion and hours of forgetting my own world.  They always do.

Next week it will have been one year since I died.  I didn't die, but I meant to, and that is the same thing in a person's psyche.  I want to mark it in some way.  I proposed celebrating it as a sort of birthday, because there's little difference between a birthday and a not-dead-yet day, if you think about it.  This doesn't seem quite proper and the idea made both P.J. and me squirm.  I'm not one of those positive people who can do that, at least not well.  So I'm still unsure of how to observe this anniversary, or even if I should.  It's not something you can ask other people.  "How did you treat that day?  What kind of cake frosting did you use?"

It would appear that I've chosen to escape it for a while, to glide past it into Rivendell and beyond, to seek refuge with the elves and let gentle yellow leaves drift down onto my shoulders while walking on moss and soft grass.  In a mind, these places are real, part of the terrain, and it's my mind that matters right now.  The Elves provide sanctuary and peace.  A Silmaril shines down as the brightest star.

I will steal away to Middle Earth, for I am battle-weary and afraid of the power of my upcoming not-dead-yet day.  Therapist Gumby says the first one is the hardest.  There is no shame, I have decided, in running away and hiding.  Lille isn't ready yet.

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