So Christmas has come and gone – all the commercials have gone away, Valentine’s Day merchandise (and probably Easter) will be pushing the Yuletide stuff out of the stores, and if God is kind I won’t have to hear “Feliz Navidad” again for another eleven months. (I hate that song with a deep and burning passion. There are literally fourteen words in it. Repeated over and over. I hate that song.) (I thought I was off the hook yesterday, but the entertainer at Christmas luncheon at my mother’s nursing home sang it. My family laughed at my pain.) (Where was I? Oh, right.) Someone posted a little thing on Tumblr wishing that Christmas this year would feel like Christmas, and I agreed wholeheartedly, but not very optimistically; for all sorts of reasons it’s hard to get that back these days. I have literally nothing left of the Christmases of my childhood. The ones that felt like Christmas.
Except this, I just realized. I’ve probably said it a hundred times, so forgive me for repeating it again … I have always sought out “comfort books” at Christmas. It’s important to be with friends at Christmas, even if they’re books. And so, of course, The Lord of the Rings was my Christmas book for years. I did read it every year for a while there, and I tried to engineer it so that I would be reading the last chapters on December 25. Preferably by the light of the Christmas tree. (My mother always preferred white lights.)
I just finished an audiobook by another dear favorite, Carol Berg, and looked at what I have saved to my iPod to choose the next thing I would listen to while messing about on the computer … and there it was, still: The Fellowship of the Ring. It’s been nearly three years – February of 2013! – since I began my big LotR Reread … I made it into Chapter Three, and it petered out. There were Reasons – the baggage I’ve talked about before; the old painful associations that loop around almost every character, setting, and line; and simply a lack of time to create the ridiculously long posts that seem to me the only way to do this right.
But I’m going to try again. Even with three years more gone by, the hurts still hurt. I have probably less time now than I did twenty-two months ago. But I’m going to give it another try. And if I fail again … well, then, I’ll see you back here in 2019, perhaps.
Here we go … again.
The original intro post: Lord of the Rings reread – here we go…