A Reminder to Hope

I’m deep towards the end of Lord of the Rings on audiobook right now and at last, this oft-quoted here reminder that light prevails.

…the night-sky was still dim and pale. There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach. His song in the Tower had been defiance rather than hope; for then he was thinking of himself. Now, for a moment, his own fate, and even his master’s, ceased to trouble him. He crawled back into the brambles and laid himself by Frodo’s side, and putting away all fear he cast himself into a deep untroubled sleep.

~~J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King, Book II, The Land of Shadow.

I’ve been struck this time at how Sam and Frodo fit together – Frodo has the unasked-for, crushing burden with which he doggedly carries on, not knowing the end; Sam just as doggedly keeps hope for both of them. Hope that they will come out of this and there will be an afterwards, and that the world will survive, because light and goodness are forever above the passing evil.

Last light

A Reminder to Hope

Martians

I just finished listening to the Audible version of Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles. I remember how much it grabbed and moved me when reading it but this was a great version. Plus, I had the deep satisfaction of anticipating some of the moments I love.

Given that it was started in the later 1940’s… it still felt fresh today.

If you haven’t read it (or listened) – just DO it.

Martians

Whew I Found It

You know when you get a song stuck in your head and it’s really bothering you because you can’t remember all the words? These days you can go to the vast interwebs and search for whatever shred of lyric you might have.

The past couple days I’ve had a freaking INSTRUMENTAL piece without a title playing inside my head. Now folks that’s a hard search but I pulled it off with “top instrumental songs of all time” after “guitar instrumental song hits” didn’t turn up anything of note. So here I am, putting my maggot to rest and putting this into everyone else’s ears.

First the acoustical version which was what came into mind first, then the more known version.

In other news, I’ve finished listening to the Audible book version of The Silmarillion and now I’m ready for something else (like I have no other reading material LOL)

Whew I Found It

Keeping Pete’s Light Alive

Thanks to John McCutcheon and the fine folks at the Eighth Step for giving us all a welcome shot in the arm by remembering and letting us all sing along to some great songs of hope and resistance.

Well May the World Go
Pete Seeger
Well may the world go,
The world go, the world go,
Well may the world go,
When I’m far away.
Well may the skiers turn,
The swimmers churn, the lovers burn
Peace, may the generals learn
When I’m far away.
Sweet may the fiddle sound
The banjo play the old hoe down
Dancers swing round and round
When I’m far away.
Fresh may the breezes blow
Clear may the streams flow
Blue above, green below
When I’m far away.
Well may the world go,
The world go, the world go,
Well may the world go,
When I’m far away.
Songwriters: Peter Seeger
Well May the World Go lyrics © The Bicycle Music Company

The Tales of Middle Earth

Those tales are drawing to a close as our small party have just arrived back in Bree on their journey home.

Tonight a group of us went to see the new Star Wars film, Solo, and I think we all enjoyed that tale too. Much in the Star Wars of hero’s journey, travels bent by trust, trouble and luck, it had a few surprises at the end. Before the movie, my co-worker Rich and I were talking about things LotR and I mentioned this quote from Treebeard aka Fangorn, the Ent.

‘Will you really break the doors of Isengard?’ asked Merry.
‘Ho, hm, well, we could, you know! You do not know, perhaps, how strong we are. Maybe you have heard of Trolls? They are mighty and strong. But Trolls are only counterfeits, made by the Enemy in the Great Darkness, in mockery of Ents, as Orcs were of Elves. We are stronger than Trolls. We are made of the bones of the earth. We can split stone like the roots of trees, only quicker, far quicker, if our minds are roused! If we are not hewn down, or destroyed by fire or blast of sorcery, we could split Isengard to splinters and crack its walls into rubble.’
From: The Two Towers, Chapter Four “Treebeard” by J.R.R. Tolkien

So there you have it, as also told in the Silmarillion, of how Evil tries to overcome the Light by copying its strengths, but it never succeeds because its purpose is not whole and good. So darkness and anger taint and distort and weakens all it touches, and the goals, which is only to pull down what it is most jealous of, fail and fail every time.

Day Eighteen, NaPoWriMo

Hey you don’t have complete control over what goes on in your head, especially late at night!

All the old stuff precariously stuck
in my head, there’s no telling when it may,
and it may, surface at the most
inopportune time, you know how that goes.
What was I saying? Oh yes, all the thoughts
the memories, the tales of things long past
they come back, and often do, unlooked for,
unasked and sometimes unwanted, they appear.
It is sweet to remember my grandma
the summer fireplace with my dad singing
warm days in a boat fishing on the lake
the whistling of wind with January snow
But here, an ancient song learned long ago,
comes back to ask sternly: who’s the fool now?
But having made me look up the lyrics
I’ve still no answer for that rousing line
So memory that’s butted in, who’s the fool now?

Altan – St. Patrick’s Eve

Last night Mom and I headed up to the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall to enjoy the great music of Altan. They are a wonderful band and put on a good show and they had a very appreciative audience. I had downloaded their new album on the night it was released and enjoyed the live mix of new and old, with explanations as to where it had all come from. Also, that we could imagine what we wanted any of the gaelic language songs to be about, rather than the sad tragedies they usually memorialize.

Next up, Billy Collins reading in Manchester VT in April.