Tewpith Entry #246,359
3018, Third Age
There is a geography to death. We see its hills and valleys, we see the walls that keep us separated, peaks of mountains shrouded in mist, and rivers let to run eternal and dangerous. In this vile geography we are all of us little houses, huts huddled together in temporary respite from the weather. Or, perhaps, they are, for it is they who need sheltered from the storms and the winds. I am, and ever have been, a traveler on these faint roads that connect these villages, first wandering here and there, until they have been torn down and the earth left barren around them.
I wonder if I did not notice before, when I was young I traveled so quickly to and fro that the deaths of one man or another did not phase me so. These were natural courses, like seasons, the leaves will change and wither and die and give rise to new leaves of the same type and hue. This I have seen in men throughout the world, in Gondor and Rohan they seem to flow like the river from one to the other without pause. In their eyes it is as though they have never changed, but are merely made fresh again. It is, of course, the same with the dwarves. From one generation to the next, if one does not watch the fading it as though one has never left, the leaves change but they are still in the same place, the tree is still whole.
Would that I could leave this be, that it could be over and the leaves change and all of these things come to a close. I have been down to the tomb, deep in the heart of the earth but not deep enough. Someday the walls will fail and fall and then perhaps it will be left in silence and peace, but he is not there in that tomb. There is the shell and the rock and the earth but my friend is not there and so it might as well be empty. If there is some part of him that lives yet it is in his son, that is the only place where one may truly mourn, beside the blood of the dead.
I am not old, older than men, of course, so old they think I am ancient but I am not. Since I came over the mountains I have felt old, though, like a thing of legend or a fading thing, like a dying leaf. The winds of the sea were not enough to restore me nor enough to draw me forth, I must stay and find what I have forgotten in the shadows but I do not even recall where to look. These memories are not in my notes, they are not in the words of kinsmen though I have some still left about the world, these memories are somewhere inside me though if they were lost in the dark I do not know. I know only that they are lost now, and perhaps they shall never be found again.
Sometimes, in the night, when the air is just right or when the stars are out I can feel it at the edge of my vision. I can feel the thing that is lost and the thing that will not return to me. In the tomb I felt it to but then it was not at the edge but before me like a knife and I had it, I could for an instant remember it but now it is gone and the tomb is sealed and there are no memories there but only a few torches against the darkness and the tokens left behind by those who are dying more slowly. I have forgotten so very many things, I have forgotten the darkness and but for my hair should feel whole again, I have forgotten the names of men and the names of elves and the names of dwarves that once traveled the hills and are now gone. I have forgotten my own name, though I found it again. This final thing, that is there somewhere to be found too, but not here in the mountains nor in Bree though it is fair. It is not over the mountains either, at least I can hope, but it is somewhere in this geography, in the dying land somewhere about here. Perhaps it is in land that is already dead.
Perhaps it is home.