Tag Archives: J.R.R. Tolkien

Reblog: I Should Be Engaged.

Duly Noted.

I want to be engaged this year. As of yesterday I’ve been on this earth for more than twenty-three years, and I think it’s about time for me to be engaged.

I’ve been asking people on my Home Team what one word they want to hold true for 2016, and when the question was finally reciprocated by my friend Sanford, I couldn’t come up with anything. I hadn’t found one that quite fit just yet.

I would  say seemingly meaningful words aloud to see if their meanings would hold any significance for what I want this next year to be.

I rustled up words like depth or rest or value and announced them to myself in the car or in the shower or on my walk to work. Nothing was clicking.

Until I drove to Joshua Tree yesterday morning, and that’s when a word so unexpected was whispered into the silence…

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I See Fire- Ed Sheeran

because you simply can’t listen to this song too many times <3

Ed Sheeran + Tolkien-esque lyrics = perfection


Every dog has its day… even me

GUYS GUYS GUYS GUYS. My English teacher acknowledged me as the class expert on Tolkien. My existence is now justified.

Background: A lot of you I’ve already told, but for my friends who don’t know, I’ve been attending a private Christian high school for my senior year. I really (like, really really reallyyy) love it, and I think my teachers are pretty awesome, especially my English teacher. Anyway, in Modern Lit we’re reading The Fellowship of the Ring, and this discussion ensued during class on Monday:

*discussion about the role of humans in LotR*

Girl: Isn’t the wizard Gandalf a man?

Me and a guy: Uh, he’s a wizard!

Mrs. Gorham (teacher): Well, he is a wizard, but I think he’s basically human…

Me: nonononono. NO.

Mrs. Gorham: *laughing* There’s always a Tolkien expert… would you care to enlighten us about the nature of wizards?

Me: *grinning like there’s no tomorrow* *sits up* *clears throat*

Mrs. Gorham: Hush everyone! The expert has the floor *gestures to me dramatically*

Me: *briefly explains how Ilúvatar sent the Istari to Middle-earth*

Mrs. Gorham: Okay, and you got this from the Silmarillion, right?

Me: *nods*

Mrs. Gorham: *tell the rest of the class what the Silmarillion is* …but I’ve never read it, and I only know a couple of people who have.

Me: *literal fistpump*

Guy sitting next to me: *grinning* You’re such a dork.

Me: I know.

And then throughout the rest of the class as she read parts of the book, she would ask me for pronunciation or to explain something… I’ve been waiting for my moment of recognition, and that was it.

As a side note… you have no idea how many times I’ve almost called her Ms. Gaines. They both start with a G, and they’re both awesome English teachers from awesome Christian schools. IT’S SO CONFUSING.


A Poem of Great Significance

I hath made a promise in times gone past

that I would make this blog to last,

that I would post as oft I could;

so I’m now doing as I  should.

I will not let my blog decay,

and idly watch it pass away

as I grow old and turn to dust

and my laptop hath begun to rust.

I’ll post poems and stories, both new and old,

but I must warn that it’s no written gold.

Perhaps sometimes I’ll share with you

a personal adventure too;

from detours in Yosemite,

to scary kids that make me flee;

from mission trips in Mexico,

to incidents in my favorite show–

yes, I’m sorry, but if I write,

the Doctor will often be in site!

It’s also likely that in my posts

mentions of Tolkien will come in hosts,

as well as many other things I adore,

for in this way I can always say more.

I’ve said my bit, so I’ll now cease

that you may enjoy your day in peace.


Sandbox 11: Bits and Pieces

this Sandbox was by far the most fun. the object was to put together the beginning and ending lines of 10 books, chosen for whatever reason we want. most of the ones I selected are from books that have some sort of special meaning to me, either for childhood memories or because of a part it played in my development as a teen. well, except for Frankenstein; that one I chose just because I wanted to. ;D my favorite of these would probably be Little House in the Big Woods, mainly for the childhood sentiments associated with it. my mom read it to me a couple of times when I was little, I’ve heard her read it to my sisters, and I’ve read it myself once or twice. the other one that I really like is The Hiding Place, for obvious reasons. I think it was the first book I ever read that actually made me (almost) cry.

Little House in the Big Woods, by Laura Ingalls Wilder:

 First: Once upon a time, sixty years ago, a little girl lived in the Big Woods of Wisconsin, in a little gray house made of logs.

 Last: She was glad that the cosy house, and Pa and Ma and the fire-light and the music, were now. They could not be forgotten, she thought, because now is now. It can never be a long time ago.

 Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, by Jules Verne:

 First: In the year 1866 the whole maritime population of Europe and America was excited by a mysterious and inexplicable phenomenon.

 Last: Two men only have a right to answer the question asked in the Ecclesiastes 6,000 years ago, ‘That which is far off and exceeding deep, who can find it out?’ These two men are Captain Nemo and I.

 Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley:

 First: I am by birth a Genevese, and my family is one  of the most distinguished of that republic.

 Last: He sprung from the cabin window, as he said this, upon the ice-raft which lay close to the vessel. He was soon borne away by the waves, and lost in darkness and distance.

 Alone yet not Alone, by Tracy Michele Leininger:

 First: Barbara Leininger shielded her blue eyes from the sun as she looked up at the cornstalks that stretched high above her.

 Last: With tears of joy and a voice full of emotion, she whispered in Barbara’s ear: “I remembered my promise. I never lost the song of my heart!”

 The Hiding Place, bye Corrie Ten Boom:

 First: I jumped out of bed that morning with one question in my mind—sun or fog?

 Last: “Windowboxes,” I said. “We’ll have them at every window. The barbed wire must come down, of course, and then we’ll need paint. Green paint. Bright yellow-green, the color of things coming up new in the spring…”

 The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien:

 First: In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.

 Last: “…You are a very fine person, Mr. Baggins, and I am very fond of you; but you are only quite a little fellow in a wide world after all!”

“Thank goodness!” said Bilbo laughing, and handed him the tobacco-jar.

 The Reluctant Dragon, by Kenneth Grahame:

 First: Long ago—might have been hundreds of years ago—in a cottage half-way between an English village and the shoulder of the Downs, a shepherd lived with his wife and their little son.

 Last: And, as they turned the last corner and disappeared from view, snatches of an old song were borne back on the night-breeze. I can’t be certain which of them was singing, but I think it was the Dragon!

 Black Beauty, by Anna Sewell:

 First: The first place that I can well remember was a large pleasant meadow with a pond of clear water in it. Some shady trees leaned over it, and rushes and water-lilies grew at the deep end.

 Last: My troubles are all over, and I am at home; and often before I am quite awake, I fancy I am still in the orchard at Birtwick, standing with my old friends under the apple trees.

 Just David, by Eleanor H. Porter:

 First: Far up on the mountainside the little shack stood alone in the clearing. It was roughly yet warmly built. Behind it jagged cliffs broke the north wind, and towered gray-white in the sunshine.

 Last: There in a quiet kitchen he plays to an old man and an old woman; and always to himself he says that he is practicing against the time when, his violin at his chin and the bow drawn across the strings, he shall go to meet his father in the far-away land, and tell him of the beautiful world he has left.

 The Last Battle, by C.S. Lewis:

 First: In the last days of Narnia, far up to the west beyond Lantern Waste and close beside the great waterfall, there lived an Ape.

 Last: All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.


CW14- My Media Autobiography

this assignment, to choose ten books/songs/poems/movies that chronicle my life and personality, was fun and challenging at the same time. part of the instruction was to be careful to choose media that actually reflect me, not just ones that are my favorites, and i was determined to do that at first. but the ones i chose– 4 songs, 4 books, 2 movies– ended up coming right back to my favorites anyway. i realized that the very thing that makes these my favorites is the same reason i chose them for the assignment: in each one, i connect with the author or a character in a way that makes me feel understood. 

Emily’s Runaway Imagination by Beverly Cleary

(Book)

Emily's runaway imagination

   When I was about eleven, I picked up this book and knew immediately that I was dealing with someone very much like myself. It tells the story of a girl with a vivid imagination who was known for believing in the very things she dreamed up. As a kid, that description would’ve pretty much summed up everything about me. If I could imagine something, it was true. Animals could talk. Magic was real. Even inanimate objects had personalities. Strangest of all, between the ages of four and six, I actually thought I was a dog.

   To be honest, I’m surprised my parents never considered committing me to a psychiatric ward…

 

Peter Pan

(Movie, Animated. 1953)

Peter-Pan-and-Hook

   Throughout my life, growing up was something I always thought would never really happen. It happens to everyone else—sure. But will it happen to me? Never!  Like the legendary Peter Pan, I wanted to remain a kid forever. To me, the realm of adulthood was frightening and enigmatic—not something to be desired.

   I think I was around the age of twelve when I realized that growing old was inevitable. But at the same time, I also realized that growing up was optional. So I made a promise to myself. I promised myself that matter how old I got—twenty… forty-five…  ninety—I would never forget what it was like to be a kid. I would always keep the “child inside me” alive and kicking. At heart, I will always be free and childlike.

    “All children, except one, grow up.”

 

Mess Of Me by Switchfoot

(Song)

   This song is always a reminder to me that I’ve messed up; I’m a sinful, selfish, wretched human being, and I have no one to blame but myself. But, as the song states, I want to spend the rest of my life alive—not in death and decay. And I don’t have to lock my soul in a cage; by sacrificing His life for mine, Jesus gives me the daily chance to wipe the slate clean. I have made a mess of me, but He has made a saint of me.

 I’ve made a mess of me

I wanna get back the rest of me

I’ve made a mess of me

I wanna spend the rest of my life alive

 

  The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

(Book)

giftset1vol-cover-rsz

   This trilogy in and of itself has played a huge part in my teenage years. I’ve read the books four times, watched the movies a dozen times, and you could probably say that I’m mildly obsessed with Middle Earth (my parents joke that I would go to hobbit college. It’s true.). But some of the themes present in these books also reflect themes in my life. For me, one of the most meaningful parts of the story is the example of friendship. As I get older, I realize more and more how truly blessed I have been in the way of friends. Godly, loyal, mature, always there for me, and just plain fun, my friends have helped shape me into the person I am today.

  “You can trust us to stick to you through thick and thin—to the bitter end. And you can trust us to keep any secret of yours—closer than you yourself keep it. But you cannot trust us to let you face trouble alone, and go off without a word. We are your friends, Frodo.”

 

Falling Up by Shel Silverstein

(Book)

fallup

   A collection of poems and drawings by Shel Silverstein, this book reflects one hugely major part of my life: humor. I am almost constantly laughing or making people laugh. Like Silverstein’s poems, my humor is sometimes outright hilarious, sometimes silly and pointless, and oftentimes sarcastic. It was once said of me that ninety-nine percent of all the words I speak are sarcastic—which is not true, of course. It couldn’t be more than ninety-five percent. But seriously, I’m kidding.

 A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.— Proverbs 17:22

  

Rise Above It by Switchfoot

(Song)

   One lesson that I’ve been learning, particularly in this last year, is that no person and no circumstance can control who I am. No matter if I am being judged, feeling alone, or going through some kind of trial—God will always give me the strength to rise above it. I think I’ve always been something of a rebel, but lately I’ve been discovering how true it is that no one can tell me how to live my life. I will never let another tell my soul what to fear.

Just because you’re running doesn’t mean that you’re scared.

Just because it’s law don’t mean that it’s fair.

Never let another tell your soul what to fear.

I get so sick of it,

It feels so counterfeit.

I rise above it.

 

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

(Book)

hobbit

   This reflection is actually a paradox, because my personality is, in a way, the exact opposite of Bilbo Baggins’ personality. While he would have preferred staying home with his comfy chairs, I would rather seek out excitement and adventure. But both Bilbo and I had (and I still have) the same lesson to learn: what we most desire is not always what is best for us. Gandalf pushed Bilbo out the door to an adventure that would change his life. Likewise, sometimes when I can only see how a life-changing adventure could bring good things, God simply says, “No.”

   Oftentimes, immediately after disappointment I can see how it was for the best. Sometimes, however, it takes months or even years. There may even be some things I will never fully understand in this life.

 “Sorry! I don’t want any adventures, thank you. Not today. Good morning! But please come to tea—anytime you like. Why not tomorrow? Come tomorrow! Good-bye!” With that the hobbit turned and scuttled inside his round green door, and shut it as quickly as he dared, not to seem rude. Wizards after all are wizards.

  

True Grit

(Movie, 2010)

truegrit

   The very title of this movie pretty much says it all. Like Mattie Ross, a fourteen-year-old girl bent on bringing justice to her father’s killer, I am stubborn, rugged, and outspoken. Although I’ve never formed a posse, I often take on challenges that no one expects, and I don’t let anything—fear, pain, doubt—get in my way.

 “Most girls like to play pretties, but you like guns do you?”                

Mattie Ross: “I do not care a thing in the world about guns. If I did, I would have one that worked.”

  

Tidal Wave by Owl City

(Song)

   Let’s cut to the chase: sometimes I feel lonely. Clung to by insecurity. Followed by fear. Haunted by depression. When I go through times like that, this is always my go-to song. Adam Young (Owl City) so perfectly and beautifully articulates what it feels like to experience such uncertainty. But then he reminds me that “I’ve found a new Hope from above,” a Hope that transcends all fear and doubt. A Hope that will never let me down.

It hurts just to wake up whenever you’re wearing thin.

Alone on the outside, so tired of looking in.

The end is uncertain, and I’ve never been so afraid,

But I don’t need a telescope to see that there’s Hope,

And that makes me feel brave.

 

Amy’s Song by Switchfoot

(Song)

  If I could have one thing said of me after I’m gone, I would want it to be said that I was on fire. I don’t want to be a lukewarm Christian; I want to be someone who makes a change—someone who was different. Someone who, like the girl in the song, leaves people burning with an unquenchable hunger for salvation.

Salvation is a fire in the midnight of the soul,

It  lights up like a can of gasoline.

Yeah, she’s a freedom fighter, she’s a stand-up kind of girl.

She’s out to start a fire in a bar-code plastic world.


J10- True Epicness

tell what famous person i want to meet? are you kidding me? i really don’t care about celebs. this is hard. *pause* wait, no… this is easy!

As a former inhabitant of Los Angeles, California, I occasionally encounter stereotypes regarding my region. I’ve been asked if I used to see celebrities in casual settings, or if I liked to hang out in Hollywood. I think someone once even asked me if I used to live next door to movie stars. The answer to all of them is a resounding, “NO.” In fact, I’m pretty sure that I’ve never in my life met a major entertainment star; nor do I really have a desire to.

However, despite my lack of interest in modern, glamorous celebs, there is one person whom I would love to meet, though I never will in this life. John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, known as J.R.R. Tolkien, died in 1973, but his legacy lives on through his literary masterpieces such as The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, many collections of poems, and (his magnum opus) The Lord of the Rings trilogy. These works embody the very meaning of the word “epic”.

Oh, the questions I would ask him! I would have to know about his inspirations, his methods of writing, and his faith. In addition, I’d also tell him how much his works mean to me; every time that I read and reread (and re-reread) them, they spark and enliven my imagination and give me new motivation for my own writing. The epic stories of Middle Earth send me to a world where I can lose myself– and in a sense, find myself again.