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I discovered Tolkien....

Grey Havens

Sep 11 2013, 5:36pm

Views: 91
I discovered Tolkien.... [In reply to] Can't Post

... in 1977 when a Star Wars pal dropped a stack of books in my hands and intoned, "YOU......MUST.....READ.....THIS!"

I stared at the tower of verbiage and paled. Lo! in my copious free time, somewhere in the next millennium. The epic tome was J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings.

Star Wars, with its classic faerie tale elements had already resonated with me, I had no idea yet that LOTR would connect with me even more deeply.

Somewhat later, I borrowed a tent from a second cousin twice removed, so I could spend a week on a desert island called Assateague. He told me about this game they played: D&D. I showed up, rolled up a character, waved the paper at the DM and said, "What do I make of this?"

"Play an Elf."

"What? You mean like Hermie, in Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer?"

"Read Lord of the Rings."

I did, in 1978. Thirty years, many fantasy illustrations, several "fanfics", essays and re-readings later, I'm still a fan of the original fantasy epic that spawned the rest (LOTR was born the same year I was).

What keeps me coming back, what keeps me revisiting TORN, and rereading the books, and collecting Middle Earth stuff... what got me into costuming and role-playing and doing living history...

...is that it is a classic tale full of archetypes. There is something there that resonates with everyone.

For me, it was Elves, especially Legolas and the ones from Mirkwood, who live and breathe the Natural World so thoroughly, so closely, they can paddle the swift forest river, hear the stones speak, stare in wonder at trees, sing under the stars, ride horses without saddle or rein, and have their hearts break at the sound of gulls in the night on a far shore.

These things already felt like home, but they inspired me to go out and have a few real adventures: living history (in which I attempted to learn archery, and ended up a swordbroad), bridle-less horsemanship, kayaking (more open water than swift forest rivers), and lying on the deck of a tall ship staring up at stars swinging overhead in my very own backyard of the Chesapeake Bay.

And I have heard the cry of the gulls in the night, beckoning me back to my own favorite distant shore (an island off the coast of Virginia called Assateague).

That's what stories do, they connect to ancient universal memories, they take us down deep and shed light on places we have forgotten, they inspire us to move forward and up and out into the light.

There are other great tales in the world, this one means the most to me.

Go outside and play...

Subject User Time
What holds you to Middle Earth? Aragorn the Elfstone Send a private message to Aragorn the Elfstone Sep 7 2013, 4:26am
    Roots Finding Frodo Send a private message to Finding Frodo Sep 7 2013, 4:55am
        Hey, I made it to the Grey Havens! Finding Frodo Send a private message to Finding Frodo Sep 7 2013, 4:58am
            Congrats! // Kim Send a private message to Kim Sep 7 2013, 4:58pm
            It will be only a short sojourn. sador Send a private message to sador Sep 9 2013, 12:40pm
            Congratulations! // Aunt Dora Baggins Send a private message to Aunt Dora Baggins Sep 9 2013, 7:54pm
    I feel the very same way! RangerLady23 Send a private message to RangerLady23 Sep 7 2013, 4:37pm
    I'm actually a bigger fan of Sil, UT and HoME Semper Fi Send a private message to Semper Fi Sep 7 2013, 10:20pm
    Virtue IdrilofGondolin Send a private message to IdrilofGondolin Sep 7 2013, 10:32pm
        Essentially this! Thranderz Send a private message to Thranderz Sep 8 2013, 9:01pm
    I think... Na Vedui Send a private message to Na Vedui Sep 7 2013, 10:44pm
    Middle Earth is our world demnation Send a private message to demnation Sep 7 2013, 11:10pm
    What holds me to Middle Earth? KasDel Send a private message to KasDel Sep 7 2013, 11:21pm
    Applicability FantasyFan Send a private message to FantasyFan Sep 9 2013, 12:26pm
    I love the story. Meneldor Send a private message to Meneldor Sep 9 2013, 2:43pm
        It's really hard to explain Jay236 Send a private message to Jay236 Sep 9 2013, 7:38pm
    A ton... Donry Send a private message to Donry Sep 9 2013, 9:52pm
    I discovered Tolkien.... swordwhale Send a private message to swordwhale Sep 11 2013, 5:36pm


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