Journey 281: Bringing Fall Indoors

Today’s journey has been very similar to one of my Sunday self care days. I had an hour of physical therapy on my Darling left leg this morning, and she wasn’t at all sure that she liked it at first. Margit Schmid, of Massage & Posture Therapy, is wonderful, and although her initial attention to my leg was painful, as she worked to relax tense muscles and irritated nerves, her expertise soon brought a measure of relief and more mobility to my leg. I am grateful and I will see her again next week. 


I opted to work from my recliner this afternoon, taking care of business by phone and computer. Eventually I ended up in the garden, stretched out in my anti-gravity chair. What a gorgeous day! And how amazing, in October, to kick off my shoes and roll up my jeans. The air was warm and fragrant with the scent of basil, lemon balm, sage and jasmine. I am ever so blissful in this paradise. 
I felt inspired to gather freshly cut herbs and change over my vintage wooden sieve, from summer to fall. I’ve been slow to welcome fall, doing a little at a time, as Darling allows. Today she cooperated beautifully and I enjoyed creating a simple vignette that included mini pumpkins and a pitcher full of herbs. Scenting the air inside now is a mixture of basil, Russian sage, pineapple sage and lemon balm. I added a few stalks of ornamental grass as well. 

As I admired the finished vignette, I said aloud, “And that’s the limit of what I can do today.” Yes, my leg was tired and aching. However, I was aghast at what I had just said. I immediately spoke again, “Look at what I just accomplished! My leg did great!” It’s a small shift. But it is important to me to not see myself as limited. I am learning to care for myself in a greater way. I am listening to my body, in this case, my left leg, and appreciating the way she functions. I’ll do all I can to care for  my leg, and the rest of me, while I am enjoying life and the journey. And my body parts and I did create a lovely arrangement that brings the beauty and scents of my garden indoors and welcomes fall into my home. That truly is an accomplishment. 


Journey 280: Here There Be Dragons

Tonight Dayan and I continued our journey through Middle Earth with The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition. We learned Monday that we didn’t need to arrive so early at the theater, which allowed for time to grab dinner with Greg at Five Guys Burgers. We enjoyed the freshly grilled burgers and the conversation before heading to Regal Theater, with just enough time to settle into our seats. 


As with the last Hobbit movie, I’ve written a great deal about The Desolation of Smaug. However, it was so good to see this one again on the big screen, and especially to see the additional footage. I marvel at the editing team, in knowing what to cut from the film and what to leave in. These scenes that ended up on the editing room floor seem so vital to the story. I’m grateful that Peter Jackson sees the value in doing an extended edition and adding the cut footage back into the movie, creating a seamless longer version. 

One of my favorite additional scenes in TDOS takes place as Gandalf gingerly introduces the company of dwarves to the skin changer, Beorn. Known to have both an unpredictable temper and a dislike for dwarves, Beorn must be approached with caution. I love how Gandalf uncharacteristicly stumbles over his words as the dwarves appear from within Beorn’s house, in pairs. It’s a moment of comedy in an otherwise intense film. 


There are additional minutes added to the scene in Mirkwood, as the dwarves attempt to find their way through the dark forest. The enchantment aspect is played up more and includes Bombur’s fall into the river and his surrender to a sleeping spell. Dayan was grateful that there was not additional footage of the giant spiders that lurk within the woods, as he strongly dislikes spiders! 

One of the most significant inclusions is the long sequence that reveals that Thrain, Thorin’s father, is still alive. He went missing after the battle at Moria and most thought him to be dead. But Thorin never gave up the belief that his father was alive. Gandalf finds him, confused and a shadow of his former self, imprisoned in Dol Guldur, the old fortress now inhabited by evil. This scene is tragic to me, as Thorin never gets to see his father, but we do. And we hear Thrain’s request of Gandalf, to tell his son that he loves him. 

Although the word “journey” is not in the title of this middle film in the trilogy, journey is what the movie is about. The first film establishes the characters and sets them on their paths. In The Desolation of Smaug, we get to see the real journey taking place as the characters discover who they are, at a deep level, and offer out of that place of knowing. 

I saw more clearly tonight those strengths and something else that I had not noted before. Each being….man, dwarf, hobbit, wizard, even the orcs…offered to each other wholly from who they were, no matter what the expectations were of the company around them. And so Thorin acted from his heart and his purpose, in spite of the warnings of Gandalf and Bard. And Bilbo behaved as Bilbo, no matter what Thorin demanded of him. Tauriel followed her heart, against the advice of Legolas, who in turn had to be his own Elf and not a copy of his father, Thranduil. 
Some faced dragons. Some conquered fears. Some found what had been lost, whether it was courage or jewels or their own worth. They journeyed together, all of them, a great company of companions, offering their hearts, lending their strength, contributing beautifully to the ongoing story of their shared adventure, while being absolutely true to who they were, individually. It was deeply inspiring to me, and an aspect of the movie that I had not pondered until tonight. 

Perhaps my favorite scene of all in this second movie is the river footage as the dwarves are carried along in the current, riding in their barrels. There are exciting moments and dangerous ones, waterfalls, rapids and calm stretches of water, and the journeyers keep moving, keeping going where the flow takes them, handling what they must. I love that snapshot of life, of the journey. I see myself, sure of who I am and what I have to offer, bobbing along, down the river of life, companions coming alongside, challenges and calm stretches and joy all mingled together as I stay in the flow. I know I am going exactly where I am meant to go. Is it crazy that I see myself in a barrel, rather than a boat? I don’t think so!