Quote: “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons”- T. S. Eliot

Thomas_Stearns_Eliot_by_Lady_Ottoline_Morrell_(1934)
T. S. Eliot by Ottoline Morrell

I am stretching things a bit here. I am sure when  T, S. Eliot wrote  The Love Song of J. Alfred Profrock he was not thinking of the spoon theory.

However, when he wrote his masterpiece, The Wasteland, often considered the best reflection on mental illness in literature,  he was recovering from depression. Mental Illness can often be a conduit to introspection and creativity. Not that, in this case, the ends justify the means, but if one must live with a mental illness, forging meaning through writing and art may make the means more palatable.

You will notice that I said forging meaning, not finding meaning.  The extraordinary and eloquent Andrew Solomon, as he is, in my opinion, often aptly described, contends that meaning is not something to be found but rather is about changing yourself as you forge your own meaning. More on Andrew Solomon later.

But the spoon theory might have been a suitable way for T. S. to explain his depression to Vivian, don’t you think?

 

image from Wikipedia in public domain

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