"Drowning, in the sea of love, where everyone would love to drown." - Fleetwood Mac
In the past few weeks, since I first saw The Hobbit in theaters, I have taken a dive headfirst back into the sea of Tolkien fantasy. This is very exciting for me, because this is a sea I haven't explored in about ten years, since the last Lord of the Rings movie (Return of the King), arrived in movie theaters in 2003. Perhaps over the years, I've dipped a toe in or even waded in up to my waist, but I've never fully taken the plunge back in, until now.
Although Lord of the Rings has always held a special place in my DVD library, on my bookshelf, and in my soul, I never really bothered to think about what it was that drew me to it like some sort of freakish magnetic force. I was content enough to love it, to gush to people about it, and to watch it...over and over again.
I saw The Hobbit on a cold, snowy night a few weeks ago and as soon as the end credits began to roll, I felt an enormous weight in my chest (seriously, I might as well been carrying a hobbit on my shoulders, that's how heavy it felt). I carried it with me to the restroom, out to the parking lot, and into my car it got with me. It did not go away until I burst into tears and told my boyfriend through ridiculous sobbing fits how happy I was and what a phenomenal movie it had been.
If anything felt like stepping back into a long-forgotten past, it was seeing that movie. At the risk of sounding corny, clique, and crazy, I must say...it felt like coming home. The Hobbit brought back for me all those wonderful pre-teenager memories of watching the films continously, anticipating when the next one would come into theaters, and bonding with my friends over it (or being playfully teased by my cousin over it). Nostalgia is a very powerful emotion and I seem to be the owner of some kind of abnormal nostalgia gene that is extremely fond and grateful for past enjoyments.
Back in 2002, I had been drowning in the sea of Tolkien, completley helpless and entranced by something I found incredibly exciting and beautiful. And I feel the same way now, absolutely powerless over a love of something from long ago and a little confused as I venture to explore more of this world.
When I was younger, I had read The Hobbit and I may have started to read The Fellowship of the Ring, but that is where I banged into an iceberg somewhere in that Tolkien sea and apparently didn't get back on the literary path. But this time, I've found that I want to read all the books, watch all the movies (in their extended versions!) all over again, and go a bit further and see what else Tolkien has written about Middle Earth (this is where the confusion comes in, since there is so much material and not a clear place to begin).
I have even come to the realization that if I were two or three feet shorter, lived in a hole in a hill, and actually liked to wear the color yellow, I could be a hobbit.
But as it is, I am 5'5, I live in a hilltown rather than a hill, and the only thing yellow thing you will ever find me wearing is socks (maybe). But I have books in my library and DVDs on my shelf that detail the adventures of hobbits and that is quite enough for me.
Drowning in a sea of love is all very romantic and fine, but I'm perfectly content to flail about in a sea of Tolkien's fiction, until I finally learn to navigate my way once again and swim confidently to the conclusion. And someday, years after I have already once again pulled myself from the Tolkien sea and thoroughly dried off, I'm sure I will eagerly run back to the beginning, and dive in once more.