Leaving Rivendell

Wow. So. Weird. Yeah.

I’ve just finally got it into my thick head that I AM AT THE SUMMER WORKSHOP.

~6/17/13 journal entry

The words are very applicable for now, as well.

Wow. So. Weird. Yeah.

I’m home.

But I’ve left my other home.

I can’t believe it’s been a week since I left for the One Year Adventure Novel Summer Workshop in Olathe, KS. The week just flew by so fast. It always does. It seemed to go even faster this year.

Leaving the workshop still brings an ache, so since it’s been a week since the day we left, I’m going to start out with that.

6/17/13 9:45

Pile into the Isengard van with Rose of Sherwood (my sister), Firiel, Firiel’s sister, SparrowHawke, Bloom, JoyousPenn, and my dad.

We’re on the way to the workshop.

It still isn’t getting through.

I feel like I’m in a dream, like all of the ones I’ve had over the past year. I just can’t feel it. It’s not getting through.

We have an epic car ride, though. We’ve nicknamed ourselves the “Isengard Girls” (plus Dad), because our van has white handprints on it. 😉

We chat, sing, talk in British accents, eat snacks, sing more, sing lots more. Play “They’re Taking the Hobbits to Isengard!” on Dad’s iPhone- the 10 hour version. xD Haha. Dad caught on after a couple of loops though. So, no, we did not listen to the whole thing.

Iowa. (Singing: “You are in I-o-way…”)

Then when we pass the border into Kansas, shrieks erupt in the van.

I’m borderline hyperventilating, but I can’t understand why. The workshop can’t be now. It’s been so long. It’s a year away. It can’t be today.

Olathe, Kansas. More shrieks.

The MNU campus. (Yes, even more shrieks.) I’ve got my hand clapped over my mouth and a huge grin on my face, but it still isn’t REAL.

Pull into the parking lot. There are PEOPLE. They are OYANERS.

We walk towards the Bell Center. See Carolyn and Wayf. Wave to them, then forget the wave. Run. Hugs.

Enter the Bell Center. I expect a huge wave of “I’m back” to sweep over me, but I still am not felling it. It’s just… it’s here.

And then I’m hugging Jane and Adrienne and Alexis and Erynn and Jerah and Sarah and it’s a blur. I’m meeting new people, bouncing happily and hugging them when I read their name tags. Greyhavens. Beecheerful. Syrena. Emichelle. Haddassah. So many people.

After getting lost with Dad trying to find our dorm building, we unpack hurriedly and then head over to the “Tipping Lounge” (Student lounge named  “The Tipping Point Lounge”. Was abbreviated last year when someone couldn’t remember the full name. Name stuck. :))

We’re in the Land’s End gym and Tipping Lounge, and I realize I never felt the rush of “I’m here” like I expected. I feel like I’ve been here forever.

The one phrase from the song in Prince Caspian by Switchfoot keeps repeating in my head: “This is home.”

And I feel that I never left.

The days flew by so fast.

Ordinary Heroes. Hugs. Mrs. S as herself. Sock monkeys. Dibs. Glomps. FREE STUFF. Gaelic Gangstas. Popcorn. Aardvarks trekking through SPAAA-AAAAAA-AAAAAAACE. Mr. S. Hobbit Holes. Epicness. Mark Wilson. Rivendell. Jeff Gerke. *drinks* *APPLAUSE* Amish Vampires in Space. Jill Williamson. Pet rocks. Greenleaf Improv. Shapeshifting Alien Pharmacist. Stephanie Morril. Critique groups. Nebula. DO RE MI. Singing. Dancing. Glitter. Semi Colon.

And then the day no one wants to think about arrives.

6/21/13

Friday.

Last day.

I ignore the fact when I get up. It’s another normal day, as normal as OYAN can be. Get ready, rush the LOOOOOONG walk from the family dorm over to the Bell Center. Mrs. S is herself, but longer. Even more FREE STUFF, because today’s the last day.

You can only ignore the fact for so long.

Last session. Mr. S is so fantastic. So epic. So wonderful. He talked about Crosswinds Creative Arts Foundation, and Hobbit Holes. I’ll have to blog more about that another time.

After the session. We have a few hours.

People start slowly flowing out of the Bell Center. We’ve run late, as usual, so the MNU staff want to lock up the building. I feel numb as I look around at the teens struggling with tears, or crying shamelessly as they hug their friends: the friends from years past, the friends they made this week. The friends that many of them will not see for another year, if then.

I don’t want to go.

We go outside with a large group of OYANers and sing hymns for a while. Singing through our tears, despite the tears. God is still God. He’s got all of us in His hands.

Mr. S comes out and we pray over him, and over the Hobbit Holes. He’s given us all so much.

More hymns. More hugs. More tears.

Friends are friends forever, if the Lord’s the Lord of them. And a friend will not say ‘never’, for the welcome will not end.

And though it’s hard to let you go, in the Father’s hands we know,

That a lifetime’s not to long to live as friends.

So here  I am, home again. But I’ve left my other home behind.

And this is getting really long, and sort of rambley, and it’s getting late, so I’ll get to the reason this post is titled “Leaving Rivendell.”

To those who didn’t attend the workshop: One of the speakers, Mark Wilson, spoke on “Rivendells for Writers”. And OYAN is definitely my Rivendell. A place of healing. Of preparation. Of songs and laughter and joy.

But you can’t stay in Rivendell forever.

Eventually, Frodo had to leave Rivendell. If he hadn’t the Ring would never have been destroyed. If he had never left, eventually the Enemy would have found the Ring and destroyed Rivendell. Frodo had to leave.

And when he did, he had a choice.

Which way would he turn when the time came to bid farewell to the Elves? He had two choices; go home to the Shire and put the Ring in a box and forget the whole thing.

Or he could go to Mordor. Suffer. Toil. Pain. And fight.

And we are faced with the same choice.

When you leave Rivendell, will you leave with a semi-colon or a period?

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One thought on “Leaving Rivendell

  1. Jessica says:

    Wow, Hannah. That was so deep. Now I’m just sitting here, contemplating the meaning of life at my computer.

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