Go toward peace, Mr. Armitage

[It’s Volkstrauertag in Germany. I am thinking of my German friends who lost family members in the wars of the twentieth century. I am also praying for peace.]
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Source: Richard Armitage Confessions

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We had a discussion here some time ago about the ethics of praying for Richard Armitage — something a fair number of us do, apparently, given the Richard Armitage confession above. Someone also told me that given the number of problems that hit the LOTR cast and production, groups were praying novenas for the well-being of the people working on The Hobbit and for the success of their endeavors.

I pray for him, too, mostly because that’s my cultural mode for expressing concern and trying to support someone who I can’t help concretely, personally, and materially, but also because I do believe, despite everything, that G-d hears prayers.

Probably I’m feeling gushy today because what Richard Armitage is about to do verges on something I’d consider a professional and personal nightmare. It had occurred to me a few days to wonder whether he’d gotten his necessary rack of suits, shoes, and ties together for all of these red carpet events, to hope he wasn’t going shopping at the last second, and also to hope that someone helped him pack to avoid wrinkles — although I assume that the kind of hotels he will stay in will be able to help him in the latter regard. But noting the countdown appear on my blog (screencap above right) …

and the pictures from Wellington …

The Embassy Theater in Wellington, yesterday. Source: Embassy Theater on FB.

… and then the information that Armitage would be in Japan for the Tokyo premiere of the event …

… (h/t RichardArmitageNet.com), however, made realize just what an odyssey is ahead of him and the gang. And Mr. Armitage hasn’t done this before.

I’ll be keeping him in my thoughts by praying the Jewish travelers’ prayer starting today (which will end up being a kind of novena, at least to start). Here’s the text in Hebrew; here’s a rough translation into English.

May it be Your will, G-d, our G-d and G-d of our ancestors, to lead us in peace and direct our steps in peace, and guide us in peace, and support us in peace, and cause us to reach our destination in life, joy, and peace, and return us in peace. Save us from every enemy and ambush, from robbers and wild beasts on the trip, and from all kinds of punishments that rage and come to the world. May You confer blessing upon the work of our hands and grant grace, kindness, and mercy in Your eyes and in the eyes of all who see us, and bestow upon us abundant kindness and hearken to the voice of our prayer, for You hear the prayers of all. Blessed are You, G-d, who hearkens to prayer.

It’s an old prayer, from the times when travel was dangerous to everyone and especially hazardous for Jews — hence the references to robbers and wild beasts — but metaphorically, at least, those things are still relevant.

[Right: a hamsa (an amulet form used in the Middle East by Muslims, Christians and Jews) with the traveler’s prayer embossed on it. I assume Armitage will be wearing his tiki again.]

Additionally, one wishes the traveler “Lech l’shalom” (go toward peace), and it is important to make these wishes in joy rather than in sorrow or fear.

More specifically, Richard Armitage, I pray for you, in joy:

That you fly safely and smoothly without stress, delays, mechanical problems, weather issues, or baggage handling problems. That all your connections go well. That you weather with health the recycled air on planes and the shaking of hands and ingestion of rich food and alcohol and lack of sleep and jet lag and ongoing parties. That you find ways to replenish your energy every day. That your phone and laptop always connect to satellites and internet so that you can stay in touch with people who ground you and that if / when they don’t, you draw on your awareness of their support for you to sustain you. That you find a way to respond with equanimity and humor to the eyes of the world (including us, your inquisitive fans) and the spectacle of these red carpets and everything that goes with them — cameras, press, fans. That you enjoy the reunion with friends and colleagues and the return to Wellington and other familiar places, and what you are able to glimpse of places unfamiliar. That all these events go off without serious mishaps and without the manifestation of decentering negative emotions or aggravation. That you are able to be a helpful support for your colleagues who are dealing with the same challenges in these days even as you rely on them. That you enjoy everything as much as possible. That you maintain both your sense of the absurd — and your sense of wonder and astonishment. That you succeed always, even when under strain, in being the person you want to be.

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Richard Armitage (in costume as Thorin Oakenshield) grabs a picture of an amazing sky and landscape during a location shoot for The Hobbit, from preproduction vlog #6. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com

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May G-d direct your steps in peace, Mr. Armitage. May you return at the right time in peace to family, friends, and home.

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A suggestion for all of us who aren’t traveling to a premiere, and for all of us who are, too:

Celebrate the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey with a gift to one of Richard Armitage’s JustGiving charities!

~ by Servetus on November 18, 2012.

23 Responses to “Go toward peace, Mr. Armitage”

  1. Thank you Servetus, for your sweet and heartfelt prayer for Richard. I’ll join you in praying for his wellbeing and safe travels.

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  2. From your lips, Servetus. I have thought much about this remarkable journey he is on, with this amazing chapter unfolding before us. I am winging every good wish and prayer as well, because he has earned the recognition and deserves to savor it. And that photo of him as Thorin snapping a shot? That gave me such happiness because it shows he is aware of his here and now and embraces it.

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  3. Amen.

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  4. Beautifully put as always. I don’t know about others that pray, but I will admit that I tend to pray more the serious issues and don’t think to pray about the everyday (which is just as important if not MORE important in a lot of ways. I don’t tend to pray out of joy. So I loved your prayer in joy for RA.

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  5. We havee a tradition here of praying the prayers that others have written down for us. I hope that you do not mind that I am going to pray the one you’ve written. So many of my prayers are asking for healing, peace, and help for those who suffer pain and loss. I’ll be glad to pray in joy.

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  6. Lovely sentiments, Serv!
    I, too, include those I haven’t met in my prayers–such as RA, you and my other RA gal pals, etc.–hoping that life treats everyone kindly, and that they have the fortitude to meet life’s vagaries with a semblance of peace and calm, as well as a good support structure if needed.
    RA and his colleagues are in for a heck of a ride. I also hope that they are able to have fun and enjoy this special moment in time.
    Cheers! Grati ;->

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  7. Hi Servetus! I echo your prayer. I am also a member of the Tribe, nominally, although I take my kids to the Unitarian Church (ours is a mixed marriage) I continue to identify as Jewish.

    If Comic-Con was any indication, RA is prone to jetlag…. I’ll be holding him in my prayers over the next few weeks. 🙂

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    • UU events are a great place to meet Jews 🙂 I am a Trinitarian heretic myself.

      He also mentioned jetlag after returning to England last Christmas, so I am sure he could use our help.

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  8. So be it. Amen

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  9. Amen.
    I cried, servetus.

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  10. You put the thoughts and wishes about the upcoming weeks and about how RA will hopefully cope with all the demands he has to face, in wonderful words. That’s mostly what I had in mind and I had really started to worry a bit about his and the other guys schedules of the next 4 weeks. I’m not a praying person, but I could „feel“ your prayer. Thank you so much for it. I’m certain Richard is able to perceive the virtually transmitted support and will be able to even take the vital breaks inbetween this hell of a ride to recover and trust in his fortitude!!

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    • I think there are so many positive thoughts about him in the air right now that any germs are *extremely* frightened of us!

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  11. […] bear this year — or hope so, anyway, referencing our discussion of this themes last year, for those of us who are praying for Richard Armitage and the Hobbit cast or holding them in our thoughts and […]

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  12. I was told about this post and simply wanted to state that I am the person who sent in that confession to the site. Now you know.

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  13. […] Now you get to go “home,” wherever it is that you associate with that noun — London, Leicester, a bit of New York before coming back to England for Christmas? I wish you well on your journey. I wanted to remember to pray this, too: “May G-d direct your steps in peace, Mr. Armitage. May you return at the right time in peace t… […]

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