Locus Focus: Take Forty-Six
Welcome to Middle-earth Day!
J.R.R. Tolkien's unparalleled sub-creation of Middle-earth is so rich in both geography and history (which means places that change) that I could--were I more of a Tolkien geek--devote an entire year's worth of Locus Focus posts to it. (And having said that, I now feel bad that I am in no wise a Tolkien geek.) Happily limited to a single one this week, I still considered many settings before settling on the one below.
By the way . . . did you notice the great dates of Narnia Day: The Return and this first Middle-earth Day? One is perfect for a country where it was once "always winter and never Christmas" and the other is the closest you can get in 2011 to the date of the most momentous victory in Middle-earth history. I did plan the former, but didn't realise the significance of the latter until I was at Mass yesterday. If I were the type to imagine I had a Guardian Angel with a sense of humour, I'd say he LOL-ed at me. =P
One last thing: I just realised that I haven't announced a Theme Challenge for April. As we're in the middle of Lent, I decided on Places of Prayer. Of course, settings meaningful to people of all faiths are welcome. See you on 2 April.
And note that I won't see you on 23 April. Locus Focus shall be on retreat on Black Saturday.
by J.R.R. Tolkien
. . . [Elrond's] house was perfect, whether you liked food, or sleep, or work, or story-telling, or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all. Evil things did not come into that valley.
I wish I had time to tell you even a few of the tales or one or two of the songs that they heard in that house. All of them, the ponies as well, grew refreshed and strong in a few days there. Their clothes were mended as well as their bruises, their tempers and their hopes. Their bags were filled with food and provisions light to carry but strong to bring them over the mountain passes. Their plans were improved with the best of advice. So the time came to midsummer eve, and they were to go on again with the early sun on a midsummer morning.
While I adore the luxurious feel of the name "Rivendell" on my tongue and in my ears, and while the name "Imladris" so perfectly evokes ancient grandeur of the Elves of Middle-earth, it is the designation of "Last Homely House" that warms my heart the most.
For anyone can build a home in a "Deep Dale of the Cleft" (which is the literal translation of its name) and the Elves have many great dwellings all over Middle-earth; but to have established the last house that feels like home at "the very edge of the Wild"--the last safe harbour before the realm of great adventures and peril--is a rare and special thing.
The spirit understands the need for such a setting. Yes, the journey begins the moment you leave your own home . . . but the adventure doesn't quite commence until you've left the last outpost of everything safe and familiar to you. (Our soulless modern jargon would call this the very edge of one's "comfort zone.")
And the adventure cannot properly end until one returns to this point again, to cross it in the opposite direction. Then the Last Homely House reveals itself to be also the First Homely House, where you can finally--and for the first time--sit in safety to tell your tale. This, too, is a longing of the spirit, which is drawn to good form.
Bilbo Baggins is blessed to have Rivendell bracketing his journey "there and back again."
We see Rivendell again in the The Lord of the Rings, where it faithfully serves its spiritual purpose for a new fellowship of travelers, who are beginning a much darker and more dangerous undertaking in the Wild just east of its valley.
Leave the link to your Locus Focus post in the linky
and take some time to check out and comment on those of others.
I can't wait to read what everyone has to say! =D
This Week's Other Loci Foci:
Bilbo's Hobbit Hole @ Birdie's Nest
Fangorn Forest @ Baja Greenawalt's Cozy Book Nook
Annon Torech Ungol @ Null Epistolary
Image Source: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien