Something different this year.
As soon as my life is my own again [ie once lambing is over] I'll return to writing a piece I begun over a year ago. Having recently finished what I call my 'King Sheave' chapter, I took a quick look at this next project a couple of weeks back and gulped when I saw the scale of the task ahead of me! Facing a word doc that is 27 pages long and full of disjointed notes is, I've decided, a bit like emptying a thousand piece jigsaw puzzle onto the table. Somehow the pieces have to be assembled accurately so that you end up with an attractive and complete picture but it's a daunting task when your haven't even got the corners in place!
However, I've found the best place to start unravelling the puzzle is by rereading the source material for said notes. The working title of this chapter is 'The Importance of Hope' so inevitably a major source is the 'Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth'. Quite apart from the invaluable insight this work provides into Tolkien's thoughts on death, I always find myself falling in love with Finrod for the compassion and sympathy he offers the bitter Andreth, still sore from Aegnor's rejection, their love a victim of the differing fates Eru granted his Children.
Their parting words, as Finrod leaves to go to war, even when out of context, are particularly moving, I think.
Darkness fell in the room. He took her hand in the light of the fire. ‘Whither you go?’ she said.
‘North away,’ he said: ‘to the swords, and the siege, and the walls of defence – that yet for a while in Beleriand rivers may run clean, leaves spring, and birds build their nests, ere Night comes.’
‘Will he be there, bright and tall, and the wind in his hair? Tell him not to be reckless. Not to seek danger beyond need!’
‘I will tell him,’ said Finrod. ‘But I might as well tell thee not to weep. He is a warrior, Andreth, and a spirit of wrath. In every stroke that he deals he sees the Enemy who did thee this hurt.
‘But you are not for Arda. Whither you may go may you find light. Await us there, my brother – and me.’