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Section LXXXV-Leaving Lorien

As though lost in a terrible dream, only at the outermost edge of my mind do I notice the Lady of Light raise her hand in fond farewell. Shall I ever again rest my eyes on such beauty? The ring on her finger gleams as though she wears a star on her hand. So torn do I feel by my yearning to stay and my compulsion to continue... to the end... whatever it may be.

My heart silently weeps as fair Lothlůrien slips away behind us, yet not a tear escapes my eyes, though I feel the pooling dampness. The peace and rest of the passing days seem almost as if they never happened, though I must admit, I do not ache as I once did for the sight of a pointed hat...

What is... is.

When first I learned we were to travel by boat, I confessed only to myself my mixed feelings. Memories, long tucked away in the past, pushed to the fore. Suddenly it feels as though that life belongs to someone else, and my life began with the Quest. So weary is my body from the wear and tear of our travels, the contemplation alone of sitting quietly, hour upon hour, without lifting a foot or bearing my pack, elicits a deep sigh of relief.

I settle as comfortably as possible upon my seat in the boat. Behind me, Samís uneasiness is palpable. From time to time, it becomes too much for him, and he mumbles of his aversion to our mode of travel.

A fleeting memory of sleeping on the ground, in the Shire, touches my heart. What would I give now for a sleeping spot with the only discomfort being a tree root in my back?

As the miles slip away, I begin to discover the true, underlying hardship of our travel. Aragorn expertly guides our craft along, his concentration fully occupied with the task at hand, as well as keeping his eyes and hears open for any signs of orcs along the swiftly passing shores. Sam struggles with his own fears, and I am left to my own considerations... reasonings... imaginings...

The Ring weighs increasingly heavy against my chest. I know what I must do... Again I ask myself, how do I tell the Company? Some part of me wonders anew: will my Companions accept my decision? Mayhap I need consider departing in secret... In truth, the decision is made, but the carrying out of it is another matter entirely.

A different fatigue saps my strength. I find myself wishing to set foot to earth again. How I miss the exhaustion of hiking compared to this disheartening battle raging in my mind, undermining my resolve, unchecked and fettered by even the simple chore of concentrating on the next step.

I know what I must do... Yet Iíve no more idea of how to accomplish the deed now, than when I spoke with the Lady Galadriel. What do I know of the lands we journey through? And what of food and water? Not to mention the enemy...

And so my thoughts chase themselves, without hope of distraction, consuming me in the waning, lonely hours...