We need to celebrate Fall of Sauron day. The triumph of good over evil. The dropping of the One Ring into the cracks of doom. The journey of a couple of fragile Hobbits — successful beyond all logic and reason — to conquer the dark doom of Mordor.
The message came by email out of my past. Blowing away at least thirty years of haze and fog …
… I still have your letter of congratulations on my first marriage … written in Elvish.
I remember learning Elvish. J.R.R. Tolkien had amazing appendices, from which you could learn Elvish. Well enough to write a little and read even more. I could have studied other Middle Earth languages too, but quit after Elvish because I had, you know, to work.
I admit I don’t remember writing that note. I remember writing the “Fall of Sauron Day” (in English) service. The first version plus 5 or 6 later revisions.
We held the annual celebration as near as scheduling allowed to the Vernal Equinox — March 21st or thereabouts. It was like a miniature Seder, but with more wine drunk a lot faster. Drunk being the operative word.
The entire service lasted just short of an hour. Including about six glasses of wine. I’m sure I have a copy of the service in a huge box of writing in the back of the basement, near the oil tank. If it hasn’t rotted or turned to dust by now.
On a year when “the boys” (our lively groups of crazed engineers) had available time, we had visual and sound effects. We came in costume, or some semblance thereof. When life was too busy to make costumes, we did the best we could with whatever came to hand, dressing in some version of Middle Earth-wear.
Then we celebrated. Drank to excess. Which wasn’t hard since I basically didn’t drink. We laughed, ate mushrooms (the favorite food of Hobbits). Some of us
me passed out and/or got sick me again.
Those were crazy busy years. Babies. Work. Establishing a profession. Partying hearty almost every night, then getting up and doing it again.
All of this took place in my twenties. As I rounded the corner to 30, I wanted out. There is such thing as too much fun.
I lived nine years in Israel, but never properly learned Hebrew. Maybe if I had studied Hebrew with the same determination I’d put into Elvish, it would have turned out differently.
So, for now, if anyone would like to join me in a revived celebration of the destruction of Sauron, I have the service somewhere. We’d have to cut down on the booze since we don’t drink anymore, but I’m pretty sure we could make the rest of it work for us. Because celebrating good over evil is bound to be a rewarding holiday.