One of my Creative Writing tutors told me that the percentage of writers/artists being depressed is incredible high. I’m beginning to understand why intellectuals and artists are this way.
Since I was young, I always wondered why I was at my happiest getting stuck into a Harry Potter book. But in my youth I was still excited for the future, when I would grow up myself and go on adventures of my own, just like Frodo and Bilbo did. Yet, now I have grown more I lack this enthusiasm for the future. The real world doesn’t have a concise ending. The hero doesn’t win and live happily ever after.
The world isn’t full of evil like described in books. Not pure evil derived from a ‘hell’ or dark magic. People become evil through the way they grow; their environment and influences. There is no such thing as pure evil. People, no matter who they are, are shades of good and bad.
In a way, it is worse than the fictional worlds. You don’t know who the villains are. People aren’t all fighting for freedom or love, money has a stronghold over humanity and it is harming the rest of the world.
The world is random, made of bits of coincidences that have formed into a mutated state of being. It doesn’t follow a narrative structure where everything ends in closure. You can live your whole life and never find that closure.
This is why artists can be the saddest people in the world, because they are constantly trying to escape it. I want to live in the Shire, go to the Green Dragon for a pint and see Gandalf’s fireworks. I don’t want to work for a pile of money that secures me a comfortable position in a nursing home. Reality is too full of disappointments and uncertainties.
This was a great article about Tolkien’s books and what they were to a sub-culture of people in the 60’s and 70’s. I think the books continue to offer this to people. The Shire is a utopia we can never achieve, but can’t help but dream of.
I’m going to New Zealand soon, and hopefully will visit the place where the Peter Jackson filmed The Shire. It will be beautiful and will fuel my imagination, but it will still be me reaching for a different reality.
The best we can do is find happiness.