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One of the most wondrous Creation myths (as opposed to the scriptural account) ever told is a little-known work by J.R.R. Tolkien (affectionately known as ‘Papa’ Tolkien at my house as two of my children have elvish names – he’s family).

Delightfully entitled “The Music of the Ainur“, it is a rich and majestic tale with grand King James English in the dialogue, and while not being an allegory (which he famously despised) it nonetheless reflects his Christian worldview and cosmology with breathtaking beauty.

Tolkien was an accomplished scholar of both myth and language, having a particular fondness for Norse Mythology.  A part of his purpose in creating Middle Earth was to provide the English with a mythology of their own.

As he observed English society becoming post-Christian, I believe he wanted to provide a North Star, something beautiful that would resonate in hearts;  and for those with ears to hear, perhaps draw them back toward the God their modern analytical minds had rejected.

 “When we lose our myths we lose our place in the universe.”
― Madeleine L’Engle

In traditional cultures, mythic stories are told often, with variations on the theme,  preferably near to the elements (around a fire, under the night sky)  and in community.  They have a grounding, foundational effect, helping to establish identity – who we are in relation to the world, our place within it: the big questions rationalism cannot provide answers to that satisfy the spirit.

So I am attempting to make this wonderful myth accessible as a told story.

I know.  My hubris is shocking.

It will of course be an adaptation.  I too cringed through Bree, Lothlorien etc. and the character assassinations of Theoden and Faramir at the hands of Peter Jackson, and I can hear you wincing.  But I believe I can capture the essence of this magnificent tale, and help it to do what Tolkein wanted it to – be a compass point for people who are flailing for direction.

Which, incidentally, is what Jesus’ stories did, too.

PS  What about legal issues?  Well, for now it will only be shared with my guild.  In storytelling you always cite the source if it’s not your original work, and  I will check with the professionals in the guild as to proper procedure when it’s ready.

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2 Responses to “To Mimic the Master”

  1. Inspiring, Quinn. I’m looking forward to more.