Thursday, September 28, 2006

Songs for Farewells

The moment is finally upon me. A day I never thought would come, and whose arrival I have dreaded for years. My feet are heavy, as is my spirit. I go to support my friends, and to grow in my own experiences, but the fear never truly goes away.

I console myself with reminders of my training, and with the distant promise of seeing my wife again. Still, the boots suddenly look heavier than I remembered. My nerves tremble at the prospect of donning them, for I know that when I do, they shall become the only footwear I know for a long time. For the time being, my identity, my true face--that of Milo Freeman--becomes hidden behind the mask of Army greys and combat gear.

I only hope that I recognize myself when I come out on the other side.

From the film version of J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Return Of The King:"

Home is behind, the world ahead
And there are many paths to tread.
Through shadow, to the edge of night,
Until the stars are all alight.
Mist and shadow, cloud and shade,
All shall fade.
All shall fade.

I hope to whatever gods are out there that the last line is wrong.


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