Nîn Meleth

Haarland —

I have found myself unable to write lately. But… It has been hard to find the words for what is on my mind.  I will try. I wish to express how wonderful it was to see you recently in Rivendell.    The sweeping beauty of Imladris brings joy to my heart. But it would have been less so had I not been able to be with you.

You spoke of my lack of need of your protection, and seemed dismayed that I’d become “so dangerous” in my absence…  Please do not worry that you no longer need protect me from bears, or goblins. Please do not fear that I have become dangerous with my bow and spear.  I never asked to be part of this…

I am the same Valaraen you found wandering through Ered Luin, hair shorn and causing mischief in The Shire. You once laid next to me in the grass watching the infinite stars atop Amon Sûl. We sat on the bank of Nenuial (Lake Evendim) together watching the sunset paint the clouds and water.  I realised that you are so special to me.  It tore me apart to leave.

The only protection I beg of you now of you is this: While I am with you, I feel protected from the chaos and the fear that weighs upon my soul daily.  The horror and senselessness of war and conflict.While I am with you, I feel content and warm, and light…  Please… Protect me from the outside world.  I need it more than anything.  I need you.

And… I… l leave with you my heart, when I go, nîn meleth.  Protect that, as well.

Le mellon,


(Valaraen)
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4 Responses to Nîn Meleth

  1. Haarland says:

    Dearest Valaraen,

    I am speechless. Once I entertained the conceit that I was your mentor. (Me, a 34-year-old man, a mentor to an elf of more than one thousand years!) Since I knew how to kill and skin a boar, and you didn’t, I reveled in the opportunity to guide you. Before long, though, we were peers, contesting the brigands and sallow ruffians troubling Bree. I was quite content to beat back the goblins and half-orcs from Chetwood, occasionally venturing to Treslebridge to lend our assistance…

    When you surpassed me, I was pleased. (Who could not be pleased to be party to the growth of so impressive a creature as yourself?) When you left… I tried to grow beyond my previous limitations as well… But things went so very very differently for us.

    While you thrived, I stagnated. While you grew, I descended. While you joined the great causes of our times, I ended up drunk, beaten, and tied up in the cellar of a thatched, reeking ale-house. When you finally rescued me, I realized that I was on the wrong path. When you pulled me from the floor and cut my bonds, I looked up into the face of a person who had grown far beyond me.

    I did not know what to do.

    In a sort of symmetry in our friendship, you brought me to a place where I could recover and learn. In Rivendell I felt reborn and cleansed. Where I had failed as a fighter/mercenary/adventurer, I began to succeed as a man, through simple, quiet work and service. Luckily for me, the elves of Rivendell actually don’t like to clean stables! (I can’t imagine why not… I love horses!)

    As my rebirth and growth quietly took place, you were surpassing all my mortal knowledge and comprehension. Regarding some of the battles you have fought, and some of the places you have gone, all I can say is that I am glad I have not been tested as you have been. I would surely fail.

    Now you are one of the luminaries of our age, while I am a quiet stable-hand in Rivendell. To even receive word from you still is an unexpected honor, and I thank you. Recently I was asking myself: Why? Why do you continue to devote your time and attention to me when I have so clearly detoured off the road we used to travel together? I now have your answer.

    If I can be a sanctuary, respite, or even comic relief to you, then my purpose in this world is clear. I will serve those greater than myself and hope in this way to indirectly contribute to the great battles of our time. When you can visit, my heart will be glad. When not, my heart will be with you.

    I love thee.

    • Haarland —

      Your letter has left my heart swollen with joy – I am barely able to concentrate right now and I think if Thalya rolls her eyes at me again she may hurt them. Indeed, you have your answers.

      I will forever regret the night I left. I sat by the torches outside of Bree, silently hoping you would come tell me to come back in and stop being crazy, outside in the middle of the night… But Thalya arrived to collect me and I was gone.

      But the world is a complicated place, and led me back to you, time and again. I had help or skills that were necessary. And… I could see you. Then the night came that I felt that sickening feeling as I rode hard to the Forsaken Inn across the Lone Lands. You were so ill. So fragile. Speaking in half-sentence fragments… I saw for the first time the consequences of the fate of Men.

      I feared that I would lose you. It frightened me in a way nothing ever had.

      And I at that moment would have moved all of Arda to bring you back to me. I took the swiftest path I could find to take us to Rivendell. I could not leave you in another place like that loathsome den of ruffians and brigands… It would have broken my heart.

      You cleaned up so well – you have always been handsome and the Elves have done a good job with you.. That night, before I had to leave once again, standing underneath the trees by the water, I realized that I had somehow… fallen in love with you. And even your Human frailties, bad decisions, unfortunate choices and badk luck… those things are what led to me, standing there, unable to speak those words to you for fear that you would laugh.

      But now, nîn meleth…. I saw you again… You are a changed man. Beautiful and at peace with himself. My heart leapt and I became a little bit too quiet… But then, I gave up, and wrote to you.

      Why do we continue on, though you “so clearly detoured from the road” upon which we two traveled before? It is because you have found a new and better one, smoother and calmer than the one we had taken. It is because no matter how cracked and broken my road into the precarious darkness is, I know that somehow it will lead back to you.

      It is because I love you.

      Within the next few days I will be in Rivendell – I have business there…. I must see you. At times it is unbearable, being away. I have been able to think of nothing but you and to be with you again would be wonderful. Please, see me when I am there. I must speak with you.

      Le mellon,
      Valaraen Avariquen

  2. Haarland says:

    I will be here. I will always be where you need me to be, to the end of my life.

    • I have lived a very long time… but never have such words been said to me. So… I am speechless to respond.

      But trust that you have made me so very happy… My heart feels light and I count the moments until I can next be with you.

      Le Mellon,
      Valaraen

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