"a caterpillar doesn't just grow into a butterfly. a caterpillar must undergo metamorphosis, and a cocoon is where a caterpillar risks it all: enters total chaos, undergoes total rebuilding, and is born to a new way of living. only in taking the risk of entering that inert cocoon can the caterpillar go from dormancy to potency, from ugliness to beauty."

Sunday, September 30, 2007

unhappy but not sad

"May the wind under your wings bear you
where the sun shines and the moon walks."

-- Gandalf in The Hobbit

i made him wait. would you believe? i made him wait for years. why, oh, why? i shouldn't have. kicking myself for it would do me no good now. i made tolkien wait. booh.

i remember stopping and putting down the book. only a few pages into the hobbit and i thought the language was beyond me. how then could i get to the lord of the rings if i couldn't even see myself through the prequel? nipped in the bud, my affair with tolkien -- that's what happened. see? had no need for a nosebleed. so goodbye. goodbye bag-end. goodbye shire. goodbye bilbo. goodbye going there and back again. goodbye story.

fast-forward to some years later and lo! i saw my close-to-being-forgotten and still unread tolkien books. hello bag-end. hello shire. hello bilbo. hello gandalf. hello dwarves. take me with you... there and back again.

well, they did! tolkien saw to it!

a mind-blowing adventure, it was! i soon said hello to frodo, sam, merry and pippin, and joined them in the grandest cause-worthy adventure in the realm of middle-earth. i wanted to stay there.

what more can i say? j.r.r. tolkien wrote the story the way it should be written and did not rush to get to the ending. j.r.r. tolkien, a thorough storymaker and an ever-patient storyteller. i, a late-bloomer of a reader... and, fortunately for me, the story did not grow too old to be told. methinks it's the kind that maintains its appeal and has the willingness to wait for generations to come.

needless to say, i was wrong about the language being beyond me. i was wrong about the potential nosebleed...

...but there was one phrase i encountered in the lord of the rings that really got me thinking even after i was done reading. others might have overlooked it and have not given it much thought because it has such simple words: "unhappy but not sad."

unhappy but not sad. now, what does that phrase mean? i sincerely need others' inputs.


  1. Congrats for having finally read Tolkien. About "unhappy but not sad," I think the author just wants to say that the character in the novel is not happy, like "okay lang," no feeling of elation, could be neutral. "Sad" holds a more negative connotation. An analogy is like saying "not pretty" which may not mean "ugly". Sige na, super explain na ako dito. :)

  2. thanks. oo noh, it's an achievement! na-feel jud nako nga nag-advance ko as a book-lover after i read tolkien. jejeje.

    next tolkien read: the silmarillion (",)

  3. yeah, like you can actually be unhappy about something in your life, e.g. if you're not happy with your job, you're unhappy. but, that doesn't mean that you're sad, too. sadness is something that is stronger, like it makes you cry, it makes you depressed, it can kill you.:)

    i'm glad to hear you've read tolkien. abi nako'g kinsa imong gipa-wait. hehehe:) i have some of his other books, too.:)

  4. i don't think bagay akong first smiley. hehehe:)

  5. thank you. hooray jud to me for having read tolkien! :-) hehe, that's not the first time i utilized a somewhat misleading (but not really) intro. ;-)

  6. *clap* Not everyone can read Tolkien! Good job! =) When I first read The Lord of the Rings, all I could think of was, "Wow, the author must've smoked something really strong." Also, names started sounding funny to me. Rohirrim, Gandalf, et al, all sounded normal.

    Unhappy not sad. You know what they say, profundity in all things nonsense. I would guess it's like being alone but not lonely.

  7. *clap* *clap* i agree, not everyone can read tolkien -- this was what i found out the first time i started reading him; when i had to put down the first book, i thought i belonged to those who cannot read tolkien and the thought really did not make me feel good. i, a book-lover who could not read tolkien? twas a shame.

    so there... *clap* *clap*


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