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Clarity: A Fishing Story by Erulisse

Author: Erulisse (one L)
Title: Clarity: A Fishing Story
Rating: G
Theme: Fixed Length Fic
Elements: 333 Words
Beta: None. Any and all errors are totally my own.
Word Count: 333

Summary: Arwen reviews a lifesaving choice while fly fishing.

Author’s Notes: Disclaimer: Tolkien built the sand box; I only play with the bucket and shovel that he left for me. No money, profit or non, is made from the publication of this story.

Clarity: A Fishing Story

As I baited my hook, looking at the colorful and carefully tied fly, I could almost hear my father’s words.

My foster father, Maedhros, taught me how to fish. Adar Maedhros said the solitude and rhythmic actions of baiting and throwing the line allowed him clarity of thought.”

Well, clarity of thought is what I need now. My hook is baited and I have more affixed to my hat band. I am dressed in my waders and have my creel belted around my waist.

‘Clarity, here I come,’ I thought as I moved from the bank through the rushing waters. I clambered onto my favorite flat rock, pulled out my line and flicked my hook into the deep, sheltered pools where the trout love to hide. While readying my line for the next cast, I finally allowed myself to thoroughly review my decision.

‘Mother. It all comes back to mother,’ I thought. ‘Scouts declared the Redhorn Pass was safe but new tunnels had been delved. Mother survived the attack the others accompanying her did not. However, from that time she was unable to bear anyone’s touch or the comforting solace of nighttime and dreams. Her nightly screams never stopped until dawn. Father, the greatest healer in Middle Earth, finally admitted defeat. He and Glorfindel escorted her to the Havens and sent her West hoping she would find healing in Valinor.’

I removed a fish from my hook and threw the line out again.

‘My brothers return home only when they are bruised, bloody, or barely clinging to life. Father heals their bodies, but their guilt about the attack forces their constant return to bloody vengeance as quickly as they heal.

‘Meanwhile, I am supposed to be my mother’s shadow, performing her tasks, maintaining her gardens, and burying my own sorrow beneath her duties. I am losing myself in Celebrían’s long shadow.

‘I can no longer bury myself. I must leave my home, follow my mother’s footsteps once more, and rediscover Arwen in Lothlórien.’


( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 16th, 2012 02:10 pm (UTC)
That is a weighty decision and ...

I can't picture her fishing which is what makes this great.
Jul. 16th, 2012 02:28 pm (UTC)
LOLOL. I used to watch the fly fisherpeople as I grew up during the summers and I so envied them. My parents knew nothing of the sport and I lived vicariously through the activities of those people standing in their waders in the middle of the cold, rushing waters. Someday, perhaps, I will be able to fly fish one time and try it out for myself. Right now, Arwen will have to stand in for me :-)

- Erulisse (one L)
Jul. 16th, 2012 02:53 pm (UTC)
I love this image of Arwen fly-fishing-- it's so counter-intuitive to how we envision her, and yet I think of course she would if her father did, and she would do it well.

But I would never have thought it up in the first place!
Jul. 16th, 2012 08:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you. In a way this is a continuation of last month's entry where Maedhros and Maglor taught the twins how to fly fish. I can imagine that there are times when standing in the water and allowing calming thoughts to come while casting a line would be very helpful to Elrond and all of his children.

- Erulisse (one L)
Jul. 16th, 2012 03:20 pm (UTC)
A life-changing decision indeed! Nicely done.
Jul. 16th, 2012 08:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you my dear. Hugs to both you and lovely Pippin.

- Erulisse (one L)
Jul. 16th, 2012 04:07 pm (UTC)
This is such a tough period for her... Well described!
Jul. 16th, 2012 09:01 pm (UTC)
I have always thought that there must have been many reasons for Arwen to leave her father and brothers behind and move semi-permanently to Lothlorien. I think this time was very hard on her and she had to leave or lose herself completely.

Thank you!

- Erulisse (one L)
Jul. 16th, 2012 04:54 pm (UTC)
I love the image of Arwen fly fishing; I'm sure it is a very good way to clear the mind.

And I'm sure you are right that she was in danger of being buried under the expectation that she become her mother. I can imagine those around her tending to almost disregard the degree to which she must be hurting as she shows it in a less angrily flamboyant way than her brothers.
Jul. 16th, 2012 09:02 pm (UTC)
I think she wanted to run for many reasons, not least of which would be loss of self or seeing her brothers dragged in to die at her father's feet - something that would probably push the entire family into a very deep and dark spiral. She had to run also, and at least running to Galadriel was constructive running.

- Erulisse (one L)
Jul. 16th, 2012 05:05 pm (UTC)
An excellent means of clearing the mind and thinking through the problem. I remember doing much the same scrubbing floors when I was a teenager.
Jul. 16th, 2012 09:03 pm (UTC)
I was never much for scrubbing floors, but as a bead and fiber artist I certainly had many other opportunities to "zen" out when needful.

- Erulisse (one L)
Jul. 16th, 2012 06:36 pm (UTC)
Brilliant. Such a great new look at Arwen. I can't remember many stories that look at this decision.
Jul. 16th, 2012 09:42 pm (UTC)
It must have been a difficult decision for her to make. Thanks for your kind words.

- Erulisse (one L)
Jul. 16th, 2012 06:38 pm (UTC)
I love the idea of Arwen making that important choice while fishing.
Jul. 16th, 2012 09:43 pm (UTC)
Clarity can be achieved in the middle of a rushing stream or river :-)

- Erulisse (one L)
Jul. 16th, 2012 11:30 pm (UTC)
I love this take on Arwen. Her decision makes sense and is wise. As others have said, the fishing is cool because it’s not what we expect of Arwen, yet it works; and I think it works because it challenges assumptions about her. Textual mentions make her seem rather passive and even prim. Your story makes us reconsider whether such a view is justified from these mere mentions. Her function in canon is basically to be Aragorn’s long-sought bride in the final union of Elves and Men, but she must have had a life and thoughts outside of that function.

PS – I don’t suppose you’ve rustled up any images of what Elven fishing attire might look like. I have fanart of this invading in my head, but the clothes are lost on me.
Jul. 17th, 2012 01:40 am (UTC)
Thanks so much, huinare. Arwen was actually a very strong person placed in circumstances that would have broken her if she had stayed longer. I don't think any child born in a mountain refuge, trained with people who are considered among the best warriors of all time, and having twin brothers who will do as brothers will do to any younger sister won't have some competence of her own :-)

As for fishing attire, I see oilskin waders similar to leggings with a higher bib. I actually see her in an old plaid flannel shirt with a floppy hat. The hat band has her extra ties, her fishing creel is around her waist, and she has high boots that are also oiled to be waterproof. She may not be a fashion diva, but she'll be perfectly dressed for the task at hand :-)

- Erulisse (one L)
Jul. 17th, 2012 11:20 pm (UTC)
Are you saying you see her in modern dress, or did Elves possibly have plaid flannel (I'm supposing plaid and flannel both existed back then, but I don't know much about that kinda thing)?
Jul. 18th, 2012 12:37 am (UTC)
Not modern dress, although she would fit in well, I suspect. No, the elves have looms and they have dyes for fibres because they weave tapestries. Weaving a plaid is very easy if you can set up a basic heddle or draw loom and use at least two colors of thread. Flannel is brushed to make the fuzzy surface. Today this is done by machine but early flannel was made from wool and could be hand-brushed. If the plaid was made from short-staple wool it could easily be brushed into a flannel.

TMI, I'm sure :-) LOL

- Erulisse (one L)

Jul. 18th, 2012 12:42 am (UTC)
It's good to know; I know shamefully little about traditional crafts. =]
Jul. 18th, 2012 01:55 am (UTC)
There is nothing shameful about not knowing traditional crafts. My upbringing was quite unique, my mother was heavily into handiwork of all types. I used to spin quite a bit before my arthritis got too bad, and I still have four spinning wheels and three looms in my home. I miss working with fibre. If you are ever writing a story where you may want some help with crafting questions, I'd be more than happy to help if I can.

- Erulisse (one L)
Jul. 18th, 2012 02:16 am (UTC)
This is rather unique.
My stories don't usually focus on those kinds of details, but if one does I'll know who to ask.
Jul. 17th, 2012 07:03 am (UTC)
I've never imagined Arwen fishing but her thoughts are just as I imagine them. An excellent ficlet.
Jul. 17th, 2012 09:27 am (UTC)
Thank you, Linda.

- Erulisse (one L)
Jul. 17th, 2012 04:36 pm (UTC)
Going to join my voice to the chorus of those who've seen Arwen in a new light owing to her new hobby :D

Also I like the idea of her realizing she is playing her mother's part in Rivendell, and that being the cause of her leaving.
Jul. 17th, 2012 06:57 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your kind words. I knew I wanted Arwen fly fishing, but didn't know why she was doing it until she told me. She's a pretty determined young lady :-)

I'm sure there were several factors at work in her decision to leave Imladris, but I'm also sure that leaving Celebrian's role to others would be one of them.

- Erulisse (one L)
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )


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