In this second Sea-related prose piece, jan-u-wine shows Frodo after the War. Rosie and Sam and Elanor are living in Bag End, which Frodo enjoys and appreciates, but he's thinking of the Sea and everything the Sea stands for. I have chosen paintings to complement the piece, as well as excerpts from Tolkien's writings.
The Fall of Gondolin, The Book of Lost Tales, Pt. 2:In this part of that riverway there were islets of rock amid the currents, and fallen rocks fringed with white sand at the gully-side, so that it was ill-going, and seeking a while Tuor found a spot where he might with labour scale the cliffs at last. Then came a fresh wind against his face, and he said: "this is very good and like the drinking of wine," but he knew not that he was near the confines of the Great Sea.
Then Tuor found himself in a rugged country bare of trees, and swept by a wind coming from the set of the sun, and all the shrubs and bushes leaned to the dawn because of that prevalence of that wind. And here for a while he wandered till he came to the black cliffs by the sea and saw the ocean and its waves for the first time, and at that hour the sun sank beyond the Rim of Earth far out to sea, and he stood on the cliff-top with outspread arms, and his heart was filled with a longing very great indeed. Now some say that he was the first of Men to reach the Sea and look upon it and know the desire it brings but I know not if they say well.
On the sea he adventured not as yet, though his heart was ever egging him with a strange longing thereto, and on quiet evenings when the sun went down beyond the edge of the sea it grew to a fierce desire.
The Valaquenta, The Silmarillion:Ulmo loves both Elves and Men, and never abandoned them, not even when they lay under the wrath of the Valar. At times he will come unseen to the shores of Middle-earth, or pass far inland up firths of the sea, and there make music upon his great horns, the Ulumúrui, that are wrought of white shell; and those to whom that music comes hear it ever after in their hearts, and longing for the sea never leaves them again. But mostly Ulmo speaks to those who dwell in Middle-earth with voices that are heard only as the music of water. For all seas, lakes, rivers, fountains and springs are in his government; so that the Elves say that the spirit of Ulmo runs in all the veins of the world.
~ by jan-u-wine
It has been a part of my life as far back as I may remember. The imagined sound and sight and smell of it visited me in gentling dremes even when I was a lad.
Since Elanor's birth, I have taken to staying late abed. Oh, not for laziness sake, no, but to hear the muted sounds of her (of them) as she wakes. To hear life going on once again about the place.
I must also admit that, of late, I feel disinclined to rise. Even the books which my Lady has sent on to me from the City, books which Sam tells me are from her own library, do not tempt me.
And so I stay abed, and think on nothing, until the clamour of Rose and Sam and the flower-child breakfasting becomes almost loud through the closed door. Rosie will, after all, have tea waiting for me, steam curling from the familiar mug like spent-autumn. And seed-cake, fresh from the baking, butter sliding yellow upon its face…….
Today, though, I cannot find it within myself to leave the enfolding comfort of bed. Inevitably, there is a knock upon the door. A stout knock, not soft and hesitant, like Rosie's is. Sam. There is a good-natured scolding in my future.
The door opens, none too gently. How well I know this look: mouth struggling betwixt turning up and turning down, eyes crinkling, snapping in almost-amused worry.
(no-longer amused eyes take in the state of the bedding. I had not realized how very disheveled it was).
"Did you have a bad night, Mr. Frodo?"
no, I don't think so, it was…..it was only…..
"No, Sam, not - not bad. Just…….I was dreming, is all."
Sam looks as if he has spotted a three-legged coney in the back garden.
"And what," he says softly, pulling the comforter up from the floor, "on what might you have been dreming, to have made such a tangle?"
Sometimes, the telling of simple truth is not so very simple. I well knew what he thought, what he expected to hear: a mountain, running red with consuming fire, a blooded whip falling within a darkened chamber, the unbearable desire for that which I may never touch or see or name as mine own……
His head came up at that.
"Beg pardon, sir?"
Patience……patience. I had never thought on it, but it is not, after all, what any (even Sam, who knows me like no other) would expect to fill a hobbit's dreams.
My voice grew smaller, nonetheless, as, of a sudden, I knew the import of those two words. It would not do now, would not do at all, for me not to have the courage to meet his eyes. The sad certainty I saw there only matched my own.
"The Sea. I dreamt of it, Sam. I have, for many years, now."
We have been through worse things than the unraveling of the hope I saw in his eyes. But we had been through them together. He would not be my Sam, though, were he not to find some bit of homely comfort in even the most desperate strait.
A large hand reached out, grasped mine.
"Rosie's waiting on us, Mr. Frodo, and you well know she don't like bein' kept waiting, so come along."
I could scarce believe I should escape without further comment, but he was rounding the door……
My name, and without the title. Half on the other side of the door he was, voice muffled by the division of it, but I could hear tears and a stubborn holding-on, even so.
"Just you keep in mind……just…..". His voice dimmed, stopped. I did not speak, could not speak.
"Just you keep in mind, Mr. Frodo, it might be a lovely place to visit, but 'tis not a place you'd want to be livin'. Sir."
And the door closed, finally, he on one side, me on the other.
And I was left there to consider dremes, and the consequences thereof.
"Weymouth Bay from the Downs above Osmington Mills" (detail) ~ John Constable
"Bilbo in Bag End" ~ Alan Lee
"Sea and Sky" ~ Albert Bierstadt
Previous entry: In the Ending is the Beginning by jan-u-wine, with art illustrations, 3-19-2010.