I've been thinking lately about how the Fellowship doesn't seem to carry money; or at least I can't remember a point where they even offer to buy something. When the Nazgul drive off the hobbits' ponies in Bree, Frodo has a bit of coin (though not enough to meet their current circumstance), but certainly once they get to Rivendell and join up with the Fellowship proper. But I can't remember t happening outside of the hobbits. Gandalf couldn't even afford his own horse.
Compare that to the Hobbit. The dwarves need advice and a place to rest from Elrond, but I don't recall there being any expectation that he'd outfit them. They lose all their luggage unexpectedly and have to trick Beorn into helping them, and then again the Mayor of Laketown is presented as helping them out of self-interest. The whole thing is shot through with fair trade and contractual details, from Bilbo's employment contract covering funerary expenses through Bard being owed a certain share of Smaug's horde as the actual dragon-slayer. Which, granted, is quite hilarious in its way, but it's also very modern and self-interested (or at least ingroup-interested).
Which makes a sort of sense because this really is Thorin's quest and not Elrond's or Thranduil's or even Dain's in a way that's just not true for the quest to destroy the Ring. But I think there's something deeper going on here. I have only a vague understanding of medieval concepts of hospitality, but I do know it's significant in pre-modern societies, and I wonder if there's not something like that going on here. That it's not some sort of quid pro quo or even a kindness but a way of really engaging in the Quest even if you're not one of the walkers. You see it in devotional literature about pilgrims going on their journeys and the people who support those journeys materially going on the pilgrimage vicariously, a bit. I wish I was better educated on this and could speak more specifically, but I do wonder if there's not something going on here.
I'm working from home. I'm one of the lucky ones who can: work gave me a laptop and my job involves staring at a screen and talking on the phone anyway, so I'm really ridiculously lucky. Work's actually a good deal more pleasant because keeping up my public face is exhausting all day (never mind the commute), and I can also do stuff like listen to Cabin Pressure all day on the computer not being used for work.
I'm not really set up for longterm work from home, though, so I've been dealing with a lot of lower-back pain from sitting hunched over a laptop all day. Also nothing fun is open! It's amazing to me how much I rely on movies and shopping and just people-watching on the bus. Have also been staying away from the Kid for social-distancing reasons, and that's no fun at all.
The big thing is probably that I'm mentally wiped out. I don't know if it's stress or just the ennui of living in my apartment all day long; I want to write (I really did intend to do at least a piece or two for BMEM!), quite badly, but I just... can't. Even blogging seems like too much effort just now. And you'll tell me there's no reason I have to write, which is true enough, but misses the point that I actually want to and am just too worn out to do it. Worn out with no objective reason (I'm not commuting, after all), and I'm stuck at home all day and all night anyway.
I don't know. It feels like the world's gone off the rails, and I'm not set up for living where I'm not</> navigating the great sea of people that is New York. It's wearing on me, and this is only after a week.
That said - I'm not sick, I'm not broke, I am so much better off than so many people. I am trying to be grateful. Would that it were so easy!