Jessica recently encouraged me to read the Tolkien trilogy again and last week I finally felt I could begin. Up until about 10 years ago, I read the trilogy every year since the age of 12. Hearing about Peter Jackson’s efforts at bringing them to the screen, I decided to put my ritual to rest in anticipation of the movie. At some point, I did sneak a reading in there, but it was quick and more like filling a need rather than a reading.
So here I go again. Reading for me is in part the complete removal from my physical environment. Escapism is putting it mildly. I think that is why The Lord of the Rings has captivated me so much — it encompasses adventure, pain, happiness, friendship, ethics, language — well you get the point. A whole world is created and I get to travel it. And this time, it feels very much like a reunion. Over my long absence, I’d forgotten about how much they all meant to me. I can now look back at my 12 year old self and remember the terrible crush I had on Aragorn (he really is king of men) and how much Samwise perked me up even in the rough spots and the complete feeling of hatred towards Mr. Tolkien when he dropped Gandalf into a dark abyss and the joy at his return. Now I have the benefit of really reading it. Certain lines still me as an adult that went right over my head as a teenager. I now see how much this book has had an impact on me. So thanks Jessica for the push.
And to the rest of you, try to go and reacquaint yourself with an old favorite. You may find a little bit of childhood you had forgotten about.