arethinn: glowing green spiral (Default)
The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, from a letter to his son Michael Tolkien ca. October 1968:
The 'protestant' search backwards for 'simplicity' and directness -- which, of course, though it contains some good or at least intelligible motives, is mistaken and indeed vain. Because 'primitive Christianity' is now and in spite of all 'research' will ever remain largely unknown; because 'primitiveness' is no guarantee of value, and is and was in great part a reflection of ignorance. ... Still more because 'my church' was not intended by Our Lord to be static or remain in perpetual childhood; but to be a living organism (likened to a plant), which develops and changes in externals by the interaction of its bequeathed divine life and history -- the particular circumstances of the world into which it is set. There is no resemblance between the 'mustard-seed' and the full-grown tree. For those living in the days of its branching growth the Tree is the thing, for the history of a living thing is part of its life, and the history of a divine thing is sacred. The wise may know that it began with a seed, but it is vain to try and dig it up, for it no longer exists, and the virtue and powers that it had now reside in the Tree. Very good: but in husbandry the authorities, the keepers of the Tree, must look after it, according to such wisdom as they possess, prune it, remove cankers, rid it of parasites, and so forth. ... But they will certainly do harm, if they are obsessed with the desire of going back to the seed or even to the first youth of the plant when it was (as they imagine) pretty and unafflicted by evils.

The professor is speaking here of Roman Catholicism, but it's an interesting reflection on religion in general and I think it could be quite applicable to Paganism.
arethinn: Photo of a forest, text "Dwimordene" (nature (dwimordene forest))
tfw you're looking for actual info on some landmark of Beleriand or Middle-earth and you have to wade through 2398749283 hits for metal bands

arethinn: Photo of a forest, text "Dwimordene" (nature (dwimordene forest))
J.R.R. Tolkien Reveals TRUE Meaning Of 'The Lord Of The Rings' In Unearthed Audio Recording
Over 20 years ago, a lost recording of J.R.R. Tolkien was discovered in a basement in Rotterdam, but the man who found it kept this important reel-to-reel tape hidden away. ... it proves once and for all that Professor Tolkien was, in fact, very much the hobbit that we all suspected him to be. What's more, we get to hear Tolkien reading a lost poem in the Elven tongue which he translates into English. And to top it off, he states in unambiguous terms (cue Rohirrim war trumpets) the real meaning of The Lord of the Rings! ...
Legendarium and the Tolkien site have partnered with van Rossenberg to raise both awareness and funds in order to remaster the original reel-to-reel tape, chronicle the event, and make it available to the world this fall via the Rotterdam Project.

This somewhat breathless author makes it sound like the "true meaning of LotR" was some as-yet-unguessed secret other than a critique of industrialization, modern warfare, and the grasping greedy arc of Western civilization, but to judge by the comments I doubt that's the case. Pesonally, I'm interested in whether this will add something new to the corpus of either Quenya or Sindarin (it'd be a shame if we only get the translation). Anyway, quite interesting.
arethinn: Bastian from the Neverending Story with book, text "can't talk, dorking" (geeky (bastian dorking))
From the Dept. of Thinking Too Closely About Things That are Meant Mythically, Subsection "It's Just a Story, One Put Together from Unpublished Fragments at That; I Should Really Just Relax":

So, during the Years of the Trees in Arda, there was nothing lighting the sky in Middle-earth other than the stars, yeah? So.... how did any life survive there? In perpetual near-darkness I would think nearly everything ought to have withered, frozen, and died (cf. nuclear or volcanic winter). What's up with that? The Sleep of Yavanna doesn't seem quite consistent chronologically, at least as it's described on that page, which makes it sound like it was the entire time from the destruction of the Lamps to the first rising of the Moon and Sun. That can't be right because we know the Elves awoke at CuiviƩnen while still under only the stars, and that some portion of them eventually made it to Aman and laid eyes on the Trees. So it can't just be, handwave, they were all magically asleep all that time. I don't get it. Am I missing something?

(Maybe Quendi don't actually need to eat and aren't endotherms :P )
arethinn: triskele engraved on green stone-textured background (pagan (newgrange spirals))
Found in an unrelated work context*:

Ents, Elves, and Eriador: The Environmental Vision of J.R.R. Tolkien

Chapter titles:
Varda, Yavanna, and the Value of Creation
Gandalf, Stewardship, and Tomorrow's Weather
Hobbits and the Agrarian Society of the Shire
Horticulture and the Aesthetic of the Elves
Woods, Wildness, and the Feraculture of the Ents
The Necessity of Margins in Middle-earth's Mingled Ecologies
The Ecology of Ham, Niggle's Parish, and Wootton Major
Three Faces of Mordor
Rousing the Shire
Environmentalism, Transcendence, and Action
Some Practical Matters

Sounds interesting.

* Testing circulation behaviors and reuse of barcodes in our new library system requires concrete examples to play with, so I tend to search for random keywords to get test items.

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