The Best Line I’ve read this week…

Before each morning has become too cluttered I take a red pen, preferably a red fountain pen, and copy a quotation into the top of a fresh double page in a journal. I look for insight wherever I read, and the chosen thought becomes a meditation of sorts for the day ahead. On a good day I will find a moment now and then to continue evolving my thoughts; and at day’s end, often heading towards midnight, I complete my account of the day past.

Whether because of writer’s block or existential anxiety, Sunday by Sunday I have little to pen for Rejoice!. Instead, now and then, I might share my journalling week’s Best Line.  Beginning with:

“It is not madness, lady”, he answered,
“for I go on a path appointed”.

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

So speaks Aragorn, Heir to the throne of Gondor, to the lady Éowin, niece of the King of Rohan, on his resolve to pass through the Paths of the Dead. Lord of the Ring readers alone will know, or care, what all that means.  But it is a marvellous book, filled with all manner of deeply considered thought.

To me this line is full of resonance. I wonder what replaces the sense of calling in the life of an atheist? It is not at all unique to Christian thought that there is a purpose to life; a purpose that is in some way marked out, appointed, destined. I find it inescapable: eventually through all life’s ups and downs I return to a profoundly settled sense that I am where I am meant to be.  In that light the decisions I reach and the path I walk feel complete.

Rejoice!

 

Have you a good line I can borrow?


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Rejoice! from 2009

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