Posted by: Judy | June 6, 2012

A New Adventure begins…

I had to start this post with The Background Story’s post from yesterday. Yes, HAD to because it touched me to the point of tears.

Back to my own story. Where we left off: Fellowship of the Ring wasn’t simply an eye-opening experience.

My sister wanted to see the movie. I didn’t. I was afraid they would jack up the title and put a whole new story underneath it. I’d seen previous attempts, and was disappointed. My sister bribed me into going by paying for my ticket. Free movie? Deal.

Even so, I was nervous and unenthusiastic. I couldn’t shake the feeling I would be wasting my time. Worse? I would regret agreeing to attend.

I settled in, prepared to hate the movie.

The opening was pretty impressive, but seemed to be affirming my fears. It had been years since the last time I’d read the book. I hadn’t read it again because I hated having no one with whom to share it. I couldn’t share it with my siblings because I was the dummy of the family. Yes, I know that isn’t true. Now. I believed it at the time.

Then there was the opening shot of the Shire. Breathtaking. And there was Frodo. He’d always been my favorite, the one with whom I identified the most. I hadn’t examined closely why this was so.

There was Gandalf, the wizard by whom I judged all other wizards.

Bag End: I used to draw my own pictures of Bag End; Bilbo’s hobbit hole.

It was all exactly as I had pictured it in my mind. Tolkien’s skill with words is such that he is able to convey general ideas with such detail anyone is able to visualize his world because he draws on broad ideas, such that a person is able to draw on their own memories of a similar place. There, on a giant screen, was the Shire, exactly as I remembered it.

The fireworks at the Long Expected Party startled me, exactly like real fireworks would. It was the first time in the movie I was “scared” and enjoyed it. For the first time in a long time, I wanted to be surprised again.

My awe grew as I scrabbled for what I could remember of the story and found unexpected connections, again and again. The characters were very much as I had envisioned them.

Then there was the first appearance of a Black Rider. This time I was scared because it was frightening, but again it was a fear I relished and wanted again.

There were things I knew weren’t in the book, but I was willing to go along with the storyteller, Peter Jackson, the director. He’d earned that much of my trust.

More details of the story were flooding back.

One of my vivid memories of the book was of a rushing water with horses and riders formed by the frothing river. I kept thinking there was no way they’d be able to depict that scene to my satisfaction. Hope flickered. A part of me wanted Jackson to succeed, but a larger part wasn’t sure it was possible.

Then it was there. Filling the screen.

I hissed, “Yes!” And felt tears fill my eyes. I stopped looking to be disappointed, and drank in the story. It was only the first third. I wanted more. I was eager for more. I went back 33 more times to see this installment in the theater.

What was different about me as I walked out of the theater? I usually kept quiet. I could not shut up. I babbled about the story, the special effects, the things I didn’t expect and the things I did, the amazement at how much had been included from the book, and on and on and on.

What was the most significant thing? What was life changing?

I had experienced every possible emotion from fear to joy, laughter to tears, anticipation, hesitation, love and hate, uncertainty, triumph, everything from one end of the scale to the other, and relished every single minute. I wanted more. Instead of shying from all those emotions, I embraced them full-bore. I wanted it all. Emotions that had been shut off for as long as I can remember were turned on, and I was ready and willing to experience them all. I discovered I could feel them all and not be destroyed or out of control. Emotions added variety to life, depth and richness and vibrance.

My life had been flat. Suddenly it wasn’t, and I never wanted to go back.


  1. Hi Judy,
    I’ve been catching up today with your posts of the last few days. Wow, you really are boldly going where no one has gone before… that quote in the background story ” You saved yourself — that made us believe we can do the same for ourselves.” I feel you and Ruth have done that for me. I’m having a mini crash today, feel really tired but something has changed: I feel tired but happy, and what you have accomplished over the last few days encourages me. I’m following your advice about down time so for the next few days I’m taking it easy.
    Your experience with the LOTR film is very interesting, I have felt like that too, watching a movie and remembering what is like to feel emotion. No wonder we don’t want to go back.
    Thanks for sharing all this with us. 🙂

    • Being tired and happy is a good thing. 🙂 Take care of you! You’re welcome. Thanks for sharing the journey.

  2. Thank you very much for sharing us here! 😀

    • You are most welcome. I appreciate your gift to share your perspective in such a way it helps me see my own in a different light, giving me a clearer view of my own.

  3. Thank you for this account! You have left me speechless…and as you well know, that’s quite the feat in itself :D… Beautiful…

    • Thank you, and you’re welcome. 😀

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