I spent one of the last afternoons of 2012 with my wife watching Peter Jackson’s film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. At nearly three hours, the movie turned into an investment of time and interest on our part. What an investment, though. Hobbit careens through the theater with a sort of controlled frenzy that leaves the viewer with the tandem desires of wanting to see more while wishing to go off quietly and barf from dizziness. There has been much discussion of the 48 frames per second rate Hobbit is presented in and I’m not going to belabor the argument here. Having seen this fast-moving, roller coaster of a motion picture the way it was shot, I wouldn’t want it any other way. Granted, I did get a little worn out and had to ask my wife several times when the Titanic was going to sink, signalling the end of the movie.
For all of the swiftly tilting, swooping action Jackson presented in his vision of Middle Earth, I really enjoyed the quiet moments in Hobbit. The part of the journey that might be so completely unexpected for moviegoers and even Bilbo Baggins himself is the camaraderie aspect of his journey. Bilbo, the settled, agrarian villager finds himself in the company of others and learns valuable lessons about life and himself. He must learn to embrace the near-kindred fellowship of dwarves and a crusty old wizard. Last night, I started to really consider that we’re all asked to do the very same as Bilbo in some way. As I tucked into our annual New Year’s Eve bounty with good friends last night, it occurred to me that each year we renew our bonds and take on the great unknown. The same thought came to mind today as my family started our pre-bowl game soup buffet. In each instance, I took a good look at the people surrounding me and thought how the upcoming year is going to be no ordinary one. No year ever is. 2013 will undoubtedly be a swooping, careening, 48 frames per second journey of unexpected proportions. God willing, I’ll be blessed to be surrounded by these same people at next year’s celebrations. I’ll do my part to carry them through the journey, because I can’t think of people I’d rather be surrounded by.
Now, I know it’s customary to associate any talk of Hobbits with Zeppelin, but as my wish for your blessed 2013, I’ll defer to Dylan:
May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.
Lyric: Bob Dylan, 1973/2001 Ram’s Horn Music, reprinted without permission