My dear friends,
Know you what today is? It is September 24th, one year after I published Remembered Lore! I will reveal the significance of this date in a moment, but first let us toss some autumn leaves into the air to celebrate a year of myth re-found, words re-learned, and golden drafts of poetry sipped.
This post marks both an end and a beginning. As I step into a new year (for so I call it a year, despite it not being January), I am re-evaluating what I desire to accomplish here on Remembered Lore. Do not fear, friends, the time has not come for us to part just yet! The biggest change is that, until now, I have been posting once per week, but I am going to begin posting every other week. I will continue to post on Thursday as I have been doing, with perhaps the occasional Friday if a Thursday is inconvenient. I am preparing to spend my semester studying Anglo-Saxon literature online with the Department of Continuing Education at Oxford University. This means that I will have many wonderfully new discoveries to share with you pertaining to myth, and undoubtedly to J.R.R. Tolkien. In addition, I have an especially exciting idea I am turning in my mind and hope to bring to fruition this fall, but I will reveal that when the time comes as nothing is settled yet.
And now to the significance of September 24th. I am particular about symbolism, especially in the names of things and the dates of beginnings. September 24th is the date on which Frodo, Sam, and Pippin meet Gildor Inglorion in Woody End in Chapter 3 of The Fellowship of the Ring. It is fitting, I think, for one of the themes I have cultivated here on Remembered Lore is that of journeying. Some blogs are designed to be places of refuge where one can hang up one’s hat and coat and enjoy kindred company by the fireside. We need places like this—virtual, real, and literary—for it is not good to be always on the road.
However, I identify more with journeying. But my journeying is not so much a product of wanderlust as of fernweh1: less a desire to discover and more a longing to find. When I envisioned Remembered Lore, I wanted it to be, not a stopping place, but a coming upon a fellow traveller on the road. A sort of “Are you going my way? Then let us walk together and talk about the things we have seen” kind of companionship. I hope that Remembered Lore and I have been this in some small way.
There is one last note of encouragement I want to give you. Remember when I wrote about The Lantern Bearers, by Rosemary Sutcliff, I mentioned a certain quote that caused me to read the book in the first place? I did not share it then because I wanted to save it for today. Here it is:
I sometimes think that we stand at sunset…It may be that the night will close over us in the end, but I believe that the morning will come again. Morning always grows again out of the darkness, though maybe not for those who saw the sun go down. We are the Lantern Bearers, my friend; for us to keep something burning, to carry what light we can into the darkness and wind.2
There are many things in this world worth remembering. Stories are one of them. Words are another. These are lamps we have in our hands, lanterns we carry, torches we bear. Keep them burning with me, and let us go out into the darkness and the wind.
1I will write a post describing these words soon.
2Rosemary Sutcliff, The Lantern Bearers, Chapter 22