Reading these made me grit my teeth and promise myself that if I ever meet Tolkien in the afterlife, I would definitely hold a gun to his head and demand that he finish these stories. That is, if guns are allowed in heaven. But then again, since it will be, after all, Paradise, maybe there’s a whole library there of Middle Earth literature. Yummy.
I know, I know, I’m complete geek when it comes to Tolkien (and a lot of other things, I admit). But I return again and again to Middle Earth not to escape my own reality but gain a clearer view of it. The appeal of myths is that they allow us to rediscover very important truths about our own world that have been long obscured by familiarity. When we allow ourselves to suspend disbelief for a moment, when we open ourselves to wonder and silence the voice of cynicism, truths that we have once known but have long forgotten are suddenly revealed to us once more. Things are not what they may seem. We are in the midst of a battle that we must not ignore. We have a part to play. These are the eternal truths hidden in every great fairytale. The part in each of us that responds that to Middle Earth, Narnia and faery land is the part that understands that there are some stories that don’t need to be factual in order to be true.