Tolkien words for my Monday


I went on Friday to opening day of the Tolkien: Maker of Middle Earth,” exhibit in New York City at the Morgan library and I learned some things I had never known about JRR Tolkien. I learned that he was such an unmotivated scholar that Edith, his beloved, would give him a kiss for every hour he studied. Allen and Unwin published both the Hobbit and The Lord of the Ring’s. I learned that Unwin’s twelve-year-old son commented on “The Fellowship of the Ring,” that “there was too much conversation and Hobbit-talk but the dark riders were all right.”

And I learned that Tolkien said this of his stories I never made anyone go farther than they could in one day.

When I plan my journey,
when I begin my work,
when I face my illness,
when I pledge my companionship,
when I climb my challenge,
when I invite someone
to come with me, or follow me,
or lead me where I fear to go,

when I prepare the meal –
simple or festive,
solitary or communion –
that will be eaten as the evening falls,

and when I tell the story,
like old Tolkien did
of where I’ve been
and what I’ve done and seen
and imagined,
in all my there and back again,

I know this —
God, the great storyteller,
will never ask me to go farther
than I can in one day.

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