Monday, 4 May 2020
When meaning was found in Middle Earth (but not my life)
I began to experience a kind of heightened awareness of myself and the environment in my middle teens - especially when out walking alone in the nearby woodland and hills (e.g. that above).
It was a powerful present feeling; but I had nowhere to go with it - since (as an atheist) I believed that I lived in an accidental and purposeless world.
Probably for this reason, the feeling became associated with Tolkien's Middle Earth; and I would project this feeling into that created world, shaped by divine providence, where all was alive and magic was natural. I would then inhabit that world in imagination.
This pattern characterised the following decades. My strongest and cherished feelings had nowhere to go; so I would imagine them into an imagined world.
It would be very surprising if a lot of other people were not, and are not, doing much the same as I was; having made the assumption that this world is dead, determined and random; they inhabit some fantasy land where things are the opposite.
It has certainly been an improvement to discover that this actual world I inhabit has all the essential characteristics that I sought in Middle Earth - and that Tolkien was describing reality, not just making-up-stuff.