Log in

No account? Create an account
Here's the bit I was looking for... (thanks, quiet moments! *S*) - "You didn't hear about the polar bear?"
May 16th, 2004
10:39 am


Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Here's the bit I was looking for... (thanks, quiet moments! *S*)
From Tehanu's 22nd Note, TORn:

"So anyway to return to my point: What to look forward to now that the movies are as good as done? Well, what have you learned from them? Not the story of the Ring; you knew that already. What is the lesson in the story of the making of the movies? That's the story of you getting involved in the excitement, the guesswork, the speculation, the ideas, the process of seeing them come into the light. The story of you spending time thinking about Middle-earth, and your delight in discovering that other people cared about it as much as you do. This story is the point, and it is what the great mythographer Joseph Campbell called 'following your bliss.'

We've spent five years watching something that was fun. We enjoyed it whole-heartedly and without self-interest. We didn't question whether it had any point. It just was, and we were child-like in our acceptance of it. Because our guard was down, it enriched our lives before we knew it. Now the challenge is to ask ourselves what it is that we love to do the way the film-makers loved to do their work. It's time to notice the silly drawings we used to do, but put aside when we grew up. Time to remember the dreams we had of learning to weave a medieval tapestry, or the idea for that perfect adventure game -- and let those ideas come out and play. Play hard. We've watched PJ's people do it, working long hours into the night. We know Tolkien did it, with every spare moment and spare scrap of paper he had. And remember -- for many years his life appeared something completely boring and unproductive to the casual observer. He published little, and outside of his philological work he appeared absorbed in his family. The only hint of difference was the regularity with which he met his like-minded friends at the Eagle and Child pub. There they would drink and argue and read out their work to each other, sometimes with no real hope of a wider audience. But Tolkien in his own private mind remained committed to the elaboration of his fantasy world.

But this all sounds as if all it takes to create great art is to try hard. It sounds like all you need to do to become a writer or artist yourself is to work at it, and if you're not succeeding it's because you're not trying hard enough. I don't believe that myself however, and I'm not saying that Tolkien's example should drive you to transform yourself into a writer or something. It might, but on the other hand your talent might be something quite different, something you've used all along but not given due honour. You could have a talent for living a life of comfort and balance, like a hobbit. A talent for fellowship, for loyalty, for peacemaking among friends and family. There are lots of gifts that, practiced with skill, leave no lasting monument that one can show off, like a book or a film. They are worth no less for all that.

Meanwhile, every journey begins with the first step, as Frodo (and even more Sam) discovered when they set out from Bag End, hardly knowing anything of the road ahead. If your dream is to build a hobbit hole then you don't have to have a piece of land and a degree in engineering by tomorrow. You can at least talk to other people who are doing it for a few years first. To ride elf-fashion, without saddle or bridle -- well, you could start by getting lessons to ride normally. Practise the hospitality of a hobbit, throw memorable dinner-parties and nobody will care your house doesn't look like a palace. Follow your curiosity, find something that interests you and throw yourself into it wholeheartedly!"

*G* Can you say "GOT SQUEE?" Sure you can! *LOL*!

Well, now I know what to say the next time somebody asks about my bumpersticker: "Are you familiar with the great mythographer Joseph Campbell? Basically it means "Follow your bliss". Cowabunga, baby!" *L*!

(2 comments | Leave a comment)

Date:May 16th, 2004 06:15 pm (UTC)
" Now the challenge is to ask ourselves what it is that we love to do the way the film-makers loved to do their work. It's time to notice the silly drawings we used to do, but put aside when we grew up. "

This is one of the best posts I've read in a long time. That was a huge call out to my soul. Thank you.

I'd always laughed sarcastically in the past when someone said "do what you love, the money will follow," but now I'm looking at Alan Lee and John Howe, two of my biggest heroes, and I'm saying, by golly, look at hem! They're geeks! :-) But they did what they wanted to do, and look where it took them!!! They are SO proof that Joseph Campbell had the right idea. And so do you!
[User Picture]
Date:May 16th, 2004 07:18 pm (UTC)
Thanks - but Tehanu deserves the thanks! And quiet moments pointed it out to me. *S*
Powered by LiveJournal.com