Sunday, July 3, 2011

LOTR, Celebration, & Grief...strange combination?

This week's topic for Focus 52 is celebration. I was stuck. I didn't want to do the traditional Independence Day celebration stuff, done that already. Then I stumbled upon this article in Variety about the 10 year anniversary of the release of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. WHAT?! That's right, I'm a Tolkien fan & I have reason to celebrate. The article discusses the topic of longevity in the films. The writer, a film critic, writes very honestly. I like that. But there is more...

I read the books as a school girl, but not IN school (don't even get me started on why we don't require it in our schools). However, as an adult I have outlived two of my children & the grief of living without them is not pleasant. This is where the books/movies comes in...

LOTR & the prequel, The Hobbit, deal with themes that are universal & timeless. For each reader/viewer they touch a sensitive spot in  their own unique ways. For me it was a guide through my healing as a bereaved parent. I can't even begin to list all the quotes, concepts, & examples of courage & strength that these stories gave me but I will try.

Early in my bereavement I was given a very lengthy dissertation someone had written for school which compared the burden of the one ring that Frodo carried with the burden of grief that we bereaved parents carry. It was stunning. It was right on. It was speaking to me. Frodo was changing because of this ring, an evil force, that he carried on a journey (& trust me, it IS a journey). He needed to get rid of the ring, destroy it in the very place where it was created or it would consume him forever.

Frodo's trusty sidekick, Samwise Gamgee, was not named SamWISE for nothing. He is always there, helping Frodo carry his burden.  "I can't carry the ring, but I can carry you!" "Let it go!" "You have to destroy it!" and so many more moments from Sam. My personal favorite: "Look Mr. Frodo! There is light and beauty up there that no shadow can touch."

When Frodo said "I wish this ring had never come to me." Gandalf the wizard taught Frodo "That is not for us to decide. All we have to do is decide is what to do with the time we are given".

Boramir, a soldier of Gondor who tried to take the ring for himself but fell upon the moment he got one tiny taste of its evil said to Aragorn: "Forgive me, I did not see".

In a final scene, Frodo wrote: "How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on, when in your heart, you begin to understand, there is no going back?" ... "There are some things that time cannot mend. Some hurts that go too deep… that have taken hold."

I am a collector of all things Tolkien. I have t-shirts, jewelry, props, costumes, and I'm even making a huge applique quilt to celebrate a great piece of literature & film. All that said, I will leave you with some images, and more quotes to inspire you & help you celebrate the destruction of the burden of grief.

I love you all & thanks you for supporting my blog by reading & commenting. It gives me strength like Sam gave Frodo.

In memory & celebration of my beautiful girls, Cheyenne & Emily

Aragorn, book III: "His grief will not forget; but it will not darken his heart, it will teach him wisdom."

Merry & Aragorn, book III: On missing Pippin... "No, not a pipe. I don't think I'll smoke again... I shant ever be able to smoke again without thinking of him and that day when he rode up and was so polite." "Smoke then, and think of him!"

Galadriel: "Even the smallest person can change the course of the future".

Gandalf: "For the journey does not end here. Death is just another path, one we all must take. The grey rain curtain rolls back & all turns to silver glass. And then you see it...white shores & beyond. A far green country into the swift sunrise."

1 comment:

sMacThoughts said...

Wow, you're really a fan, and many are, (hello!) but now I understand the unusual bond you have to it as well. I cannot begin to understand what you've gone through!