Saturday, April 18, 2009


I know that many people are annoyed by dog-eared books, and it's considered rude to do this to books which are not your own. But for myself, I don't mind. I less than don't mind; a dog-eared page to me is a sign of a treasure-hunt. Much of the time dog-earing is done only to hold the place for a page, but I always wonder - is it for some other reason? Was there a great line on this page? Especially if the dog-ear is not on the upper right side. Particularly if it's the bottom of the page.

So without further ado here are a couple of the memorable moments I deem most notable from books 5 and 6 of the Lord of the Rings. Otherwise known as The Return of the King!

The first one comes when Sam and Frodo are in the land of Mordor, and the darkness increases moment by moment as they come closer to the fire and the end of their barely conceivable mission. Sam sees a white star twinkle. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty forever beyond its reach. I can see a direct corelation to some of the things we see here on earth and the way I view goodness and God's love. It's something that only seems a twinkle at times. But it can't be winked out by something like hunger, family heartache, or war. Massive problems, yes, but bad as they are, there remains light.

And the second one comes after the ring has perished in the fire and Sam and Frodo are being honored by all the warriors. Sam had dreamed often of the idea that someday songs would be sung about the war of the Ring and their part in it. But I don't think ever thought it truly would happen for his ears to hear! When Sam heard that he laughed aloud for sheer delight, and he stood up and cried: "O great glory and splendour! And all my wishes have come true!" And he wept. And all the host laughed and wept, and in the midst of their merriment and tears the clear voice of the minstrel rose like silver and gold, and all men were hushed. And he sang to them...until their hearts, wounded with sweet words, overflowed, and their joy was like swords, and they passed in thought out to regions where pain and delight flow together and tears are the very wine of blessedness. What an idea. I know lots of people have said it before, but the thoght of pain and delight flowing together and the tears that come are blessed. There's sadness, yes, but great joy. I'll just leave it at that.

Oh. And the confession? I sometimes dog-ear particularly splendid passages of library books.

I think it's okay, though, because I pay for the library to buy lots of books with my overdue fines!

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