On Giants' Shoulders

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Middle Earth for Advent

After my car accident last week I retreated into a weekend with Tolkien. I watched the DVDs of the Lord of the Rings, I pulled out the books and read favorite passages, I began reading some Tolkien I hadn't yet read (even though some of it was in a book I've owned for no less than 30+ years!). So you can imagine my pleasure today when I wandered over to The Immaculate Direction and found that one of the recent topics was essentially: What character in the Lord of the Rings are you?

I haven't quite got it figured out yet. Am I Rosie Cotton who stays at home while everyone else goes out to have adventures and ultimately makes a nurturing environment for Sam and the little Cottons? Am I Galadriel, mystically minded who refuses power and diminishes in order to remain herself? Am I Pippin who seems to go from one scrape to another? Am I Gandalf who likes to set people on the road to adventure? Or Eowyn who is uncertain just exactly where she does belong? Or Faramir who is unattracted by the Ring? Or Arwen who gives up everything for the king she loves? Or even Frodo who despite all his best intentions would have failed in the quest were it not for grace and the faithfulness of others? What I know I'm not is Sam, the faithful, plodding Sam with the single minded eye. Sam was not distracted from his fidelity to Frodo and the task appointed by anything. Sam always remembered the Shire and the beauty of their life there. And that despite the fact that Sam was not a wealthy hobbit in material things.

Anyway, I haven't got it figured out yet, but it sure was fun to think about. I've been reading a book about Tolkien and environmentalism that actually was what sent me back to Middle Earth this past week. I've actually been contemplating for a couple of years the idea of Tolkien as a proponent of distributism. I've tried to find evidence that he read Chesterton, and I'm only beginning to find it, indirectly. Interestingly, I discovered that someone did a paper at this year's Tolkien conference on the subject of Tolkien and distributism. Unfortunately, the paper wasn't available on-line. So I guess the quest for information continues.

Now I have to go clean up the kitchen because apparently the hobbits left the washing up for Lobelia. I certainly hope that's not REALLY who I am, but she did ultimately leave money for hobbits left homeless after Sharkey and his crew did their worst, so she wasn't ALL bad.


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