Sunday, March 15, 2009

Reading: Tolkien

I am still reading The History of Middle Earth, which I have been working on for a few months now. I am just now on Book III, The Lays of Beleriand, and am entirely entranced by the beauty and tragedy of these poems. Today I came across a passage that so well describes the deep majesty of woodlands, and it rekindled that longing in my heart I have always felt towards the deep woods, as though they are calling to me:

" ...beyond the tangled woodland shade,
thorn and thicket, grove and glade,
whose brooding ancient boughs with magic hung
were ancient when the world was young."

-from The Gest of Beren and LĂșthien

I once spent hours upon hours in the woods of my childhood home, wandering, exploring, just being the woods. I love the shade, the greens and browns, the creatures, the hidden places. Many of the passages in Tolkien's works are so vividly descriptive, and evoke everything I love about the woods, even the dark and dangerous aspects that often lead to a tragic end.

The books are packed with commentary and notes from J.R.R. Tolkien's son, Christopher, who compiled and edited all these unfinished works and notes from the mythology that Tolkien created. I have taken to skipping much of the commentary in favor of just reading the works; incomplete though they may be, the might and majesty is sweeping and moving. It may take me a year or more to get through this set, though. The stories are vast and the language complex. But I do love it very much.

Yesterday we just had takeout for simplicity's sake. Today I am going to boil a couple of chickens. I will be saving 2/3 of it for future use; I've found that one chicken is too large for one meal, but half is not enough, so I like to cook two and divide the meat in thirds, freezing the extra portions. Not sure what the plans are for today's dinner just yet. Maybe a casserole; maybe noodles. I really want to make that bread, though.

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