Professor J.R.R. Tolkien: A wizard in his own right.
Yes, today is it, folks, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien’s birthday. Now there is a man I raise my glass to, and I hope you’ll join me. I cannot fully express how much that man has affected my life; the best I can say is that I would not be where I am today, I would not have as much courage to face life as I do today, I do not think I would have as good a relationship with God today, and I may not even be a Christian today, if Tolkien hadn’t been born.
Hail to Professor Tolkien! May he have been writing many more epics since his departure into Ilúvatar’s realm!
Well, I have run the gauntlet of Christmas and New Year parties, paid my respects to the old year, and been affected by the new year the same way every infant affects me: by giving me a headache. No, not a hangover, that’s not my style, though I reserve you every right to think otherwise because you don’t know me and are free to spread rumours wherever you like until I sue you for slander or something that the government or my lawyers can dream up. That is the way respectable citizens act, isn’t it? And my new year’s resolution was to be a respectable citizen. Anyways, drawing away from my perpetual desire to dip into that deep well of humour that usually solidifies as facetiousness on my tongue, headaches are a normal part of life for me and I have to think back to the days before I was out of diapers to think of a New Year’s day without a headache. It is the way large groups of noisy people affect me, even if I like them.
I cannot say how thrilled I am to be past the holiday season, where the only holiday I have to think about is Tolkien’s birthday tomorrow and making passing comments to others about it and going into discussions about Middle Earth and its creator with geeks like myself. It’s not that I dislike the holidays – anyone who said I did I should have to challenge to a duel, which would not end prettily unless you are also not left handed, in which case we may end up allies or friends – but rather that I dislike lots of noisy parties, especially with people I don’t know or, as commonly happens, parties that are thrown or attended by people that are far too familiar and profess friendship and couldn’t care less the rest of the year. It is very tiring and my cynical side greatly dampens my holiday spirit, but away, away, away from such thoughts! Now to thoughts of small gatherings over tea, movies, and in-depth discussions about Tolkien and how his works have affected the faith of those of us who have read them; those are my ideas of good parties, and after I and my friends of similar bent recover from the holiday parties, I hope that we may resume them.
The old year is dead. Hail the new year!
Well, it’s World’s End Eve (for me, anyway, despite what WordPress time may say), and in some ways I’d be happier if it truly were. Now, let me explain something, I am not one of those pleasant humanitarians who think the earth would be better without us nor am I one of those of similar pleasantness who would take pleasure in humanity’s extinction. I am, however, a hopeful adventurer. Now, see, the thing I associate with the end of the world, is the beginning of a new one. For ages people have geographically stated that at such-and-such a location, there is the end of the world, and it was, but the end of their world and the beginning of someone else’s. I would be greatly interested to see the end of the world if it meant a glimpse into whatever comes next, whether or not it was just the end of our world as we know it (please feel free to burst into that song by R.E.M., as I shall have to excuse you as I am singing it myself), or the end of planet earth – in which case I will get to actually see if my belief in a life after death proves true. However, I do not think I shall be so terribly fortunate or so wonderfully unfortunate – for every adventure, no matter how wonderful, will have its price in terror no matter how grandly beautiful the prize and the journey – and I shall have to look for the ends and beginnings of smaller worlds; the large highways that find new life as little-worn tracks, the battered house that is torn down and replaced by a home that provides nurture for lives intertwined. The end is only the end of one thing, perhaps something we hoped for or simply the end of what we know, but there’s always something beyond the end of the world, even if it is just the stars spinning.
I will adventure through and scribble about and peer through both my literal and abstract p.o.v. spectacles at, this world of ours as if I were at the start of a new one, which, perhaps, I am. As I mentioned, I am a hopeful adventurer and this is World’s End Eve.