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Apr. 30th, 2005 @ 06:02 am Beauty
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
I remember, long ago, as childhood faded and I looked with fearful eyes upon the adult world, looking around me and fearing that I might one day cease to feel the wonder I felt then at the beauty of the world. That fear haunted me at strange hours, and would not be gone until I became full-grown in the reckoning of my people and found that my eyes were as easily dazzled, my heart as readily stirred. For the spirit craves beauty and lives by feasting on it.

Though there have been sorrows and partings, though I might be thought an exile, doubly an exile, because I left behind me all hope of love, I dwell in a rich garden of green and gold and the fertile brown earth and the ever-changing sea. Above it all rise the mountains, more beautiful than the greatest palace.

Last night, I played my harp on a rocky outcrop, casting the notes to the listening stars, or letting them fall to the ground like raindrops, tempting the soil to thirst, but not quite satisfying it. Only the rain can quench the thirst of the earth and only beauty can sate the hunger of an elven soul. All else only sharpens it. I do not speak now of the beauty of our own works, for such beauty, like my music, is weak and worth little. With our eyes, we see perfection, but our hands cannot copy it. At best, we can say, "This is very like a tree." Could I but make a tree ... Now that would be a feat worth the boasting.

No, the beauty we need is made by finer fingers than ours, envisioned by more lofty spirits, sung into the world by choirs we cannot accompany, but only follow, calling our music music, when we know that true music is forever beyond us.

If you would know of the Noldor, you need know only one thing. We reach for what we cannot hope to hold. Though beauty and music are beyond our grasp, yet we try to touch them. Our lives are spent straining after splendours and we are never satisfied. Our faults, our virtues, all are born from that unquenchable longing. If we were allowed to create perfection for one hour ...

Then we would die, having no reason left to live, for we are driven by this as by nothing else. We seem proud, but it is the pride of one who can see beyond his own ability and hopes one day to find his way to that which he sees. We seem obsessive, and we are, but we have seen wonders and we have walked in the gardens of the Valar.

The eyes do not tire of beauty, the soul does not cease to seek it, but sometimes we lose hope. Then, let all the world do as it will, we cease to be who we are. The children of the One cannot help but be children of beauty, and the beauty of Beleriand is my soul's sustenance.
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