“Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check,
but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday
deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay…
small acts of kindness and love.”
Gandalf in The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
Today’s prompt is the word, “ring,” to be used in any form and to have fun with.
Fun comes in many forms. One way I have fun is to watch The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Hobbit movies. Being a huge fan, I can watch these movies over and over again, especially the parts with the elves.
LOTR is about heroism, good winning over evil, sacrifice, fellowship, loyalty, natural magic, and more set in a place that allows me to escape the things I want to escape from that I will not mention. But the qualities and messages are still relevant in reality.
There’s a scene toward the end of the trilogy when Sam and Frodo are exhausted and don’t know if they will survive. They reminisce about their sweet home, The Shire. Sam imagines the goldilocks girl, barmaid he would like to marry. The reminiscing starts at 1 minute. Be sure to watch til the end when the Eagles come!
Coincidentally, but not really, I’ve been reading about all these things in my dad’s letters from Vietnam since Veterans Day.
I’m reading them for research for the novel I’m writing for NaNoWriMo. Reading the letters is slowing me down, but it needs to be done this way. So what if I don’t write 50,000 words by Nov. 30? It will be okay.
My dad’s letters show how much he adored my mother. He writes of dreaming of her constantly while asleep and while awake in Vietnam. It almost seems like he puts her on a pedestal. The dreams and images of her keep him going, keep him sane, and give him hope to stay alive to come home to her.
I watched a video about another guy talking about doing this in Vietnam, dreaming about his girlfriend kept him going, sane, alive. Let see if I can find it…. The speaker, Dr. Earhart, was a high school teacher after he got back. Toward the end of the video, at around 13 minutes, he talks about the girlfriend that had sent him a “Dear John” letter. The whole video is eye opening.
My dad’s letters mention that a lot of guys got “Dear John,” letters. Maybe that’s why he expressed so much love for my mom in his letters and always signed them,
All My Love,
Your Husband Forever,
When things are going badly, when we don’t know what’s going to happen, even when it seems like we might not make it, dreaming of a better future, imagining holding our loved ones in our arms, being with family in our homeland, these are legitimate coping skills. Valuable survival skills. And so we keep on doing those small acts of kindness and love to keep the darkness at bay whenever and wherever we might be.
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November 14, 2020 at 5:03 am
That novel promises to be a gem
November 14, 2020 at 10:00 am
Thanks, Derrick. It’s going to take a lot of time and research. But I’m up for that.
November 14, 2020 at 10:34 am
November 14, 2020 at 7:12 am
I’m glad you have those letters.
November 14, 2020 at 7:13 am
And, I wanted to add, thank you for sharing them.
November 14, 2020 at 1:02 pm
You are welcome. I’m thinking of sharing some actual letters at some point maybe their anniversary. Still have a lot to go through.
November 14, 2020 at 12:44 pm
Me, too! I found the Vietnam letters in a cardboard box in my parents’ attic. Some are bug ? eaten around the edges, but readable. It was like finding a treasure chest!
November 14, 2020 at 9:09 am
Beautiful post, JoAnna. The love your dad expressed for your mom warms my heart.
November 14, 2020 at 1:05 pm
Thanks, Mary. It has been amazing to read these letters. I knew he could be sentimental at times, but never knew he could write with so much heart. The letter writing meant a lot to them.
November 14, 2020 at 9:20 am
Thank you JoAnna. The post is very moving. Coping skills are important and I may incorporate some of this into my toolkit. To dream of a better day.
November 14, 2020 at 1:17 pm
You are very welcome. I’m so glad you found this moving and useful. Of course we have to do some living in the reality of today, but I believe some better day dreaming is healthy.
November 14, 2020 at 10:59 am
“I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay…”
This is a lovely sentiment.
November 15, 2020 at 12:27 am
It is! It helps us to realize that we can make a difference.
November 14, 2020 at 1:55 pm
Beautiful and inspirational post, JoAnna. I especially loved your closing paragraph. So very true! Thanks for sharing the video clips. Watched them both. One of the themes in my second novel, postponed for publication in 2021, deals with the impact of the Vietnam War on the American family.
November 15, 2020 at 8:41 pm
Thank you, Rosaline, for this encouraging comment! I very much look forward to reading your second novel.
November 16, 2020 at 12:29 pm
I appreciate your support JoAnna 🙂