Not all who wander are lost

moelfamauSometime ago, when lost in Edinburgh, I came across the line in the title painted on the gable end of a building. It is a line from a poem recited by Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of Rings by JRR Tolkein.  At the time, it struck a chord with me because I was lost, though not wandering, but I am an advocate of mind-wandering, which it seemed to characterize nicely [see my post entitled ‘Mind-wandering’ on September 3rd, 2014]. This week I am on leave. I will be wandering the hills, though hopefully not lost, and I am optimistic that this will induce some mind-wandering.  If you don’t have the opportunity for a vacation, then at least ‘Slow down, breathe your own air‘ [see my post on December 23rd, 2015].


JRR Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, George Allen & Unwin, London, 1954

4 thoughts on “Not all who wander are lost

  1. Beverly Johnson

    I’m glad I mentally wandered into your Thermodynamics MOOC, although I’m still working on my reading list generated by the course (What is Life, etc). Given the intensive attention you generously gave students in your MOOC your break is most deserved. I’m taking a MOOC in materials engineering right now in which the teacher has yet to show his face and questions never get answered. Although I’m not suggesting you deliberately mix business with pleasure, I hope your mind wanders soon into creating another MOOC for all of us who enjoyed the first one.” I used to keep the wandering quote on my desk.


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