I have written much for this blog about ‘better endings.’ Yet what about better BEGINNINGS? As you set out to realize your goals or to Live Your Dream, how shall you properly prepare to Answer the Call to new adventure?
Last week when I asked students in an anthropology class to write about a favorite Hero Cycle tale, six of 33 of them independently selected Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings. This fantasy trilogy has a very strong opening in Fellowship of the Ring, which follows after the prequel story of The Hobbit has set the stage.
Frodo, at home in his 2nd uncle-once-removed Bilbo’s earthlodge within the Shire, receives a mysterious visitor, the Wizard Gandalf the Grey. Gandalf bestows upon Bilbo’s heir a magical object, the One Ring, which comes with a sacred responsibility and a definite Call to Adventure.
Frodo is to be the Bearer of the Ring, to convey it far away through dangerous territory to the cave of Mordor so to destroy it, once and for all! For a young hobbit who has never ventured outside the Shire, this is an astounding Call. Hobbits, after all, are not known to be adventurous with the singular exception of Bilbo himself, who had never yet returned from his own last departure.
Gandalf entrusts Frodo with the Ring even more than himself. Frodo is an Innocent, untainted by greed, unaffected by war, at the beginning. Yet already as Frodo reads Bilbo’s unfinished diary and contemplates his own Call, Dark Forces approach the Shire, aiming to take the Ring for the evil Sauron.
Invisibility is a great device for one who must Depart in order to fulfill a mission so deep and so foreboding that it requires the Removal of the hero in order to draw out the hidden qualities of his/her own spiritual nature. Thus Bilbo disappeared for his final adventure after having briefly returned to the Shire; and thus Frodo must vanish from his home community (ultimately with three compatriot Allies).
Frodo must depart to discover his true qualities of Soul, to fulfill the Quest that only he is innately worthy to accomplish.
Darkness arrives. Frodo, followed and then joined by his Allies, Departs to fulfill their Quest.
images are from pixabay.com
Now what of you? What Adventure are you being called to? How best can you prepare to embark?