What is a Mereth Aderthad?
A Mereth Aderthad is a refuge open to the outside, where Mortals can find what they bring within them. Our only ambition, as the Spanish Tolkien Society, will be to provide some days devoted to the Professor's Legacy, the same purpose that Elrond "Half-even"'s had for Rivendel. Conferences, story-telling, plays, workshops, concerts and musicals, as well as the banquet and the exchange of mathoms, are an end in itself but they are also the means for coming back to our daily life with the certainity that there is Hope. Hope, or Estel, as a collective battle for making everything worth it.
During a Mereth Aderthad, there is space for complex-free erudition, because thanks to the secondary world J.R.R.Tolkien created, we can explore as much as we want inside its languages, Geography, History or Music. There is time for games which transport us without asking for much in return, or music and dancing so we are drawn by the creativity. As part of a group, or alone, there are many opportunities for sharing our knowledge, and what we feel with akin people, from the shared solemnity in our Story-telling, to toasts, humour, and neverending chants during the long night hours after the banquet.
If you ask anyone who has attended just one Mereth Aderthad, they will state without doubt that it is not what you do during those days, but how you do it what really makes everything become a lasting memory for months, or even years. Let's be honest, the programme schedule is no more than a veil which hides something depper, something nourished with a huge dosis of generosity and friendliness. It has love, affection, friendship, a very clear intention to find an impulse for our wishes, whether they are an almost unattainable goal, or just one of the Galadriel's strands of hair. And this happens because there is an unwritten committment which begs us to try to be our very best version at a Mereth Aderthad. It is not infallible, of course, but the multiplying effect of all of this will not leave you without a warm and comforting feeling, that is for sure.
What mystery lies within J.R.R.Tolkien's work that allows us to meet eachother as if we were much more than just a group who fancies his books? Every person has a different answer to this question, would they be able to explain it without feeling awkward at the task. But all of them have the certainty that there must exist a personal bond which makes us experience very similar emotions. Something that happens when we turn ourselves to be the vehicle that enables all Middle Earth Tales, along with other Tolkien works, to stream free fed by our own contributions. Tolkien's open invitation to dig deeply in a living world, and create along with him, makes us privileged people that, being self-aware about it, cannot then stop contributing with what we know, but also with what we yearn for.
The Merth Aderthad is not what it looks like; a particular place or a specific time of the year, it is the hope of knowing we will be togeher on an adventure in which all of us will come out renewed in our own way. Something is for sure, we will end up muttering the same Bilbo's verses: "The Road goes ever on and on, down from the door where it began".