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Discussing: river of fallen stars

river of fallen stars

I am begining to think I should have chosen the pen-name Anduin.

This is for Shadow
who said she could not bear that the boys didn't get one more meeting

And Starlight, who gave me Faramir's grandfather

And Chris, who Beta's best - and who told me - "just write where yourt heart is captive."

With thanks to Altariel who told me the father would keep his word; and told me to tie my pictures together and let go.

 

 

Re: river of fallen stars

It's beautiful. If the Anduin does something wonderful for you, we are fortunate to read it.

I was particularly taken with the way you handled Pippin and what he had done... "I could not bear to lose you both." Pippin is so often shown as a merry child, it is a pleasure to see you do justice to the brave young adult.

Not that I thought you would do less.

Lyllyn

 

 

Re: river of fallen stars

I am begining to think I should have chosen the pen-name Anduin.
I think I will never again read about the Anduin or Osgiliath without remembering you, actually. This was very beautiful and so incredibly perceptive. I see (rather, I read) such insights into both minds, and the symbolism behind it all! When you described Osgiliath's dome, I thought I might weep (like Faramir) at what has been lost! (And, because I have always *loved* planetariums, and I imagined myself in one... it was just a beautiful image and lots of memories to me... yeah, I have a weakness for stars ) To see the constellations in my mind's eye, and just to experience what Faramir felt when he heard the stories was like a gift.

Your portrayal of Pippin was amazing. As Lyllyn points out, it is nice to see him as a mature adult, and to capture that perceptive side of his nature is not an easy thing to do. As "big folk" we tend to see hobbits in a different light, and too often forget that they are people just as we are, only smaller. Tolkien tells us that Pippin liked Boromir from the start, and we see that here. He gives Faramir such a poignant answer to the question, and I think it is an answer that brings Faramir much relief and pleasure at hearing his brother so highly spoken of by one such individual as Pippin.

I also love that your Faramir sketches! (as does Rachel's) I just thought it would be fun to draw Faramir and Boromir by the river-side at Osgiliath, but I think I would not dare portray such a solemn event.

Thanks very much, Tay. I have no words to tell you how much I loved this. Thanks very much!

 

 

Re: river of fallen stars

Tay, this is beautiful! I love the name; it’s very apt and very evocative. And I seeing Faramir as the Raven of . It's so nice!
Describing the remains of Osgiliath as a ‘wound on the river’ was just so poignant. You brought the ruins to life for me with your descriptions.
these two brave men who until very recently were used to being thought of as youngest and most unprepared.
Lovely parallel. I agree with Lyllyn and Starlight, Pippin’s portrayal was perfect. I loved his lines. And the teeny little thought of not making a hobbit wait for his food

The last paragraph is just perfect, very fitting, that the swordsman reaches out to grip the archer.

I also love that your Faramir sketches!
Me too, me too!

I am begining to think I should have chosen the pen-name Anduin.
Well, I hope the river makes up many new stories then!



 

 

Re: river of fallen stars

Tay, this is beautiful! I love the name; it’s very apt and very evocative. And I seeing Faramir as the Raven of . It's so nice!
Describing the remains of Osgiliath as a ‘wound on the river’ was just so poignant. You brought the ruins to life for me with your descriptions.
these two brave men who until very recently were used to being thought of as youngest and most unprepared.
Lovely parallel. I agree with Lyllyn and Starlight, Pippin’s portrayal was perfect. I loved his lines. And the teeny little thought of not making a hobbit wait for his food

The last paragraph is just perfect, very fitting, that the swordsman reaches out to grip the archer.

I also love that your Faramir sketches!
Me too, me too!

I am begining to think I should have chosen the pen-name Anduin.
Well, I hope the river makes up many new stories then!

 

 

Re: river of fallen stars

Illuminated by the glow, the swordsman lay transfigured below the water as he had now for years uncounted. Still he guarded, still he endured, as he reached back with longing to grasp the archer’s hand.

Oh Tay, you have me in tears.

 

 

Re: river of fallen stars

Tay,

You changed the last line!

One of Pippin’s most endearing traits, for me, is his resilience. The sharing of the Hobbit philosophy of making new stories out of the old… is so perfect. And I love that Boromir and Faramir are now one of the new stories.

I have to say, this one took me back to Toronto… standing in Osgiliath’s rubble. My heart was shattered. This story is so healing, thank you.

 

 

Re: river of fallen stars

Lyllyn

I was particularly taken with the way you handled Pippin and what he had done...

I am delighted to hear this! Hobbits are hard for me – I am not sure why, because I adore both Merry and Pippin. (Though I seem to be in a rather small group that doesn’t think of them together – I love Merry for his scholarly nature and his quick wits, his attention to detail and his perseverance. I love Pip for his irrepressible nature, his willingness to try, his enormous visible love and his unbelievable resilience.) I am beginning to think the reason I don’t get into hobbits is that they are so often portrayed as children or complete innocents. I think Pip and Faramir have a lot of subtly mentioned things in common, which I tried to begin hinting at here - and I certainly don’t think of them as kids! But even though I was still knee deep in Anduin, and still holding on to the boys, writing for Pippin’s voice was a first small step away from what I had done before. I guess I should not be surprised – I see him as a catalyst anyway!

Starlight

Every time we exchange mail – you always tell me – write that! It is enormously encouraging!

I had been thinking about the constellations challenge, but I just wasn’t getting those early lessons to come through. When you wrote I thought – ok, he learned them as a kid. Where else would I have a chance to show him use them?

I guess you were not surprised to find me in the citadel of the stars. I seem to be completely captured by Osgiliath, and I still feel so many things that stem from that place. I expect to be camped out there for awhile yet. Ideally, I would like to write a sort of Spoon River Anthology of Anduin.

I am glad that you liked the images of the planetarium. In my own head, I got to see not only the ruins but the dome when it stood whole, and the dome as it is in Faramir’s dreams. So, I guess I will end up there again before I am done. In my head, when Faramir sees the broken mosaics, he always hears Adrahil’s voice – it is a strong and calming memory for him, and that image came into my story line as a gift from you.

Tolkien tells us that Pippin liked Boromir from the start, and we see that here. He gives Faramir such a poignant answer to the question, and I think it is an answer that brings Faramir much relief and pleasure at hearing his brother so highly spoken of…

I never lose that image of Pippin and Boromir – The Blade’s death is so traumatic for me, and except for the boat funeral, it takes a long time in the text to get to a moment when I really feel that someone in the fellowship misses him. It is a huge relief to me, and I cannot imagine it is does not become a bond between Pip and Faramir as they bond. Though I think they have many things that bind them in the end…

I also love that your Faramir sketches! (as does Rachel's) I just thought it would be fun to draw Faramir and Boromir by the river-side at Osgiliath, but I think I would not dare portray such a solemn event.

Yes, in my mind he always sketches, (as I think I mentioned when I commented on Rachel’s story.) Though I never thought of charcoal, which makes a lot of sense and lets it become a more portable skill.

I would love to see you draw the boys by the river – at any point in their lives. Though it would probably unleash a very sharp toothed little nuzgul if you pick one I have not already done. I am hoping to get Jim to draw the swordsman and the archer as they lie in the river– but I want him to finish some of his sketches for the “snapshot” challenge first.

Thanks very much, Tay. I have no words to tell you how much I loved this.

Ah, but on the one hand - you do have words! And on the other hand, you do not need them here. I am glad you weren’t disappointed that I didn’t write about the constellations lessons. Maybe I will yet, if you get Adrahil’s round robin going…

Acacea

I love the name; it’s very apt and very evocative.

Since I have been in the Anduin, I have had two musical phrases stuck in my head, and I know they both refer to Osgiliath for me –

This is the first one. River of Fallen Stars seemed so obvious for the place where we knew an observatory/planetarium had fallen into the river. We also know Osgiliath, though it was made of stone, is described as burning when it fell – and of course, we only can see falling stars on earth because they are burning as they fall. And River of Fallen Stars happens to be the name of the first album by Pete and Maura Kennedy – two of the nicest people and finest musicians I have ever had the privilege of working with. And in case you are wondering, the other phrase is from Paul Simon and it is - peace like a river ran through the city


seeing Faramir as the Raven…

I have seen the brothers as The Blade of Gondor and The Raven of Ithilien for a long time. I was a little frightened of exposing those names – but they seem to be striking a chord with a number of people.

Describing the remains of Osgiliath as a ‘wound on the river’ was just so poignant. You brought the ruins to life for me with your descriptions.


I think the loss of their company in the rout of Osgiliath was a wound to both brothers, and that Faramir will carry it for quite awhile. And I needed the open wound image to contrast with Faramir’s acceptance of the process of scarring later on with Pip.

It is a strange turn of a phrase, bringing the ruins to life – but it is also what happens to me in that place.

these two brave men who until very recently were used to being thought of as youngest and most unprepared.
Lovely parallel. I agree with Lyllyn and Starlight, Pippin’s portrayal was perfect. I loved his lines. And the teeny little thought of not making a hobbit wait for his food


Thanks for seeing this. It is one of many things I think they will find they have in common. I was proud of Pippin for not asking Faramir to stop sooner so they could eat, but I could not find a way to work it into the flow of the story.

The last paragraph is just perfect, very fitting, that the swordsman reaches out to grip the archer. - and –

Altariel

Illuminated by the glow, the swordsman lay transfigured below the water as he had now for years uncounted. Still he guarded, still he endured, as he reached back with longing to grasp the archer’s hand.

Oh Tay, you have me in tears.



It’s a difficult concept for me, to think of thanking you for letting me make you cry – and yet, a very sacred combination, somehow, tears and thanks.

It’s all about the Symbols and the Myths for me… sigh. I am always afraid I will pull a story suddenly in another direction when I can’t resist leaving them lying about, especially out in plain sight.

It thrills me to think about our words, winging around the planet on the electronic Anduin, and what we can give each other.

I have to admit, this story is so new it still makes me cry when I read that last bit. So it is comforting indeed to know the words are working, and that if I moved Altariel to tears last night, she did the same to me with her story the permanent stars. (Imagine, three Wilfred Owen fans, right here in this one little forum!) In the same poem Altariel took her title from are these lines: Voices of boys were by the river-side.Sleep mothered them; and left the twilight sad. Now he has made us all cry!


Chris

You changed the last line!

Um….. well, yeah, I did.

Not because you are the best Beta ever (though you are) and not just because you know my written voice so well you can tell what I meant to say when I didn’t say it – but because, damn it, you were right.

After I hung up the phone I said the line aloud about ten times, trying to prove to myself that it sounded better the way it was. But, it didn’t say the right thing in the right way. It was sound over substance. I changed it, and it made me cry. Thanks!

Now that I have changed the phrasing, though – how does it read? I was afraid when I changed the third “still” to “as” that I should have made it read as he reached back with longing to grasp FOR the archer’s hand.


One of Pippin’s most endearing traits, for me, is his resilience. The sharing of the Hobbit philosophy of making new stories out of the old… is so perfect. And I love that Boromir and Faramir are now one of the new stories.

I also love his resilience, and the fact that he and Faramir share so much lets Pippin become a symbol of hope for me in Faramir’s own resilience. The reshaping of stories is one of the reasons I put this in the “adjustments” challenge – it speaks to me of how adaptable life can be. Anduin moves the pieces and Pip speaks about how he would just make a new story – but to me, it is Faramir actually making a new story when he finds the Archer’s family gone and he says- they must be here somewhere because they would not leave him. (And how resilient is that, for someone who could easily have tried to put the focus on the fact that his family had left him.)

I know it wasn’t subtle to shove the masonry about till I got the images I wanted – together, but with the swordsman under the sacred water, and the archer willing to take on the stars – but I am mighty Anduin now, and I will shove till I am done! Ha! I am glad you like the Brothers becoming part of the new mythology.


I have to say, this one took me back to Toronto… standing in Osgiliath’s rubble. My heart was shattered. This story is so healing, thank you.

I am, with Altariel’s encouragement, making a little webpage with the sketches from Toronto. But I didn’t get it done over the weekend as I hoped, because I started to make some notes on the page, and I was gobsmacked as soon as I started to try and describe what it was like to have been standing in the cave at Henneth Annûn, looking out through the water, and then walking through that tunnel of broken masonry with the little gleam of stars above us, and emerging into the ruins of Osgiliath. (and that’s even without finding Faramir’s leathers there!)

The smell of water was so thick in that room, coming from the waterfall behind us and the dead marshes display so close by, with those beautiful drowned faces we had just been looking at. And then Osgiliath – broken, beautiful Osgiliath. And I just started to cry. Because I was there. Where my heart has been for so long. And you were there. And because you knew.

When I write about the city, I remember how every smallest piece of stone we saw had been touched or carved or embossed with an ancient love of the work and the place. When I write about her, I want to give that.

Thanks for feeling that the healing will come through. And thanks for telling me this was not the same story I had written, and that I should write it.

And thank you for telling me it’s alright to stay in Osgiliath until Osgiliath lets me go.

 

 

Re: river of fallen stars

Hello Tay

I’ve just read this story and looked at people’s comments. I feel I don’t have much to add to what has already been said.

Pippin is one of my favourite characters and I can only say thank you for giving him some of the gravitas he deserves. I love stories that have hobbits and Men interacting and this was wonderfully done and just perfect for the Alterations Challenge. (I’ve often thought there is an interesting political parallel between the two of them, Pippin being the heir to the Thain. Hobbits are so adaptable, as you say, while managing to keep a hold on the important things. – ‘Right the King’s not come back so we’ll just have to make do and carry on with a Thain of our own.’)

Anyway it was magical and moving – and also had me reaching for the tissues at the end.

 

 

Re: river of fallen stars

I guess you were not surprised to find me in the citadel of the stars. I seem to be completely captured by Osgiliath, and I still feel so many things that stem from that place. I expect to be camped out there for awhile yet. Ideally, I would like to write a sort of Spoon River Anthology of Anduin.
That would be just wonderful! So many things remain to be said about that place, and you have the magic it takes to get it done This piece was so incredibly evocative... I love your explanations about The Blade and The Raven, and I can't stop wondering how did they get those names. It would be a beautiful story title (do you see the nuzgul lurking about?) The archer and the swordsman, Pippin's stories... everything has a deeper meaning and fits so perfectly into place! And, one thing I particularly loved, was that bit when Faramir says that the family must be about somewhere.When I read, I knew that meant something more, and yet had not been able to make it a conscious thought; so, when you put it into words in your explanation above, the whole thing took on a completely new meaning. How wonderful that Faramir is learning to accept, understand, and adjust! And yet, it is a sad image... I loved it.

I realize how hard it must have been to get the hobbit's voice, but I think you succeeded. You have done other hobbit before -Fastred- which was equally wonderful. I am glad that you were able to experiment with the hobbits and do something that you had not done before, because that broadens one's horizon in such a way! And, you said that you wanted to try new things. I am glad you have, Tay. And, I am also glad that we get to see the results

Every time we exchange mail – you always tell me – write that! It is enormously encouraging!
Oh, thank you! I am very, very glad that I have been able to encourage you to go on and try. Please, keep going. You have so much to say!

Ah, but on the one hand - you do have words! And on the other hand, you do not need them here. I am glad you weren’t disappointed that I didn’t write about the constellations lessons. Maybe I will yet, if you get Adrahil’s round robin going…
*blushes* Thanks! In fact, I have a little something for you...

Is the round robin something you would like to try? If you all think it is a good idea we could set something up.

Keep writing such beautiful things!


 

 

Re: river of fallen stars

It thrills me to think about our words, winging around the planet on the electronic Anduin, and what we can give each other.

I love that idea too.


(Imagine, three Wilfred Owen fans, right here in this one little forum!)

I suspect there might be quite a few of us - I see you've read Captain Tinkerbell, but have you also read Ithilwen's story Chance's Strange Arithmetic?

 

 

Re: river of fallen stars

Starlight:

Is the round robin something you would like to try? If you all think it is a good idea we could set something up.

I'd be very willing to take part.

 

 

Re: river of fallen stars

Oh! I didn't even see this 'till today. This is beautiful. I was doing fine, though, until the end. Those final two lines are just making me weep. Wow. I love this. What a wonderful story. Thank you, thank you for writing it. Love this. Love love love. Breathless.

 

 

Re: river of fallen stars

Is the round robin something you would like to try? If you all think it is a good idea we could set something up

Oh, I should not say this aloud, lest I give myself performance anxiety - but I am not only willing to play, I even have (*gasp*) an idea!


I read Captain Tinkerbell in review. Then I read it again. Then I called Chris and told her to read it. Then I read it aloud to Jim. My gods, what a visceral experience it is. And mythic. And everything I hope to learn to do...

I have been wondering about chance's strange arithmetic if you can mention in in the same sentence as Captain Tinkerbell, I will read it tonight. Thanks!

 

 

Re: river of fallen stars

Shadow

I am so pleased you liked it. I know it was a very sneaky way to bring the boys back together, but at this stage I seem to be willing to do whatever it takes to keep them both in a story. And I hoped it might make you glad to know that I had found a way to keep them together.

 

 

Re: river of fallen stars

Is the round robin something you would like to try? If you all think it is a good idea we could set something up.

Altariel: I'd be very willing to take part.

Tay: Oh, I should not say this aloud, lest I give myself performance anxiety - but I am not only willing to play, I even have (*gasp*) an idea!


Great! If only for the sake of getting you two to write the stories, I think it would be definitely worth it to go ahead

How do we go about this, then? I guess we could set up a forum or something, to gather our thoughts and ideas. Any other volunteers? Come on, guys, it would be most fun!






 

 

Re: river of fallen stars

How do we go about this, then? I guess we could set up a forum or something, to gather our thoughts and ideas. Any other volunteers? Come on, guys, it would be most fun!

Ooh yes! Sounds good fun!

 

 

Re: river of fallen stars

Tay,
you did it with 'Breathe' and you did it to me again. Thank goodness my husband went outside so I wouldn't have blame my sniffling on my allergies.
Pippin, he has always seemed to be the lighthearted sort who can be sober when necessary but would rather not. It was nice to see his deep side. It just about broke my heart when he told Faramir he couldn't bear to lose them both. Site of the biggest sniff.
I enjoyed their talk about the stars, it is something all people have in common, the constellations overhead, regardless of what different people call them. I will confess to calling the evening star Earendil when I see it, but you didn't hear that from me.
Now that I'm wandering away from what I was trying to say let me put my train of thought back on the right track. It was sheer pleasure reading and thank you for the sniffles. I'll take more of them if you have them.

Anoriath

 

 

Re: river of fallen stars

Lovely! My favourite lines were:

“Well, he did have them… they must still be around here somewhere. They wouldn’t just leave him.”


For me that is about both Faramir's acceptance of his loss and the strong bonds I always see in his family. He knows that they wouldn't just leave him because - IMO - he grew up with a brother whose love he could utterly depend on and a father he was tightly bound to by ties of loyalty, at least. (Well, that's today's theory anyway ;-) I reserve the right to have a Denethor theory a day )

these two brave men who until very recently were used to being thought of as youngest and most unprepared.

Such a lovely line - a story packed into a handful or words. It's a nuzgul on its own.

Avon

 

 

Re: river of fallen stars

Anoriath-

It was nice to see his deep side. It just about broke my heart when he told Faramir he couldn't bear to lose them both. Site of the biggest sniff.

I like Pippin’s great heart, and he and Faramir have, in my mind, a lot of common ground to plant a friendship in. It breaks my heart there, too, and Pip is obviously stronger than I, because he manages to say it calmly and without tearing up. But I think my secret, biggest sniff is Faramir’s quiet question – “What ever possessed you to do it?”

I have a long, complicated theory about the mythology of the dioscouri, and so to me, Eomer is the Morning star and Faramir is the evening star. So far only Chris and starlight have been subjected to this little bit of rambling... unless anyone from the inklings is here

You will have to follow us as we write our constellation stories, too, unless we can persuade you to join us…. Have you checked out Starlight’s forum on that?


Avon:

For me that is about both Faramir's acceptance of his loss and the strong bonds I always see in his family. He knows that they wouldn't just leave him because - IMO - he grew up with a brother whose love he could utterly depend on and a father he was tightly bound to by ties of loyalty, at least. (Well, that's today's theory anyway ;-) I reserve the right to have a Denethor theory a day)

Me too. I have more to say about that, if the words come. And I really want to sign up for Denethor of the Day , flaming heart logo and all.

these two brave men who until very recently were used to being thought of as youngest and most unprepared.

Such a lovely line - a story packed into a handful or words. It's a nuzgul on its own


Thanks again. I am pleased to see my tumbled thoughts reaching through. It is certainly a nuzgul for me, and may take shape around Pippin naming his baby Faramir.

 

 

Re: river of fallen stars

I have a long, complicated theory about the mythology of the dioscouri, and so to me, Eomer is the Morning star and Faramir is the evening star. So far only Chris and starlight have been subjected to this little bit of rambling... unless anyone from the inklings is here
Oh, and is it worth it!

You will have to follow us as we write our constellation stories, too, unless we can persuade you to join us…. Have you checked out Starlight’s forum on that?
It would be great if you could join us, Anoriath! Lots of Faramir goodness, and much fun with the stars and our astronomy/mythology/science, make it as different and unique as you want it to be.

Thanks again. I am pleased to see my tumbled thoughts reaching through. It is certainly a nuzgul for me, and may take shape around Pippin naming his baby Faramir.
That thought has always been around my head, as well. And, it brings to mind one paragraph in, I think, The Siege of Gondor (or one of those chapters around that one) when Faramir returns to Minas Tirith, and Pippin sees him for the first time. I remember he said that he reminded me of Aragorn, but so much more approachable; same nobility, but, less remoteness... Pippin was impressed with him from the start; and, if we considered that he later helped save Faramir's life, we can see the developing of a strong bond.

I am glad you chose to portray that relationship, Tay. And, hopefully that nuzgul will grow...

And, I'm definitely signing up for the Denethor of the Day!


 

 

Re: river of fallen stars

I have a long, complicated theory about the mythology of the dioscouri, and so to me, Eomer is the Morning star and Faramir is the evening star.

*big, brown puppy dog eyes of pleading*

 

 

Re: river of fallen stars

I have a long, complicated theory about the mythology of the dioscouri, and so to me, Eomer is the Morning star and Faramir is the evening star. So far only Chris and starlight have been subjected to this little bit of rambling... unless anyone from the inklings is here

Oh, I'm here, Tay, haven't gone anywhere. I remember that one, about the opposite twin gods! I didn't think it was rambling. You had some fanastic ideas about how Faramir looks to the West and Eomer is Eastern and how it all came together. And then something about how Aragorn was the sun god. As you can see, I could use a refresher lesson. In any case, it was some of those ideas that really started me thinking about the power of mythology, changed the way I read Tolkien. And my roommates wonder why I became so obsessed.

Tay, I haven't had a chance to review your stories recently, but they have been fantastic. I especially love this one with the endearing friendship between Pippin and Faramir so beautifully crafted. And I felt such sadness for this poor city that had been destroyed and how much beauty still remained. Thank you!

Julia

 

 

Re: river of fallen stars

It was nice seeing Pippin interacting with Faramir. The two just seemed to fit so well together. And Pippin's comment "I could not bear to lose both of you," was it? I may have messed it up, but it was fantastic. It gives you a side of Pippin that's not seen very often.

 

 

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