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This is in response to Raili’s Circle of Friends challenge over at soulgifts — Telling Tales. I’m not quite sure what she meant by the word “absent,” but if being separated by half a world means absent, then this is about my Absent Friend…

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Elves_leaving_Middle-earth (1)

The first time I met her I thought for sure she was an honest to goodness elf! Small, with long blonde hair, and ears that kind of peeked through the sides of it, she was very dainty, and just exuded “otherworldliness.” I was standing at the gate at the airport watching for her and I swear she just appeared out of thin air and gobbled me up in a BIG hug.

KimI’d met her on a Tolkien forum called LEAF (Learning Elvish Among Friends) the end of 2001. It was my first time venturing out into the internet world and it felt exactly the same as if I were standing in a room full of people I didn’t know. I finally got up the nerve to post a comment on something and I waited. And I waited. I felt so exposed standing in the middle of that “room.” Then all of a sudden an elf named Arnatarien (later to morph into Iluviel) came to my rescue and we started commenting back and forth. For years!

Kim came to stay with us from Australia the first time in 2003. That girl really took me in hand. I was pretty bloomin’ insecure, and she was bound and determined to pull me out of myself. Everywhere she went magic seemed to float around her. She WAS an elf, after all. 😀

The week she stayed with us was such a joy. She had already sent me a lovely crushed-velvet, emerald green cape because all elves needed a cape. 🙂 She helped me identify Calensariel’s character when Calen became my alter ego. She taught me some of Tolkien’s Quenya — the language the elves spoke. And when she got here she was toting a suitcase full of frilly, feminine clothes for me. I was floored. I was am a jeans and t-shirt kind of gal, and boy did I feel like a cumquat in some of those outfits! But she badgered the hell out of me until I finally tried them all on for her and allowed my “feminine side” to start peeking out. (She and I have made friends, of a sort, after all these years. I let her come out and get dressed up every now and then..😉 )

Somehow Kim’s visit (and a 10-day visit two years later) changed me fundamentally. Drollery will tell you I am NOT the same person I was before I met her. In a very real sense she introduced me to myself. Lordy what a shock that was! I haven’t seen Kim since 2005, but we Skype and email and talk on the phone. We know each other’s family goin’s on. She knows enough about me to blackmail me! The Tolkien websites started to fade away after the hoopla over the movies died down, but our friendship never did.

medium CalenShe has been one busy woman since then! She is now Dr. Kim Coull,  psychologist. I must admit she did a lot of practicing on me! If I had to pick one person in this world who made the most difference in my life, it would be Kim. She made a difference in my life because she made me see, finally, that Calen wasn’t just a made-up character on a website, she really is a part of me. Kim introduced me to a whole new me I didn’t know existed. She knew my heart was very divided in regards to myself. I didn’t know that until I met her.

This is from the end of a poem she wrote to me from my Soul. It’s called “The Lady Calensariel.” It made me feel very special, like I had some value after all. It took her a hell of a long time to convince me of that…
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In arbour blessed
and love’s true rest
her soul will find its way,
the stranger deep
within her heart
becomes Love’s fragrant lay.

And as she wanders 
through her tears
who is this by her near?
It is the I of heart and soul,
the One so ever dear.

Fear not the whisper
on the wind,
I never left your side.
I am All you seek
I am Beauty’s Song
that with you will abide.

The cradle bare,
the arbour gone,
all kept within my heart;
the path is clear
I have lead you here
and we will never part.

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Picture Credits:
elves — disqus.com
Kim — from her daughter’s wedding
Calen’s avatar — a gift from another friend, Inwiel

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