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November 1, 2008

The Siege of Gondor, The Return of the King, Part III, The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien

“In vain men shook their fists at the pitiless foes that swarmed before the Gate. Curses they heeded not, nor understood the tongues of western men, crying with harsh voices like beasts and carrion-birds. But soon there were few left in Minas Tirith who had the heart to stand up and defy the hosts of Mordor. For yet another weapon, swifter than hunger, the Lord of the Dark Tower had: dread and despair.”

. . .

“At length, even the stout-hearted would fling themselves to the ground as the hidden menace passed over them, or they would stand, letting their weapons fall from nerveless hands while into their minds a blackness came, and they thought no more of war, but only of hiding and of crawling, and of death.”

Who will be my Gandalf, bringing light to the darkness? Who will be my Aragorn, braving the Paths of the Dead to bring unexpected aid to fight the battle? Who my Pippin, defying the lord to save the heart of the city? Or the Rohirrim, or the Ents, or the Eagles? And Frodo and Sam – who will destroy the soul of the Dark Lord, freeing life to continue in sunshine and growth, rather than withering night?

You are Brian, you are Robin, you are the friends and family who love me; you are the doctors, the nurses, the technicians, the researchers; you are the legion of survivors, supporters, the stricken, and the casualties. You are my heart, my brain, my soul, and my body. You are the earth, the air, the stars, and the universe, who exist as part of me, as I exist as part of you. You are life and love, given and received. Together we are one individual, one body, one soul, discrete but not separate; together we are the spirit of the universe, strong enough to survive and thrive even through loss and grief, pain and fear. Together we are.

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