Feb. 20th, 2005

peterjackson: (Tolkien shift)
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. )

December 2006

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