I've recently realized that for most of my life I was a romantic, playing with gauzy notions about life and reality. I gave up on Christianity early in life, but then I sampled all kinds of mystical new-agey things, and constantly mythologized everything, including my life and my purpose. I thought that's how poets were supposed to be. But then about 10 years ago, I lost that magical sheen that was on everything and started becoming a much more reality-based person. Unfortunately, that was also the time I was going through a major depression. And I wonder what was the cause of this major shift in my thinking. Was it the depression? Was it the heavy reading I was doing? Was it just getting older? I don't know, but I do know in some ways I'm a very different person than I once was.