peterjackson: (Tolkien shift)
[personal profile] peterjackson
John Ronald Ruel Tolkien sat at his writing desk at his home in Bournemouth, penning a letter to his son Christopher. He was in an odd mood for reasons he could not explain to his family. Something in his life was different; it was a change he struggled to identify. He did not know if it had all been the product of a fever-dream, or if what he recalled really had happened. Oddly enough, he first felt this change on Candlemas Day. The weather had been cloudy, rainy and quite stormy, a fact that should have cheered the Professor, as by tradition, this would predict that the worst of winter was now over. Had it been a lovely day, tradition would dictate a long stretch of winter left to come. He recalled feeling chilled to the bone all through the Candlemas holiday. As he slipped into sleep that night, he called to mind his frequent dreams of New Zealand, smiling as he noted that it would be much warmer there tonight. Perhaps a midnight walk through Wellington. A time again to run fingers over the bright paint of the automobiles of that future day, to gaze at frocks and suits in shop’s windows, to kneel down long enough to stare at the headlines on newspapers locked in metal racks. Tolkien recalled a bit of a letter he’d written six years previous upon the occasion of his friend C.S. Lewis’ death. It was planned years before, when we decided to divide: he was to do space-travel and I time-travel. My book was never finished, but some of it (the Númenórean-Atlantis theme) got into my trilogy eventually.

Had Tolkien known what his own future would bring, he might have felt differently about his desire to write of time travel. He did not know then how easy it could be to step from 1969 into 2005. It was a secret he held quite close to his vest, even shielding his travels around Wellington as much as possible from his host in that future, Mr. Jackson. But, Candlemas Day seems to have predicted the end of winter, as well as the end of these jaunts. All things must end, in their time. He didn’t know what had caused these flights of fantasy and dreams, if that is what they were, and knew even less of what might have brought them to a halt. Perhaps it was indeed simply a side effect of being ill. Now that he had returned to health, that ability to travel in this fantastic way was gone. It must have been simply a symptom of his sickness. He sighed and finished off his letter, not fully satisfied by it, but unable to find the impetus to start it over again.



My dearest Chris.

I was delighted to get your letter of 27th today, and felt very unhappy about my own silence. I begin to feel a bit desperate: endlessly frustrated. I have at last managed to release the demon of invention only to find myself in the state of a man who after a strong draught of a sleeping potion is waked up and not allowed to lie down for more than a few consecutive minutes. Neither in one world or another. Business – endless — lies neglected, yet I cannot get anything of my real work finished. Then came this latest stroke of malice. I was assailed by very considerable pain, and depression, which no ordinary remedy would relieve. Three weeks ago last Tuesday Tolhurst came and 'gave me the works', and diagnosed an inflamed/or diseased gall-bladder. Took me at once off all fats (including butter) and all alcohol. Usually a cheerful and encouraging doctor, he was alarmingly serious, and the prospect looked dark. We (or at least I) know far too little about the complicated machine we inhabit, and (like the totally unmechanical to whom 'carburettor' is the name of a small pan of the engine of minor and little known function) underestimate the gall-bladder! It is a vital part of the chemical factory, and apart from all else can cause intense pain, if it goes wrong; and if it is 'diseased': well you are 'for it'. -I do not know why one wants to talk about illnesses, espec. since details are intricate and boring: cutting short, I was treated with great civility by the X-ray – man. He cut out all protocol, and after second bout he developed the plates at once, and came back to me with a smile, saying 'the plates will go to your doctor who will report and advise you but I can say, though the plates are still wet, that your g-b is in its right place and is functioning, and I can see no gall-stones or growths. I should go now and have a good lunch.' Tolhurst came yesterday, and took me off diet: butter and alcohol 'in moderation'. I feel quite well: i.e. as well as I did before the outset. But life is not easy. The Parke has gone sick. Mummy is ailing, and I fear slowly 'declining'. Also I feel very cut off. ....


[OOC: This is an actual letter written by Tolkien to his son on July 31, 1969. For Dreams, I'm assuming Chris wrote to him on January 27th, not February 27th. ;) ]

December 2006

S M T W T F S
     12
3456789
10111213141516
17 18 1920212223
24252627282930
31      

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 19th, 2017 08:51 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios