The world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air. Much that once was is lost, for none now live who remember it. ~ from Galadriel’s prologue, The Fellowship of the Rings, (JRR Tolkien) film 2001
What is better than a grey, misty Friday in autumn for watching a film about goodness triumphing over evil? We’ve finished our chores early, have ordered lunch from our favorite Chinese take-out, and are about to begin viewing The Fellowship of the Rings as a kick-off to our Halloween weekend.
Without, a cold wind blows and the muted pearl light electrifies the colored leaves remaining on the trees. Within, a fire snaps and we’re about to embark on a magnificent journey of courage and sacrifice, of the noble, brave, and humble setting out to defeat the evil threatening their precious world. It’s an ancient story, and sadly, the need to be immersed in its lessons has rolled around to meet the human race once more.
“If I take one more step, I’ll be the farthest away from home I’ve ever been,” says Sam, setting out on his mysterious adventure. (He’s my favorite character.)
I’ve set out on my own small adventure this week, by deleting my Facebook account. The reams of evidence detailing their corporate greed and willingness to sacrifice their corporate conscience has been the final straw for me. My family and most of my friends are not local; Facebook has kept us in daily touch and allowed me to participate in many groups that fed my spirit, so, for me, this was a difficult parting. But also strangely exciting and potentially freeing. I am not unmoored from my dear ones, since I have their e-mails and phone numbers, but I am freed from that addictive and frequent need to check, scroll, like and be liked that social media perpetuates. And my nagging conscience is satisfied that I did one right thing this week. And that’s worth celebrating.
The world is changed. Something wicked this way comes. Trump, Orban, Murdoch, Bolsonaro, white supremacists, et. al., have let loose a cruelty of spirit and actions I believe must be met by courage and a refusal to engage at their evil’s own low level of language, thought, intelligence, behavior, and constant deceit. Yet it must be engaged. I hope those of us longing for the Earth’s care and the love of humanity will summon the wisdom and strength to meet our present danger with conviction and constant loyalty to the truth.
Stories feed my spirit when I fear for the world, as do prayer, nature, meditation, my faith, my relationships, and art. (Also chocolate and dancing, another story.) And what I need today is to be cozy with my dearest one and journey with heroes who never give up seeking the good for all.
I wish you a Happy Halloween, filled with meeting your own fears and defeating them…and fun, and companionship, and inspiring stories, and sweet treats. And gentle peace.
“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” ~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
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