“I am so sorry that I have led you into such peril.”
“No, I’m glad to have shared in your perils, Thorin. Each and every one of them.
It is far more than any Baggins deserves.”
— Bilbo and Thorin, The Battle of Five Armies
To all my friends whose perils I am honored to share…
You are worth all the midnight calls…
The 3 a.m. ones, too, for that matter.
You are worth times spent in long talks, lying despairingly prostrate on the unvacuumed carpet,
Talking into the ungodly hours of the morning, when my eyelids begin to droop.
You are worth long waits on porches on hot afternoons. I lean against the wooden railing, wondering if you made it home safely on your bike
You are worth letting go of because it hurts too much to hold on. Yet you are still worth the hours and days and weeks and months spent stitching my love for you back together until it’s more complicatedly beautiful than it ever could have been before.
You are worth the pain I feel when I watch you cry and yet I know that you’re not ready to come to me with your sorrow; the pain I feel knowing that I can’t save you, but knowing that one day you’ll be ready, and that, until that day, I’ll wait for you.
You are worth every painful apology; every heart-down-on-its-knees request for forgiveness, and every time I ever had to say, “I was wrong.”
You are worth being wrapped in hugs that last whole minutes longer than is socially acceptable.
You are worth waiting or, fighting for, hurting with, and knowing more deeply every day.
You are worth it, because, in the end, you are all I have left.
You, my comrades, friends, my partners in adventure,
Near or far away, dead or alive, will always remain the most important thing I ever invested in.
Trivial goals will pass away
Gold and silver will burn
Bank accounts and their inborn anxieties will be swept off their feet
Careers will topple like domino towers.
Everything that burdens and worries my heart now will become a mere iota
A dust speck, a pesky fly, against the breathtaking landscape of what is truly most important:
How much you opened up yourself to give and to receive
The accidental adventures you walked through together
The knives that you drove into each others’ hearts,
And the journeys you took to heal them.
Brotherhood breaks down walls
Humbles the proud, works out stubborn streaks
Puts your heart though purifying fire, melting away greed and pride
Until all that is left in your heart is pure gold.
In the end, with the battle won,
The casualties many, the wounds deep,
All that I knew to be beautiful destroyed,
You my comrades still remain,
And our tears and blood, laughter and weeping,
Will mingle and become the glue, the fabric, the very atoms
That hold this world together,
And keep sorrow at bay from tearing our world apart at the seams.
At the end of the day, most of my accomplishments won’t matter
But the fact that you are still alive, breathing, loving, living, and growing,
And that maybe it relates just a little bit to something I did or said,
Will be enough.
At the end of the day, we are brothers,
And no matter where our paths lead us,
We will always find our way home to each other in the end.
We will celebrate blood, tears, laughter, and sorrow over steaming cups of tea.
P.S. I just finished watching the Hobbit Trilogy, which, along with a variety of other things that have been happening to me, prompted these thoughts on brotherhood.