During the last year the Grey Havens Group has wandered from hall to hall in our city, a magical caravan of swan ships floating at the edge of a long-forgotten sea. Summoned by the chiming of another tale in the story of our lives, we recently gathered for our Hobbit Holiday: A Celebration for Young Hobbits and Their Families.
This Hall of Fire commemorated our imminent return to Middle-earth in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. At the Longmont Public Library, with the help of Elektra Greer and her staff, we set up Imagination Stations for Elvish nametags, the making of Party Trees, face painting, and Hobbit food. The speakers posed questions and riddles, and the Grey Havens Group handed out many gifts to attending children – Badgaladriel calls them GHG: The Next Generation. It was a lively afternoon for Grey Havens.
When we fill the story of our lives with the joy of the tales that we love, we add to the precious hoard of memories that make us who we are. We are generous with this hoard, wishing to share with everyone the secret treasures of those tales. The scenes that follow show what happened next in our journeys this year under the shadows of the Blue Mountains.
Badgaladriel & Galadriel and JRR & Bilbo of the Grey Havens Group take a Hobbit Holiday, Sunday afternoon, December 9, 2012 at the Longmont Public Library.
Badgaladriel began the proceedings by becoming Professor McGonagall, Hobbitologist. She introduced Tolkien’s Middle-earth, and she spoke of some of the fascinating things she had discovered in her journeys there and back again.
Liritar came to the Hall of Fire as JRR, the Professor (who had lately been out with Dwarves, and thus the beard). JRR read from his 1951 introduction to the second edition of The Hobbit.
When Professor McGonagall asked, “Are Hobbits real?” The audience cried, “Yes!” And there appeared Claywise as Bilbo Baggins, answering many questions, a most excellent Hobbit.
And then Reodwyn stood before the children. A leafy green Entwife, she came from her hidden world to share her secrets, and she had very definite views on the doings of Saruman.
Withywyndle of Cardolan wrote down the names of many children in Elvish, consulting (through her palantír from Amon Sûl) with Pallando’s Tengwar Transcriber.
Galadriel of Lothlorien brought her silver mallorn seeds and helped the children to create their very own Party Trees.
and… and if all the glowing children smile with their hands and feet as they play, inventing the rules of the games of selfhood, a glimmering mysterious succession of vanishing selves, a caravan of veiled figures wandering back in time to the very beginning, into the slow shadows that gather flowers in our sleep, flowers shining like incredible music, dreamlike resonations we almost forget, almost remember, somewhere blooming, we feel invincible, we feel unbreakable, all our seeing when we look at one another, gazing through the disappearing circles that surround us and our slippery versions of the world, everything forever lovely, beautiful fading ripples on a vast silver pool, under swirling sails of transparent ships, sailing into twilight, we will invent our enchanted paths to far-off realms, we will invent the mystical gestures of our hands and the mystical journeys of our feet and we will tell one another what we really intend and we will say what we really mean and there will be children very eager in their seats and those very eager children will gladly tell us what they know and what they wish to someday know, and we will call out to them, one by one, to make sense of the infinite riddles of selves, when we travel from one distant road to another, maybe even slipping from map to map off the edge of the world, maybe washing away into tattered seas that constantly erase the disintegrating shores that we seek, maybe as if to erase the past, as if to help us see the future, as if to help one another make ready for the future, and yes when we rise this day to speak our favorite tales yes we will smile when we clap yes our hands and our feet will laugh as we smile, and all through the afternoon we will hurry through forgotten doorways from story to story, and all through the afternoon we will imagine the fabled creatures we could become, let us permit our hands and our feet to follow our hearts into the future, let us roam together through whatever dreams surround our destinations, let us together help the children to wish, and when we wish, what exactly will everyone wish for, and what should happen, and we will give many prizes and we will please the children with many gifts and we will smile at them as they play, but now I will flash a light upon their inner flames, but now I will flash a light upon the happy flicker in their eyes, but now I will remember what happened in the middle of that disappearing circle, you will see here how the circle drifted into the deep end of everything we thought we knew, you will see here the swift shapes of the resonations we can never remember, we can never forget, this is why we invented the things that happened that day, this is why we invented the rules of the games of selfhood that day, because we have learned to wish for the joy of keeping the magic of the journey in our hearts, because we have learned to wish for the joy of the mysterious caravan of dreamlike selves, we feel unbreakable, we feel invincible, forever lovely, untamed fabled creatures, all the vanishing hands, all the vanishing feet, all the children wandering back to the very beginning, and… and if