It seems sometimes as though we find ourselves trapped within the darkness of our souls, and it is these moments, where we seem so desperate to escape, some of us turn to the darker things, but many times this is but a reflection of the torment within. How it hurt us, the wounded soul.
I am an artist.
The question, I suppose is whether I am an artist before I am a human, or am I a human before I am an artist?
It is rather like the question, am I transformed by the work of an artist because I love them, or do I love them because their work transformed me? That is what often takes place when we see a work of art, we develop a connection with the artist on a fundemental level. Like in the outpouring of their soul, their heart, their love, into their work, when I partake of that work, I receive with it a measure of that which was poured into it. In some ways, to partake of a work of art is to become in a manner of speaking, part of the art, and having the art become part of you. It transforms you. It also makes you a reflection of the artist, not only the art itself.
I am an artist, but what is an artist, in many ways an artist is not so different from a warrior, or a hero, they are creatures who pour themselves into their work, and the noblest of them do so for the sake of others, while those who are not so noble do so for the sake of themselves, and despite this, still prove of benefit to others, but fall short of their potential. Art is one of the great enemies of the enemy. It is the distributor of the beautiful and the true, even when it tries not to be, if it is a good work, it can’t help it, it’s in its nature to reflect truth, beauty, and goodness, in some way, all good art will reflect that. There is no truth outside of the truth, there is no goodness outside of the goodness, and there is no beauty outside that which is beautiful. These things are always drawn from the same source, and therefore can only fight against that which sets itself against it, never for it. Art is something that makes us more fully human. Evil, by nature, wants for us to lose our humanity.
Yet, I know not whether to identify myself as being first and foremost a human, or first and foremost an artist. One is what I am in terms of what it is that I’m comprised of, while to be an artist is to be something different, both more humanly human, and at the same time entirely different than to be human, to create, in many ways, is one of the most remarkable things a being can do, to form an idea and make it into something, that is beautiful in and of itself. It’s not that the artist is separate from humanity, or an ascended form of humanity, but to be an artist, at its best is to embrace what it is to be human. There are few things more sacred than the arts, for they are the very outpourings of the human soul.
The soul, what is the soul, it has a great deal to do with the central person, their thoughts, their emotions, their ideas, what it is that makes a person unique, I suppose, the tree from which these grow. It is a place both of darkness and of light, of great horror, and the greatest beauty. But what is it exactly?
The soul is rather like a labyrinth, one can get lost when one reflects on the man within. One begins to lose oneself, and if one is not careful, he or she may very well be changed by the experience.
Sometimes it is rather like traveling through Máiréad’s Labyrinth. Dark and cold, lit with a ghostly light, and one is ever tormented with the cries of the hopeless, and feels oneself hopeless. Other times it is like traveling through the Labyrinth of the Red Queen, a woman, dressed in a red robe with a voice that can be heard throughout the Labyrinth, with walls of white, and light that shines brightly but not blindingly. She it is who is found at the center of it. It is the most peaceful of places, and whoever the lady is, there is no evil within her, but wisdom. Once her song is heard, it is never forgotten, and ever sought.
I have never forgotten the song of the lady in red, nor the look in her eyes, nor the sound of her voice. Sometimes it seems like I meet people who remind me of her, but they’re not her. It is a dream I suppose, and nothing more, but if wisdom was a person, she would be this.
And yet, it seems one more thing that makes me feel as though I do not belong here, but am an alien to this world, a visitor, a pilgrim passing through. That this is not my true home, but there is a land, a faraway land, where there sits the Red Queen, and where Máiréad’s Labyrinth is but a far off memory, not the all-consuming weight on our soul it is at present.
The three gods are not to be found. (Three immortal beings, beautiful to the eye, of great power, utterly dangerous, and utterly without mercy. Beautiful in apparence, but deadly beyond imagination. They seek to kill, to destroy, to hurt, and to harm.) Neither is found Raven, either in his fair form, or in the form of a bird-like man. His lies and deceptions remain with him, both now and forever. Nor is the dark fire anymore to be. How can I not rejoice at the idea of the separation of these from my soul?
Yes, I tend to refer to my soul in terms of personalities, and powers. How else can such a strange thing be described, but placed into such terms. I could describe my soul as being fire, for that is the closest thing I can think of to describe what it looks like, fire, and light. Water and darkness. Always two sides, always dual in nature. If there is one part, there is always an opposite aspect. I am dauntless, and the enemy of that part of me, is fear. I despise fear, and even more do I despise cowardice, especially, in myself. I find it intolerable in others, but I passionately hate it in myself.
Enter with me into Máiréad’s Labyrinth, where you will find all that is darkness. This is where the battle against all Hell is fought, in this labyrinth. Destroy it, or be destroyed. There is no middle ground. It is a frightful place, the very walls are filled with fear. Come, enter there. It is a cold, dark, dismal sort of place. But such is the darkness within. But it is a road that must be traveled, come along.
Enter with me into the Labyrinth of the Red Queen, listen to the sound of her song, and heed what words might be heard in them.
There is a part of my soul that longs to fly, and based on the number of times this wish is seen in the realm of fairy tales, I would suspect, there is something in the soul of most of human kind that longs to fly. And while airplanes and such, help us with this, they still don’t cure it. There is in us the desire to go onwards and upwards, unaided, to simply fly, without the worry of falling. The question must be asked, why do we long to fly? For centuries we’ve been discontent to keep our feet on the ground, we want to fly. Why would this be so persistent a part of our collective imagination? It is like a memory that has crept through the ages, so even though we’ve lost our wings, we know we were meant to fly. Perhaps it’s the impulse to jump, to push, to go higher, always. For me, I call this part of me, the Dauntless part of me. It can make me almost reckless. It’s the part of me that would rather be riding on top of a car than in it. It’s the part of me that rejoices when I hear a driving beat, loudly played. It’s why I can’t be content with watching, and with waiting, but must find some way to involve myself, it is why I speak at all, in many ways. There is this longing for something reckless. I know of few joys greater than the thrill of this: the impulse to run, to fly. It drives me to learn, to leap, to jump, to go faster. But this part of my being is reckless, almost insanely so, and never content. It laughs in the face of danger and is a constant whisper to me, it is, I suppose a rather dangerous aspect, for once the road is chosen, I go forward, heedless of all else. It is why I throw my heart wholeheartedly into all that I touch or seek.
This desire to fly It is often mistaken for rebellion I think by those who are outside it, but it is about as far from rebellion as one can get, the drive to act, the impulse to stand. This dauntless heart is also a heart inclined by nature to stand for the beliefs of the soul that holds it.
Sometimes I meet people who remind me that this is not my home, and the gods of this world, whether they be in number three, or deceptive beyond the working of words hold not any authority over me. These precious souls are fellow pilgrims, but they have truth and walk with love, and with grace. They know what is, what is not, and above all, know that they are strangers in a strange land, pilgrims passing through, aliens to the world that is. Citizens of another realm, here, amongst us, yes, but this world is not their home, nor my own. Curiously, the more transparent these are, the stronger they become, they seem to become more human somehow, in the realization of their being strangers to this world.
In the seeking of the beautiful, I am alive, sometimes beauty is found in dark places, sometimes it is in the light, sometimes it is the light, and even the darkness itself is not entirely without beauty, but above all, beauty as we see it here, is but an image of that from which it is drawn. The realm I call my home.
Sometimes, I think what l need, is someone to walk this world with. Someone to walk with through either labyrinth, be it light or dark, and someone who will walk with me through them, it is tiring to walk alone, even if it be the way of the song. But, alone, I may walk, however weary a road it is to be. Nevertheless, I find comfort when I find other travelers on this road, and hope to see many more. To walk alone, I cannot be content in that, but must do so if required.