I imagine when one learns to survive with and manage depression, seeing the happy phrases and manner of those who haven’t suffered from it must be like someone from war-weary Middle Earth looking in at the innocent and oblivious residents of the Shire. Either you are bitter, and both envy and resent the peace of the Shire and seek to waken its residents to the "real world," or you somehow manage to use your dark experiences for good, seeking to protect its peace, because somehow you value its very innocence and obliviousness. And just as you are in a world that they do not know, and in which they could not (and one eventually realizes, should not) live, so also, they are in a world that you can only visit but not fully live in (this side of death / a great sea-voyage to the undying West). I hope when I am out of the darkest parts of my depression, I will have the strength to be a Ranger, with enough patience to respect the Shirelings of life, specifically for their ignorance of the Dark.
So as you may deduce, this blog suffers from its writer’s chronic lack of interest even in interesting things that is typical of depression sufferers. This being a rather recent diagnosis, I’m finding that writing about it does indeed serve a purpose, and conversely as well, that the inspiration I feel from the whole creative and artistic world (including writing, even my incomplete snippets of poems) seems to come closer than anything else to lessening the cold grip on my heart which is typical of my ironically named subtype: atypical depression.
Yet I’m not about to turn this blog into a journal of all my dark thoughts and feelings; I have something which serves that purpose already. Instead, I’m noticing a very great affinity, which I may explore here, between my own experiences and moods from depression and those of both Tolkien and the Anglo-Saxon worldview generally. Tolkien wrote to one of his children that he felt he was a “kindred spirit” with the Beowulf poet: melancholy, anticipating future disaster in this life, a Christian hoping for victory after this world's long defeat, yet a Christian with a deep respect for his pagan ancestors. I have long felt myself a kindred spirit with Professor Tolkien, and our Germanic predecessors, for reasons linguistic, literary, religious, as well as of personality and worldview. We even like autumn best of all seasons, for much the same reasons. I expect eventually I’ll start blogpost drafts unpacking many of these ideas, since it is a way that my depression and related feelings and interests seem to help me explore and even understand much of the world of Germania and Tolkien. With any luck I’ll finish and publish one or two of those drafts.