The Silmarillion

I finished The Silmarillion this morning!


I read it in earnest this time, so this time, it took me months. 

Some chapters, I read as many as six times! 

I read all of them at least twice. 

I actually took extensive notes until I had a firm handle on the types of characters and their family trees. 

I didn't go so far as to draw my own maps, but I did buy an Atlas of Middle Earth and I referenced it at times.

This was not at all an easy book for me to read, obviously. 

But I was determined not to leave Middle Earth, so to speak, until I had throughly explored its landscape and had a firm grasp on its people and places and events. 

Like the Greek myths, this books does not make things easy on the reader. 

It requires almost a physical effort to read forward. 

But, like the myths, it offers rewards that easy narratives can't even touch.

A passive reader will just slide right down the steep incline of Tolkien's English. 

And I slid like that when I got passive. 

I'd finish a paragraph and realize I had not understood anything of what had been said, so I'd have to go back and start over from where I could last remember leaving off. 

I was like Frodo climbing a steep mountain, slipping on the loose shale, falling back, and having to go forward again from wherever I could find firm footing again.

But there were moments when Tolkien's English shone as with the light of a Silmaril and those sentences were like getting a view from a high mountain or feeling a breeze that seems to be filled sweet music from another world. 

Tears came to my eyes unbidden in those moments and then I felt a sweet longing.

I was thoroughly enchanted! 

And I believe I'll carry a piece of Middle Earth with me everywhere I go from now on. 

I've been marked by the journey for sure! 



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