Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dwarven Hermeneutics

In the past two months, I joined the Catholic Church, moved out of my cottage, submitted my first potential article for publication, spent a month in Ireland, bought a house in the Midwest, and enjoyed a week at the beach with my family. My brain has not been able to function more than one or two steps ahead.

Suddenly, as the dust of the past two months settles, the next step is my move across the country to start my PhD at a school I never expected to get into, and I am realizing something for the first time: I am afraid. Though my transition into academia surprised neither my friends nor my family, it still does surprise me, and I have a keen awareness that I have no idea what I am getting myself into or where it will take me.

I am quite a little girl with a finite brain stepping out into a world of intellectual giants. I feel like Bilbo Baggins, stumbling out the door with no hat, no stick, no pipe, not even a pocket handkerchief. But here's to the unplanned adventure, and here's to hoping for some Longbottom pipe weed along the way!
There were days when giants roamed the earth
With minds of iron, hearts of witty fire,
And we have tread their steps, for what that's worth,
Like bumbling dwarves aspiring to admire.
But in the caverns of these footprints, we
Have chiseled half with hubris, half with awe,
And nestled in sophomoric flattery,
Pontifications on the dirt we claw.
And I have trembled half with terror, half
With love, and stumbled on my hobbit toes,
Afraid to find a troll along the path,
Discovering as he nears he also grows.
Be gentle, giant, if ambition's charming
From a midget seeking her disarming.


Chestertonian Rambler said...

Thanks for that poem. It is remarkably comforting. Is it yours?

Em the luddite said...

Aw shucks... it is mine. I'm glad it found sympathetic ears! I'm also to see you're still around.