Last Night I was in Rivendell

by Indis

Since I first read the LotR, back in 1978, one of the things that always grieved me is the thought that the Elves have left us. In my darkest hours I would think of them, their beauty, their wisdom, their stillness, their connection with nature, and I would wish to have them back amongst us, to spread all these qualities and make the world a place of beauty and peace…and yes, I have read the Sil and I know that even the Elves fought their wars. But they learned and developed and grew into the still powerful but also light-filled beings that were the symbol of all that I thought was lost for us.

But last night I caught a glimpse of how it must have been in the Hall of Fire, when they assembled in Rivendell to listen to tales and songs…

Here in Donegal we have the annual Earagail Arts Festival, two weeks filled with arts events all over the County, with theatre, music, art exhibitions, workshops, poetry readings, movies and so on. And last night I had the great pleasure to visit a concert of a fantastic local choir, who performed together with 5 members of the wonderful and well-known band Clannad and the Brennan Sisters who come from a village about 15 minutes from where I live. Now, the Brennan Sisters, as all the Brennan family, are greatly gifted with beautiful voices, and one of them has reached a bit of international recognition…her name is Enya!!! That, I must say, came as some surprise, because I did not expect her to come home to perform on this occasion. But she did, and she sang together with her sisters and with the choir. No fuss was being made about her, she was just there as part of the choir, which was so lovely to see.

Now, imagine the evening: the concert took place in a church with a high ceiling, lit by large numbers of candles, whose light intensified while darkness slowly came, it was filled with happy people in solemn mood, and then the music started: a wonderful, nearly perfect choir, singing all these old and beautiful Irish hymns, laments and tale telling songs, mostly in Gaelic, which one could easily take for Elvish, and then you heard these soft and ethereal voices, Enya and her sisters, and the choir raised a powerful, yet soul-touching voice, the harp and the flute just doing the last bit to get the tears flowing. And I dreamt myself away into Elrond’s Hall of Fire…

“ ‘This is the Hall of Fire,” said the wizard. ‘Here you will hear many songs and tales – if you can keep awake. But except on high days it usually stands empty and quiet, and people come here who wish for peace, and thought.’ “
“ At first the beauty of the melodies and of the interwoven words in elven-tongues, even though he understood them little, held him in a spell, as soon as he began to attend to them. Almost it seemed that the words took shape, and visions of far lands and bright things that he had never yet imagined opened out before him; and the firelit hall became like a golden mist above seas of foam that sighed above the margins of the world…”
(J.R.R. Tolkien, The LotR)

The evening was unbelievable, too beautiful for words, at least for my words.
But, as long as there are people who can create something of such stunning beauty and as long as there are people who come to listen and enjoy, some part of the Elvish spirit must still be here…