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The road goes ever on

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Oct. 21st, 2015 | 11:59 pm

"He used often to say there was only one Road; that it was like a great river: its springs were at every doorstep, and every path was its tributary. 'It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door,' he used to say. 'You step onto the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.'"

— J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings


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Comments {3}

Transitioning into liminal space

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from: stormdog
date: Oct. 21st, 2015 11:18 pm (UTC)

That quote makes me want to read the book again, even though it isn't all travels and wanderlust.

Perhaps moreso, it makes me want to go somewhere new.

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from: moth_wingthane
date: Oct. 26th, 2015 11:30 am (UTC)

I think I'm getting too used to Facebook - I was looking for the like button for your comment :)

And agreed, it makes me feel the same. Great quote Schnee!

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from: schnee
date: Oct. 26th, 2015 11:55 am (UTC)

Thanks! I obviously can't take credit for it, but it's a quote I like a lot. No matter how stuck, even trapped we may feel in life, it's worth remembering that we can get anywhere in the world if we just take to the road, and that's true literally and figuratively. The world is our oyster.

Sometimes I wonder if modern travel hasn't separated us too much from the experience of actual travel, too. I'm vaguely reminded of how timberwoof once described the BG TP pads as "architectural powerplay" when he replaced them with elevators; I can see where he's coming from there, and in a way air travel, rail travel etc. is viatorial powerplay.

Don't get me wrong, it's great to get on a bus to the airport in the morning, and fall into bed in a hotel on the other side of the world in the evening, without having to spend weeks on the road, or months on the sea. If you merely want to get somewhere, do your thing and leave again, it's great. But there is something to be said for travelling, too, where the journey itself is important rather than the destination.

Of course this still exists; people go on round trips, they rent cars or go on guided bus trips. (That said I also think most people who do that still focus on the destination; it's just that they set a new destination each day.)

And destinations are important, no doubt (I really think that e.g. the Grand Tour should be revived; people would greatly benefit from seeing the world and different cultures as part of their passage into adulthood), but still, I like Bilbo's carefree attitude. Just set off, without knowing where you'll end up, or when, or what you will do when you're there. So long as you know you've got a home you can return to, and that there will be friendly people to meet along the way... what's not to love?

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