Everyone loves a quote. I used to jot them down in a journal – I’m increasingly nostalgic for the tangible tactile experience of taking pen to paper. If you walk down the aisles of hobby stores, you’ll often find quotes on canvas for wall decor. Sometimes they are simply funny and remind us of a conversation, a person, something that happened, and have us reliving it all over again. Maybe it’s the other side of the coin and the quote is so strong and poignant it throws us deeper into an existential crises we were already circling. They can be comforting and make us feel less alone in this vast existence void of explanation.
Ultimately, whatever mood they strike, whatever moment they find you in, and whatever the sentiment, quotes resonate with all of us. Just look at my last blog. All because of a quote. Now they are blazing across social media as memes. For exceedingly accurate uncensored humor I often find myself on instagram giggling through the postings of RebelCircusQuotes and TheFatJewish. The serious I find more from movies or novels, authors, historic figures, etc.
I have seen some challenges going around. There are the photograph ones, the pay it forward ones, there are a lot! I’m not making this a challenge for anyone but myself. My goal is to find a quote a day and associate a photograph of my own (ideally) with it. Again, ideally something that links to how I’m feeling, what I’m thinking of, topical, something of that ilk. But always something with power and resonance. Words have power.
We will start with the quote that I have long considered an all time great, one that resonates with me so deeply that I’ve had it permanently added to my being. I’ve been in love with Tolkien for as long as I can remember. And I’ve been traveling and wandering since before I could walk. Is it a wonder then, that I would begin with a letter from Gandalf to Frodo in the early stages of his journey with the One Ring?
- All that is gold does not glitter,
- Not all those who wander are lost;
- The old that is strong does not wither,
- Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
- From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
- A light from the shadows shall spring;
- Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
- The crownless again shall be king.
When I got my tattoo, I very intentionally wanted to keep the original semi-colon because of its use now for mental health awareness particularly in regards to self-harm, addiction, and suicide.
A friend I worked with once upon a time is a brilliant artist, so off I went. The script is in his own handwriting and I did it as I was starting to come out of one of the worst episodes of my depression I’ve ever had. It’s a quote that is with me every day and reminds me that I am not lost because I wander.