It does not do to leave a life dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him. The Hobbit
The colder weather outside has drastically improved the amount of reading I’ve enjoyed. I head down to the gym and the elliptical — with my book.
Sometimes it’s a real book, as in the book I’m just 40 pages into — Barbara Kingsolvers’s The Poisonwood Bible. I found this when looking around the flea market my friend just opened. Two bucks. Score. I’ve read other novels of hers but I’m thrilled I didn’t read this till now. If I read this years ago when it first came out and I only thought of reading as pleasure not of letting talent and skill wash over me, I would never have appreciated the staggering depth of her genius.
But sometimes its an eBook like the book I finished before my start of the tale told from the Congo. The Hobbit because of my longstanding rule of reading the book before seeing the movie. I have learned that the movie stops a third of the way through the novel but because of my doggedness (joke) and strength of the story, I chose to read the entire story and see what happened to old Bilbo.
Now this is not going to contain any spoilers, other than to reference what surely had been told in the first third of the movie.
Bilbo and the dwarves are headed to the Mountain to claim it again for Thorin’s line. But there is one teensy catch. Smaug now guards the treasure.
And he is not a dragon like Pete’s Dragon, Puff the Dragon or Barney. Okay. Barney was a dinosaur but you get the idea.
The one passage of the entire book that leapt off the page and said THAT’S YOU, you are a hobbit indeed, happened when Bilbo first crept down the smooth stone hallway in the dark, toward the center of the mountain.
As he traveled downward, alone in the dark — he started to feel warmth. He began to perceive a glow of red light. The vapor spread around him and he began to sweat. He heard a sound that Tolkien described as the purring of a gigantic tom-cat. When he reached the edge . . .
“It was at this point Bilbo stopped. Going on from there was the bravest thing he ever did. The tremendous things that happened afterwards were as nothing compared to it. He fought the real battle in the tunnel alone, before he ever saw the vast danger that lay in wait.” p. 214 (emphasis mine)
That is it.
To me, that is all of life. Whether it’s standing on the edge of the Promised Land looking at the giant inhabitants, standing in a tunnel wearing a NFL uniform before a Super Bowl or walking through the doorway of a restaurant to meet your child’s birthmother.
The battle is in the tunnel.
And then stepping out.
What do you think? What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
Linking up with The Frequent Flier Club Debi @Life on FunkiPlanet.