Sometimes I Really Am An Ent
March 16th, 2010 by Sonja

As regular readers of this blog may be aware, I love the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Loved the books and loved the movies.  I still read the books from time to time.  And watch the movies over and over again.  But I guess I don’t need to tell any of you that.

One of my very favorite scenes in either books or movies is the scene between Merry, Pippin and Treebeard where the hobbits are trying their very best to convince the ent that the ents must join with the forces of men, elves, hobbits and dwarves against the orcs in this epic battle.  It takes them quite a bit of convincing just to get Treebeard to move.  But he finally decides that meeting would be a good idea and off he went for an interminably long meeting.  He came back to make a report after days … literally, days … of talking.  His report?  “Weeeeee haaave decided.  Yoooouuuuu aaaarrrrrreeee noooooot Orcs.”

The look of dismay, mixed with disgust, need and something else on Merry and Pippin’s faces was priceless.  I love that moment.  It is such an amazing clash of cultures and paradigms.  Each learning how to interact with the other.

Yesterday morning, I was brushing my teeth, washing my face, getting dressed and mulling over some long standing issues in my life.  By long standing, I mean they’ve been sitting out there for about three or four years.  So I mulled and thought and came to some resolution about how I wanted to moved.  I finished up, went downstairs and said to LightHusband, “I’ve made a decision.”  He looked at me with a grin, “What?  I’m not an orc?”  I laughed and replied, “Well, I’ve known you’re not an orc for 20 years now.  But I’ve decided that there are some people who are orcs to me.  Or at least I need to treat them that way … sort of.  For me to be healthy.”  He arched a brow and said, “You mean I got it right?  You really are an ent?”  “Yes, I really am an ent.”

I went on make the following explanation.  Well.  My explanation to him was similar.  But not the same.

I’ve spent the last three years playing the part of Lot’s wife.  Sometimes I wonder about that story.  I remember reading about it in some popular literature when I was younger.  There was speculation that the weapon of destruction for Sodom was a nuclear bomb and Lot’s wife died of radiation.  But I think she was turned to stone from grief.  Grief can stop us in our tracks and turn us to stone and the operative action that causes it is “turning back.”  Lot’s wife turned back, and her tears turned her into a pillar of salt.  That has been my reality for far too long now.

I have allowed myself to look back and pine for what was, what can never be and what I wish for.  I doubt they ever will be and my wishing my life away is not healthy for me or anyone else involved.  So my quilts will be for those who I am in active contact with at this time.  That means people I see and talk to on the telephone … who know what is going on in my life beyond Facebook and Twitter statuses (stati?).  To those of you reading this who have gone down that road (and you know who you are), choosing to believe your church leaders about us and thinking you might still love us is no longer possible.  It is time to stop looking back.

Those of you who would like to remain in relationship with us, you will need to be able to talk with us openly about that horrible time in our lives and hear our pain without denying it or taking it away from us.  It is a wound that continues to bleed and tear at our souls.  You will need to be unafraid of picking up the phone and calling us or writing us an old-fashioned e-mail now and then.  More now than then.  In short, you will have to desire a relationship with us that requires something of you.  So … I am going to un-Friend you on Facebook and Twitter.  And sever those tenuous ties with you.  I need to move forward.  I need to release myself from the grip that era has on my mind and my soul.

Because sometimes … people who are not orcs, really do have an orc-like effect on others.  And then they need to be kept at a distance if one is to remain healthy and on the road to happy without “looking back” and turning into a pillar of salt.

5 Responses  
  • Adam Gonnerman writes:
    March 16th, 20102:57 pmat

    Very nice post.

    I wasn’t in any way involved with what happened with you a few years ago, but I can relate. The pain of other people’s denial or unwillingness to accept the wrong that was done is at times worse than the original offenses.

    The hardest part for me isn’t looking back at what could have been, but imagining what may never be now. Sometimes, in my most melodramatic moments of internal dialogue, I wish I had “my life back.” This typically happens when I hear good news from missionaries in Brazil. It borders on envy, and so needs to be taken with care.

    In any event, I hear you.

  • Becky F. writes:
    March 16th, 20103:13 pmat

    Just as a writer, I wanted to say I loved how everything tied together in this post. I have a headache and even still, I understood all the complexities of the relations. I don’t know if you write anything other than just for yourself and for informal blogs and such, but I think you are a fantastic writer. Let me know if you do any other writings (and if you would share).



  • Peggy writes:
    March 16th, 20104:24 pmat

    Dearest Entwife ;^)

    Being mostly Hobbit myself, I understand your plight. As so many came to realize, things that come to pass cannot be undone … and some wounds do not wholly heal (so, Frodo). But as Arwen gave Frodo her jewel, so Papa gives us Sarayu and Sophia and brothers and sisters who can comfort us when the dark memories rise up and blind us with pain and grief.

    Other of us find that the path we have chosen, like Arwen, is but the first of many sunderings. And yet we walk the path because it is the right thing to do … just as Luthien did before Arwen. Each path has its own rewards.

    The path that we walk is one which Jesus walked … and though it took a very harsh (understatement?!) turn, Papa made it all glorious. Actually, it’s a dance, I’ve heard!

    I hope that, turning your back on orcs and the likes of Sauruman and Sauron, you will begin your journey back to finding the Ents.

    They’ve missed you … and we Hobbits have promised Treebeard that we’d keep an eye out for them….

    Perhaps you need a compass? I think it is quite entish to believe walking downhill is going south. Just a thought….

    Love you.

  • Maria writes:
    March 16th, 20104:49 pmat

    Sounds like a very healthy move on your part. Your image of the ents deliberating long and slow only to come to a decision that seems obvious to everyone else around resonates with my experience of grief, too. I’ve been stuck for a good long while in a rather similar way… thanks for the nudge in the direction of moving forward.

  • Erin writes:
    March 16th, 20105:32 pmat

    I so understand Sonja. Sounds very healthy to me at this point, but I also know too well why it’s so hard to come to that conclusion…been there.

    I love the ents, by the way. They are amazing in their wisdom!

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