Sunday Salon: The Silmarillion plus ramblings

Sunday, October 30, 2011

So, my intention was to post on The Silmarillion this evening, as it is close to the end of the month. I want to say a few things, but I have been watching the following video a lot this evening and I wanted to share it with everyone. The speaker, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, is one of my personal heroes, someone who is very inspiring to me.

I have been thinking lately about how I spend my time. For the last five years or so, I have spent unholy amounts of time studying and trying to get perfect grades. In some ways this has been rewarding. I was accepted into my program after I graduated from my first degree. I am hoping my academic achievements will help me get my feet into a real job once I graduate. However, I've lately been thinking there is also much more to life than this, and it has made me want to make some changes in two different ways. The first isn't really related to this video -- I just want to spend more time helping other people instead of focusing on my own life. The second change is directly related to the video -- I have felt this strong, intense need to be creative lately. When I was in middle school and high school, I was at the piano bench for hours a day. I also spent quite a bit of time writing, even though I never finished or published anything (except for on those type websites that try to get you to buy a big book with your poems published in them). When I switched to a highly academic major, I lost some of that. I'm not saying that neuroscience wasn't fulfilling -- I loved what I learned. I remember sitting in the library at midnight absolutely thrilled with the elegance of the biochemistry of learning, emotion, thought processes, movements. (I also remember many other nights sitting in the library at midnight wishing for sedation, of course). But for me, it wasn't a field that allowed me to be creative. I know others who have been able to do research and put together amazing studies and projects in this field, but my mind doesn't seem to run that way.

Anyway, the point of all this is that I am really looking forward to NaNoWriMo and the challenge to myself to bring this story that I've spent so much time thinking about into words. At the same time, I really want to still have the energy to give to the people around me. I feel like lately I get wrapped up in my personal projects and the things that I want to do and I forget that there are people I love that I want to take care of as well. So, if NaNoWriMo throws my life too off balance and I am not serving and loving people the way I should be, I am going to take a step back. All the same, I am excited for the opportunity it gives me to stretch my creativity more than I have tried to stretch it for a long time.

This post is getting long and full of feelings, but I want to wrap it up by tying this whole creativity idea into The Silmarillion (best of both worlds -- I do the post I planned and I get to torment you with all of my FEELINGS!). The beginning of The Silmarillion has a beautiful creation scene where several godlike beings known as the Valar break out in song, and their music encompasses everything in the world -- every beautiful thing, every emotion, every story. I love that imagery. One thing I am noticing in this reread is the beauty of the mythology that Tolkien has created.


  1. I've been feeling the same: re: helping others vs. focusing so fully on my personal goals...

  2. Good luck with your NoNoWriMO project! I love the creation version Tolkien took up in The Silmarillion - to materialize things from a song is such such a brilliant and wonderful idea.

  3. @Jillian - Good to know I'm not the only one.

    @Pepca - Thanks! I think it is the most beautiful way to start a world.


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