Living Forever

by Fan Forever
Lindorie's concern about the (bored) lives of Elves made me think.....
Living forever does not make any sense if you look at it with human eyes, with a mind oriented on the finality of things, but I suspect Elves, in their very nature, and as they lived for centuries and millenia, developed a totally different approach to life and its various manifestations.

I suspect that if one could live immortal lives, (and even more so when one is surrounded by beautiful and harmonious, balanced, ever-flowing cycles of natural things) one just could not look at life and people and things in the same way.

How can you be bored by life itself?? I personally can't imagine Elves getting bored looking at water, or fire, or the heavens. I cannot think that anyone could ever dare saying that they have explored all the music an instrument can give, or understood every languages of every living things, or looked into the soul of every other Elf at their side. To have learned everything from anything and anyone or any situation is simply not conceivable!

Art, and knowledge, and the connection with everything that life has to offer is to me what Tolkien’s Elves are about, including the 'art' of war, the art of protection of the environment, for instance, or even of life itself. With time and millennia and experience and tragedy, wisdom eventually has to knock on your door. For Elves! Millenia of experience did not change much for Men, did it... :-/

The life of Elves must have been totally and necessarily different from ours, as time inevitably transform our views on things and people. I don't think we really can evaluate how time passed or, rather, flowed for them. It must have 'shifted' somehow compared to the way we see it. It's like when you change environment. For example, I was once in the desert, and I can tell you that most people who have been in a desert for a long time will tell you that at some point, it become to them not empty and void, as the majority of people see it, but extremely inhabited and full of life. It is all in the perception of things (and the willingness to let that change happen, of course). I am sure that with time, physical senses become more acute, communications with the mind get easier, sleep is more about ‘regenerating’ or ‘renewing’ on all aspects, not just physically, etc. etc.

I just cannot imagine Elrond (or Galadriel, or Gil-Galad, or Arwen) 'passing the time'! Or trying to 'find something to do everyday'! That is like saying 'filling the void' until it feels relatively satisfying, until there is no more to do or experience. Which is non-sense to me. Isn't life just about the opposite, not about filling it with things to do or consume, but about discovering and unveiling and understanding, and marveling about everything?

I think what is so appealing about the Elves for most people is that they seem to have established a true relationship with their environment, both visible and invisible. They don't seem to struggle so much anymore with the daily cares, they are part of the whole picture, no more no less. They seem to be 'liberated' (for most of them anyway) from what seems to be so important to humans, that is conquering something, having control over something (hence, perhaps, comments like 'Men are weak'?). I know there are Elves still interested in that, but less and less I think, as the Ages unfold. Even the fierce Galadriel comes back to the West as simply ‘Galadriel’.

In that sense, Valinor must really be Elvenhome, a place where everything Makes Sense, where nature and living things of all realms exist in deeply woven interrelations.

Simply put, I see Humans, compared to Elves, like children, they want to HAVE things and use them, then get bored and look for something else to play with. So seldom are they really connected to what they are experiencing. That is why Elves and their art and wisdom were such great sources of inspiration for them. Elves seem to me like they are ENJOYING what they ARE, and what they DO, just for the sake of it, just because they are part of nature and life.

Living for millenia, then, for the Elves, would not be a 'problem' but rather a blessing worth every moment of it.

And thus, their choices (like Arwen's) are problably made knowing that they ARE part of life anyway, whatever form they take. For Arwen, choosing the life of a mortal must have been hard because of all the ties that she had to sever, but in choosing so, she chose a path worth every single moment of it...

The Elves of ME depart with their hearts heavy, they are not bored, but sorrowful. They see that their time is over, and leave with sadness, knowing that everything that they ever cared for is no longer a preoccupation for the new inhabitants of ME in the Age of Men.

Just musing :-)