Jan 15, 2021
—I’ve been reading Tolkien’s The Hobbit to my ten year old and hearing JRRT speaking to late fall of 2020: “It was a weary journey, and a quiet and stealthy one. There was no laughter or song or sound of harps, and the pride and hopes which had stirred their hearts at the singing of old songs by the lake died away to a plodding gloom. They knew that they were drawing near to the end of their journey, and that it might be a very horrible end. The land about them grew bleak and barren, though once, as Thorin told them, it had been green and fair. There was little grass, and before long there was neither bush nor tree, and only broken and blackened stumps to speak of one long vanished. They were come to the Desolation of the Dragon, and they were come at the waning of the year.”
—”I am simply able to see any issue from both sides. Sometimes I flatter myself that this is a talent, and although it is admittedly one of a minor nature, it is perhaps also the sole talent I possess. At other times, when I reflect on how I cannot help but observe the world in such a fashion, I wonder if what I have should even be called a talent. After all, a talent is something you use, not something that uses you. The talent you cannot not use, the talent that possesses you—that is a hazard, I must confess. But in the month when this confession begins, my way of seeing the world still seemed more of a virtue than a danger, which is how some dangers first appear. — Viet Thanh Nguyen, The Sympathizer
—First times always have that adrenaline of sensory memory about them, which is why it’s a useful writing exercise to try out All the Firsts.
More about the rattle here.