Partings and New Beginnings

Well, it seems I join a large group of people who have a blog who barely ever use it. But I have nonetheless kept it registered and active. The bright spot of that is that it’s now available for me to use to speak through writing when I find it hard to speak with my voice.

My mother is gone. Many of you (who have reason to read this, at any rate) know this. But I had to write those words down, because I can still hardly believe them.

How can she be gone? She, who was the bright, shining light of this world (to me, and thus, from my point of view, to the whole world). I have spent these last couple weeks veering back and forth between sobbing and staring into empty space, hopelessly weighed down by an ever-oppressing sadness.

There have been reprieves. And I thank my dear friends for that. You all have shown me more support and love than I could have hoped for, and I thank you for your kindness.

I don’t know how to move on without her – what my life is now. So, in waiting to figure that out, I have plunged myself into the worlds that have been a refuge throughout my life – A Galaxy, Far, Far Away (Andor), Westeros (House of the Dragon) and, of course, Middle-earth (The Rings of Power).

In a way, it’s heartbreaking to experience the above stories without Mom. She was ever my movie and television partner. That was how we bonded. My dad has never been into dramatic storytelling the way I am, so this belonged just to Mom & me. She read (and loved) The Hobbit when I started going on and on about this J.R.R. Tolkien guy. Even when my repeated viewings of the Lord of the Rings films became a bit much, she still indulged me and listened to each and every thought I had. She watched every episode of Game of Thrones with me (making it all the more heartbreaking to experience House of the Dragon without her). And while she may not have been the Star Wars fan I am, she still seemed to get tremendous joy out of my love of it.

I’ve had to get used to having experiences, movie-centric or not, without her over the past couple of years, but to face a future where she’s just….not there….is, well, I still haven’t come to terms with it.

I had thought to return to streaming tomorrow on Here Be Dragons, where my siblings Steven and Nessie will be talking about the second half of The Rings of Power with our good friend Dan aka Voice of Geekdom – one of our other resident Tolkien geeks (and far more knowledgeable about the good Professor’s legendarium than I). But I know not yet whether I feel strong enough to pull myself in front of a camera and just….talk.

In the that event, I suppose some might wish to know what I thought of The Rings of Power (or perhaps I’m being incredibly pompous and arrogant – I’ll leave that to you). Though it’s impossible for me to be completely objective about it (even more than usual). I experienced the last three episodes with my heart torn open after Mom’s passing.

I really liked it. Quite a lot. I imagine social media is rife with discourse over certain divergences from Tolkien’s canon, but I care not to get into any of that. What lingers with me after the final episode are the beautiful relationships and characters than I was gifted with this series. I think about Nori and the Stranger and their tender friendship, the searing pain and joy of Elrond and Durin’s reunion and farewell, the growing familial bond between Bronwyn, her son Theo, and elven hero Arondir – and the complex, fascinating and perilous dynamic between Galadriel and Halbrand. Through these relationships, I felt the spirit of Tolkien soar. And, of course, Bear McCreary’s phenomenal musical score – which payed wonderful homage to Howard Shore, but never sought to imitate it.

It’s quite interesting when I consider how skeptical I was of this series throughout it’s production. But what resulted was a beautiful, heartfelt and passionate series. It has added to my love of Middle-earth.

I consider it a stroke of fortune that I was graced with a new Middle-earth story just now. Tolkien’s world, more than any other, has offered me comfort and refuge when I needed it most. In it is bound part of my heart – a part that can never be irrevocably wounded or damaged. And so, it is a place for healing.

And I like to imagine, somewhere, that my Mom was watching me as I returned there once again. Maybe she was even sitting next to me.

I love you, Mom.


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