In The Lord of the Rings trilogy there is a character called Samwise Gamgee, and despite the obvious emphasis on Frodo’s quest to deliver the ring, a good amount of his success belongs to Sam. Sam is the spirit of loyalty and encouragement, of selflessness and hope and he spurred Frodo forward through the heavy burdens he faced. At the end, he didn’t receive the glory, but he deserved most of it. Everybody should have a Samwise; I’m very lucky, I have two. They are taller, and their feet are much smaller, and much less hairy, but they contain a great deal of Saminess.
Tonight we had a long and enjoyable get-together, and for a large portion of the evening they listened to my worries, forced me to confront them, and then actively attempted to remove them from my mind. For the first time in my life, I shared the first draft of a story with two people who honestly appreciated the effort, and were excited to see it concluded, and while it didn’t destroy the feelings of uncertainty, their believe has been enough to persuade me to go on. Maybe I can’t believe in myself, but I can, and will always trust their word, and I deem their respect of very high value.
After their departure I discovered they had typed this at the end of my chapter document:
“Do not edit me!!! Otherwise Spoony and Zombana will pelt you with navy berries and make you eat them with houmous xxxxxx PS. 1 Sparkle point for getting this far :)”
And so on I ride with my ring to Mordor, and fortunately, I have my Sams to ration my Lambes bread, and drive Shelob away. If I do it, if I write a novel, and success and praise fall on my head, I want to establish right now that I only did it because two very special, warm and dedicated friends stood on my side.
I just hope they know that I will be their Sam when the burden of their rings becomes too much. As Sir Tolkien penned it:
‘Sam: I made a promise, Mr Frodo. A promise. “Don’t you leave him Samwise Gamgee.” And I don’t mean to.’