We are leaving now…

Posted in Uncategorized on July 15, 2007 by legolasandfrodo

Alas, eleventy-one months is far too short a time to spend among such excellent, such admirable hobbits.  We don’t know half of you half as well as we should like and we like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.  We…have things to do.   We regret to announce — this is The End.  We are going now.  We bid you all a very fond farewell.  GOODBYE.

-Frodo And Legolas

Hero Worship And Ideals

Posted in Deep Thoughts on July 14, 2007 by legolasandfrodo



“We are not that different from each other

We just want somebody to discover

Who we really are when we drop our guard…”

                        – “We,” by Joy Williams

Who is your hero?  Maybe it’s Orlando Bloom and you have his picture taped onto your closet.  Maybe it’s Nicole Nordeman.  Maybe her website is your homepage and you listen to her music most of the time.  Maybe there is someone else you adore.

So what is hero worship?  The Oxford dictionary (my constant companion) says that it is “excessive devotion to an admired person.”  I think that hero worship is when we see something we like in somebody (this could be nobility, bravery, or even good looks) and then we to try to emulate them in both that area and other areas of their life.  It also entails the excessive respect and devotion that we give these people.

One thing I find interesting to note is that we usually don’t know our heroes personally.  We don’t know anything about them except what we have read here and there.  If we have ever seen them face-to-face it was probably very briefly.  We don’t know what kind of person they REALLY are and if we lived with them we probably would not look at them as our heroes. These people look like superstars to us but I firmly believe that there is no such thing as a superstar.  Superstars are a product of the imagination, created by the spotlight.  Those people we adore may have good things about them, but they are just ordinary people like us when they are alone.  They cry themselves to sleep when their world seems to be falling into pieces or they may sing to the rain when they have no other way to vent their joy.  They have their own worries and beliefs, their own heartaches and fears.  Maybe we need to stop looking at them as superstars and start thinking about them as people who need not our worship but our prayers.

So, does this mean that it’s wrong to have a hero?  I don’t think so!  Even Paul the apostle told us to be like him.  It is good to try to develop in us good qualities that we see in heroic people.  I think we just need to be sure that we have the right kind of hero.  The person we choose to be “our hero” should be someone we can truly know about so that we will not be deceived.  They need to be someone admirable and worthy of imitation.  As Karen Andreola says in Beautiful Girlhood, “No one can rise higher than his or her ideals.  The ideal that one has in mind is the limit of perfection to that person.  It is impossible to attain higher things than we strive for; and few even reach their ideals.  So it is imperative that people set before themselves good and pure ideals, that they set their mark high.  It is better to aim at the impossible than to be content with the inferior.”  The person we choose as “our hero” is really our ideal.

Often the heroes are confused with the superstars.  (I have another post about this subject.)  One such example of this would be the Legolas vs. Orlando Bloom problem.  People who watch “The Lord Of The Rings” often become extremely attracted to the character Legolas.  He is courageous, handsome, humble, skilled, and wise.  He is not entirely perfect but he is certainly very close to it and when he makes a mistake, he apologizes immediately.  He is, in short, what many consider to be a true “hero.”  People like this kind of character and want to emulate him.  They also want to show their admiration for him.  Of course, there is no such person as “Legolas” so they often end up becoming Orlando Bloom fans instead, automatically supposing Orlando Bloom and Legolas to somehow be “one person,” due to the fact that Orlando Bloom acted the character Legolas in the movie.  When we get down to these facts, of course, we realize that Orlando Bloom is NOT Legolas and that he does not necessarily have all (or any) of Legolas’ character traits.  We can see Legolas on the screen and, therefore, we know that he possesses these qualities.  However, we don’t know so much about Orlando Bloom so we don’t know if he is really someone we want to emulate.  (I am not trying to say that there is anything wrong with Orlando Bloom.  My point here is that we don’t know him well enough to decide if we want him to be our hero.)

So, to summarize this post, I think we must be very careful in choosing a hero because heroes are ideals and no one can ever become greater than his or her ideal.


Knowledge vs Wisdom

Posted in Deep Thoughts on July 10, 2007 by legolasandfrodo

In this modern world, people often confuse “knowledge” with “wisdom.” This is incorrect. Knowledge and wisdom are two very different things. Here are Webster’s definitions for each:

 Knowledge is the “acquaintance with facts as from investigation”.

Wisdom is the “knowledge of what is true and right, coupled with    

just judgment as to action.”

             I have been thinking about this as I learn new things each day in school.  I don’t want to be proud of my knowledge, but wise.  Alfred Lord Tennyson is my favorite poet.  He wrote a long poem that I really like. It is called “In Memoriam.” He wrote it on the death of one of his dear friends. He mourns his friend but at the same time he talks about life and death and the things that we face in life. The poem has 131 verses and is extremely difficult and long but it gives you a lot to think about. This is a verse that I particularly like. I noticed that Tennyson refers to Knowledge as but a little child that wishes to display what he has learned. Wisdom, he speaks of as “heavenly, of the soul.”



                        Who loves not Knowledge? Who shall rail

                                    Against her beauty? May she mix

                                    With men and prosper! Who shall fix

                        Her pillars? Let her work prevail.


                        But on her forehead sits a fire:

                                    She sets her forward countenance

                                    And leaps into the future chance,

                        Submitting all things to desire.


                        Half-grown as yet, a child and vain-

                                    She cannot fight the fear of death

                                    What is She, cut off from love and faith,

                        But some wild Pallas from the brain


                        Of Demons? Fiery hot to burst

                                    All barriers in her onward race

                                    For power. Let her know her place;

                        She is the second, not the first.


                        A higher hand must make her mild,

                                    If all be not in vain; and guide

                                    Her footsteps, moving side by side

                        With Wisdom, like the younger child:


                        For She is earthly of the mind,

                                    But Wisdom heavenly of soul

                                    O, friend, who camest to thy goal

                        So early leaving me behind,


                        I wish the great world grew like thee,

                                    Who grewest not alone in power

                                    And knowledge, but by year and hour

                        In reverence and in charity.


You may have to read it twice to really understand what it means (I did) but when you do, it makes sense to you and the whole idea all fits together like a puzzle. Let us not live to acquire knowledge, but wisdom, and we shall find both.





From My Commonplace Book…

Posted in Good Quotes on July 8, 2007 by legolasandfrodo

“We are not powerless specks of dust drifting around in the wind, blown by random destiny.  We are, each one of us, like beautiful snowflakes, unique and born for a specific reason and purpose.”

-Elixabeth Kubler Ross


Are You Missing Out On Life?

Posted in Poems worth Reading on July 3, 2007 by legolasandfrodo

You haven’t really lived until you’ve read The Ballad of the White Horse.

The Ballad of the White Horse is Chesterton’s magnificent retelling of King Alfred’s heroic stand against the Danish pirates.  But it’s more than that.  In beautiful rhythmic verse, this writing master presents us with profound ideas about mankind, life and eternity.  Chesterton weaves truths into old legends and creates an unforgettable tale out of the two.  He uses a powerful rhyming scheme that makes his readers think deeply about the words they read and not just gloss over them.

The book starts by introducing the White Horse (England):

“Before the gods that made the gods

Had seen their sunrise pass,

The White Horse of the White Horse Vale

Was cut out of the grass.”

It then goes on to introduce the raiding Danes:

“The Northmen came about our land,

A Christless chivalry:

Who knew not of the arch or pen

Great, beautiful, half-witted men

From the sunrise and the sea.”

Alfred struggles against them but to no avail and the chiefs of his country are no longer interested in fighting the pirates.  It is then that he sees a vision and sets out to rouse his warriors.

Alfred goes into the Danes camp with his harp as a stranger minstrel and listens to the conversation of the Danish King Guthrum and his chief.  First Ogier, a soured, pessimistic old warrior delivers a speech of gloom and desolation and finishes by saying:

“ ‘And you that sit by the fire are young,

And true loves wait for you

But the king and I grow old, grow old,

And hate alone is true.’

And Guthrum shook his head and smiled,

For he was a mighty clerk,

And he had read lines in the Latin books

When all the north was dark.

He said, ‘I am older than you, Ogier;

Not all things would I rend,

For whether life be bad or good,

It is best to abide the end.’…

…‘It is good to sit where the good tales go,

To sit as our fathers sat;

But the hour shall come after his youth,

When a man shall know not tales but truth,

And his heart fail thereat…

…And a man hopes, being ignorant,

Till in white woods apart

He finds at last the lost bird dead:

And a man may still lift up his head

But never more his heart.’…

…And slowly his hands and thoughtfully

Fell from the lifted lyre

And the owls moaned from the mighty trees

Till Alfred caught it to his knees

And smote it as in ire…

…‘When God put man in a garden

He girt him with a sword,

And sent him forth a free knight

That might betray his lord;

He brake Him and betrayed Him,

And fast and far he fell,

Till you and I may stretch our necks

And burn our beards in hell.

But though I lie on the floor of the world,

With the seven sins for rods,

I’d rather fall with Adam

Than rise with all your gods.

What have the strong gods given?

Where have the glad gods led?

Till Guthrum sits on a hero’s throne

And asks if he is dead?…

…On you is fallen the shadow,

And not upon the Name;

That though we scatter and though we fly

And you hang over us like the sky,

You are more tired of victory,

Than we are tired of shame.

That though you hunt the Christian man

Like a hare on the hill-side,

The hare has still more heart to run

Than you have heart to ride.’”

My favorite part of the book is towards the end.  Alfred’s army has been defeated, his chiefs have been killed and their men have fled.  Alfred sees them running and calls them back, blowing his horn and saying:

“ ‘Brothers at arms,’ said Alfred,

‘On this side lies the foe;

Are slavery and starvation flowers,

That you should pluck them so?…

…Before the red cock crows

All we, a thousand strong,

Go down the dark road to God’s house,

Singing a Wessex song.

To sweat a slave to a race of slaves,

To drink up infamy?

No, brothers, by your leave,I think

Death is a better ale to drink,

And by all the stars of Christ that sink,

The Danes shall drink with me…

…And now I blow the hunting sign,

Charge some by rule and rod;

But when I blow the battle sign,

Charge all and go to God!’”

I cannot summarize any more of the story for fear I should give into the temptation to copy out the entire thing!  I must close with this warning- you will miss out on life if you continue to live another day without reading this classic.



Posted in Deep Thoughts, History, Stories on June 26, 2007 by legolasandfrodo

Greek, Roman and Norse Mythology

Recently I have been reading about Norse mythology and the parallels between the gods of the Vikings and the gods of the Greeks and Romans struck me as quite interesting.  The parallels between the Greek and Roman gods alone are quite well known, as the Romans adopted their religion from the Greeks, but the Vikings also have similar deities.  They are all very similar, so much so that I have been able to compare them individually, as follows.

Greek               Roman               Viking
Zeus                Jupiter                 Odin
Aphrodite        Venus                  Freya
Heracles         Hercules            Thor
Apollo              Apollo                  Frey/Bragi
Ares                 Mars                    Tyr
Hermes          Mercury               Thialfi
Dis                   Pluto                    Loki/Hela

I think that the Viking goddess Iduna could have been Artemis (Diana) or Minerva (Athene) but I am not sure.  I also noted other resemblances between these mythologies.  For example, in Greece, the Olympians fought constantly against the Titans.  There seems to be a similarity in Norse mythology.  The gods of Valhalla are also continuously waging war against the giants.

It seems that they all originated from the same source.  So what was that source?  Ancient documents from Herodotus, Plato and others show that the Greeks borrowed their gods from the Egyptians, and the Romans borrowed their gods from the Greeks.  Perhaps Egypt was the founder of these religions.  And where did Egyptian gods come from?  It is believed that, possibly, the Egyptian gods were all really different traits of one god, and the priests characterized each demi-god.  And who was the one main god?  It seems to have been the sun.  And who was the sun?  Well, you can read more about this here.

Anyway, I thought that was interesting.


Land of Marvels

Posted in Flotsam and Jetsam on June 15, 2007 by legolasandfrodo

Iguazu Falls

A little more than half a century ago, there lived a man called Richard Halliburton, a man who lived his dreams.  When he was a child he promised himself that one day he would travel the world, and when he became a man, he did.

He went to see awesome waterfalls, mountains, rivers, statues, castles, cathedrals, temples, cities, and other amazing sights around the world.  His life was one of adventure.  He climbed the Matterhorn, the beautiful volcanic Mt. Popo in Mexico, the rock of Gibraltar, and the dome of St. Peter’s Cathedral.  He swam the Panama Canal, witnessed the building of the Golden Gate Bridge, and went to the ‘ornament and honor of France,’ Reims Cathedral, the place in which Joan of Arc witnessed the crowning of Charles VII.

He not only dived 70 feet into the Well of Death in Mexico to see what it was like to be a sacrifice, but he dived into it twice!  He went to Christophe’s Castle in Haiti, the Grand Canyon, Iguazu Falls, (see picture above) and Carcassone, the French city of romance.  He crossed the Alps on an elephant to see how Hannibal must have felt on his way to attack Rome, and he went to see the ancient Parthenon in Greece.  He visited the ruins of Pompeii, under the shadow of Mt. Vesuvius, and he explored the unearthly fairy caverns of the Blue Grotto.  He traveled to many other places also that I do not have the time to mention, but the places I have mentioned are only a few.

In 1937, he published his adventures in a book called the Occident, or the Book of Marvels.  Occident means west, because the places he spoke of in the book were the places he had been to on the western side of the world.  I read it this year, and his glowing description of the world’s wonders was truly breath-taking.

But he did more than that.  The Occident was only half of his travels.  He wrote another book called the Orient.  Orient means east, because this book covered his adventures on the other side of the world, the oriental side.  Unfortunately, I have not had the chance to read it, but I am sure it is worth reading!  I recommend both of them!

– Legolas

The Decline of Humanity

Posted in Uncategorized on June 15, 2007 by legolasandfrodo

     First of all, let us apologize for neglecting the blogosphere so disgracefully for such a long time! We went on vacation last week and our internet has been down for a long time. Everyone who has commented during this time is appreciated and thanked and we must beg forgiveness for not being able to respond to all of you.

     Stop by the Backyard to see the first poetry post there! (Remember that all you poets under 18 are welcome to send in your contributions to be posted at the Backyard. The address you should send the poetry to is ankaraacaademyATyahoo.com . 

     We would like to share a very interesting video with you all this week. The video shows women’s faces in art throughout the ages. Starting with Byzantine art, it moves through history all the way up to modern art in rapid progression. It is sadly beautiful.

     Upon observing the video, I noticed that the faces of the girls change as time passes. In the beginning all the faces are gentle and sweet. Gradually they began to look haughty and arrogant, sometimes condescending. The pictures start to lose their clarity. Time passes and girls start looking flirtatious, although I find it interesting to note that behind their beckoning glances and inviting smiles, they somehow look sad too.

     As more time passes the art becomes more and more blotchy and impressionistic. It’s now a little difficult to see the faces clearly. The blotchiness slowly begins to fade and give way to cubes and squares. The pictures are losing their beauty. The girls’ faces all look unreal and they are painted with fake and unnatural smiles.

     Somehow I get the impression that they are the faces we make out of shadows on the wall when we’re really bored. The last drawing looks like a child’s scribbles and the woman’s face has lost all emotions except for a pitiful, languid look of dissatisfaction. Although the video depicts a decline in art, this, I believe, is a grand illustration of the decline of humanity.


Live Your Dreams…

Posted in Flotsam and Jetsam on June 11, 2007 by legolasandfrodo

BEND, Ore. (AP) — Last weekend, Bend gas station owner Kent Couch settled down in his lawn chair with some drinks and snacks – and a parachute.

Attached to the lawn chair were 105 balloons of various colors, each 4 feet around. Bundled together, the balloons rise three stories high.

Couch carried a global positioning system device, a two-way radio, a digital camcorder and a cell phone. He also had instruments to measure his altitude and speed and about four plastic bags holding five gallons of water each to act as a ballast – he could turn a spigot, release water and rise.

Destination: Idaho.

Nearly nine hours later, Couch was short of Idaho. But he was 193 miles from home, in a farmer’s field near Union, having crossed much of Oregon at 11,000 feet and higher…

…Why would Couch try such a flight?

“When you’re a little kid and you’re holding a helium balloon, it has to cross your mind,” he told the Bend Bulletin.

Read more here.

We Want You!

Posted in Uncategorized on June 4, 2007 by legolasandfrodo

Thanks to THE BACKYARD for featuring our blog this week.  If you haven’t visited there yet, or not in a while please take a trip over.  They have neat contests and entries.  You can contribute too and have your work published.  You’ll be famous! ;- )

Now, WE WANT YOU! to please send us any poetry that you have written since we are the poetry moderators.  We will post it at The Backyard on Wednesdays.  Every week we post a new poem, so please don’t be shy.  Pull out those poems that you are keeping to yourself and share them with the world. By the way, you must login in order to see The Backyard weblog to keep it safe for youth.

Oh, and HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY to those who are Americans! Nobody celebrates it over here so feel sorry for us while you are watching fireworks.

Frodo and Legolas