Saturday, January 8, 2011

joy like swords

Just about every page of The Return of the King speaks to me on some level of heart, mind and soul.

There are times when the reading of certain passages brings out the warrior woman. Times when righteous anger wells up, then mercy. Times when I am reminded of duty and courage, of blessed rescue and laughter, of faithful friendship and trust above all. 

But there's this one part ~ sort of at the end of everything ~ at a farewell banquet. The battles have been won, evil vanquished, the king is on his throne and the fellowship has been reunited...only to part again. Back to the destinies they've fought for the opportunity to fulfill. 

"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, now in Elven-tongue, now in the speech of the West, until their hearts, wounded with sweet words, overflowed, and their joy was like swords, and they passed in thought out to the regions where pain and delight flow together and tears are the very wine of blessedness."

hearts wounded with sweet words
       joy like swords
              pain and delight flow together
                      tears, the wine of blessedness

Are there any words better than these to describe the parting between loved ones?

Winter is a season of good-byes for me. Some anniversaries of good-byes and some present day ones. All the memories aren't awful, the soon to be good-byes are for the purposes of obedience and adventure and destiny. It's all good.

But I am keeping Tolkien handy.
And kleenex.

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