...She whom he had loved was Amárië of the Vanyar, and she was not permitted to go with him into exile. (1)
Valian Year 1495
He was, of course, discreet; it would never do should the people learn that his celebrated sculpture garden featured the finest ladies of the Noldor in glorious stone-hardened nudity. A tress of hair, a veil of flowers - such tricks hid his inspiration from all but those who knew the flesh.
Though the Valar often strolled among the sculptures, delighted by the beauty of the Children and their creations, not all upon Taniquetil shared their love for the garden. Indeed, Ingwë privately expressed disdain, and his assistant had once hinted that Findaráto might strategically position a few measures of silk in anticipation of Ingwë's visit to Tirion.
"It is no wonder," Findaráto said, chipping away at a shapeless block that would become a likeness of one of his Telerin cousins, "that the Vanyar have so few children, seeing as shameful nudity is required for their generation."
"Oh, one need not remove much clothing, if one is in a hurry," Turucáno said. "And how do things proceed with Thelmatal's daughter?"
"Quite well," Findaráto grinned.
"I referred to the statue, but never mind that. Have you spoken to Thelmatal?"
"I thought I might approach him at the harvest festival. As for the statue, I should like your advice." He set aside his tools and tugged at the sheet covering another statue.
As the figure emerged from its dust cover, Turucáno burst out laughing.
"I admit," Findaráto said, raising an eyebrow, "it is a bit suggestive."
"Suggestive! Dear cousin, it is positively lewd. There is only one thing for it - we must get you married at once."
"The artist can only render what he finds in the subject."
"Ho! That is rich - but I should not laugh so. I can tell you that Vanyarin ladies are not nearly as prudish as their good king would wish."
"I am well aware of that."
"That is apparent," Turucáno laughed. "How ever did you persuade her to - well, never mind. I would not let Thelmatal see that statue until you have taken Amárië to wife."
"Do you think me a fool?"
"And I would not wait until the harvest festival to speak to him."
"Ah, but at festival-time, I should find him well plied with wine and less fearsome of countenance. What difference will a few weeks make?" He covered the statue again with a loving hand. "Time runs more swiftly now, I perceive," he said, rubbing his chin thoughtfully. "We push against it, as a barrier to things we have long awaited, and squander it as if its supply shall never end."
"Shall the Trees cease to blossom? Shall the bliss of Valinor fade? Come, Findaráto, you are too melancholy."
"Yet, it was not so long ago that you waited upon your daughter's birth, and now she is walking. Time does not hold still, in those moments we would savour - in the blink of an eye, you shall be the one assessing a suitor to her hand."
They left the workshop just as Laurelin came into her fullness. "The garden should always been seen at this hour," Turucáno sighed, for in the golden light, the sculptures seemed less stone than living flesh. "But it cannot be."
"Once mown the fields of gold to red earth turn. Yet Laurelin must retire before Telperion, and Summer must end in Autumn. Still, I will hold fast to these days of courtship, cousin. We shall never again pass this way." (2)
(1) ...She whom he had loved was Amárië of the Vanyar, and she was not permitted to go with him into exile.
(The War of the Jewels, 'The Grey Annals' p 44 pub Houghton Mifflin) The version in the published Silmarillion differs significantly: ...She whom he had loved was Amárië of the Vanyar, and she went not with him into exile. ('Of the Noldor in Beleriand' p 151 pub Ballantine/Del Rey)
(2) 'fields of gold to red earth turn'
Finrod was inspired here by Vanyarin poet Stingarion and Rúmil Frost's 'Nothing Gold Can Stay'.
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