When you make your OWN Lord of the Rings related movie, you definitely make it to the top 5.
I do not have a not tattoo of the hidden city--hidden somewhere on my body, I've not shaved a likeness of Gandalf onto my hairy back, nor have I shouted elven obscenities at passing drivers on the freeway. Neither have I invoked the name of Elbereth Githoniel during one of the many rolling blackouts in this electrically impaired state of California. I have however, like millions of others, immersed myself into the incomparable world of Tolkien and have been blessed with a better version of myself as a result--a version more aware of my impact on others, a version with a better understanding of loyalty and duty, a version with a greater sense of the balance between intentionality and pre-destination. These books have been fused with my life on a moral, spiritual, social, and even physical level.
I send my story in for no other reason than to give you further proof that these books, like the ring itself, have the power to bend our wills and change our personalities--and to publicly confess that I....am a geek.
I have a German Shepherd named for Galadriel's ring of water, "Nenya;" and my child is in fact named for Elanor Gamgee--the fairest of Hobbits, and Sam's favorite flower. Alas, I can send no proof because the due date was Sunday the 5th and she has yet to show herself. I will send it along the day after she arrives.
In addition, friends and I have created a Middle-Earth reenactment society with complete arms and dress. I've written a version of myself into stories about the Third and Fourth ages of middle-earth, and, along with others, have finished filming of a Tolkien-inspired film of our own. Additionally, I teach high-school literature and have incorporated the books as a part of the curriculum.
I'm aware that I perhaps have presented myself as a bearded-plaid-flannel-shirted- action-figure-collecting-conference- attending-living-in-my-mother's-attic-with-friends-wierder-than-myself geek whose life has been consumed by the upcoming films (Disclaimer: The preceding stereotype is not intended to offend anyone who might match the above description). I have no beard, flannel makes me itch, and my mother...no thanks. My friends are weirder than I am though. I'm not trying escape anything in my real life; rather, I take great joy in such a rich and colorful collection of writings from a man who makes a wonderful model as an interested and caring father. My wife is mulling over the thought of letting me call my daughter "my precious," however.
May Manwë keep you under the One and send fair wind to your sails,
p.s. I've attached some photos from the filming. That's me on the white horse (no intended symbolism). The others are of the guys I write and play make-believe with, and of course--our black riders.
Ok, so maybe the flannel doesn't itch that bad.
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