“Drink to me only with thine eyes, And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kiss within the cup And I’ll not ask for wine.
The thirst that from the soul doth rise Doth ask a drink divine;
But might I of Jove’s nectar sup, I would not change for thine.”  ~Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes

aking a last look at the remaining vestiges of civilization being attempted to be saved is not as distancing one may think it is, even if one is standing off the shoreline out of the mix.  Nevertheless, one must leave the mix, the battled field or any other metaphor one wishes to apply to it, if one wishes to maintain their sanity for any length of time.  The artist, especially, is not immune.  Indeed is more susceptible than many others to the subtle, and not so subtle, shakings and rumblings around them which indicates events are much closer than they may wish them to be.  Who has time for the higher virtues such as love and compassion, especially when society has grown ill of them?

eferences of leaving our footprint upon the Earth has become a phrase used quite frequently in the past and now pertains to mostly, as it did then, to an environmental impact human beings have on a global scale.  In one way it challenges the notion that while we have lived on this earth, when we leave it the long-range expectation is one from the outside would never know we had been here from an environmental damage perspective.  Or at the very least if we had been, we had left the earth in better shape than we found it.  A long-standing Ethical requirement for those who would intrude into the wilderness, leave it better than you found it.  From a Psychological perspective, the expectation is we leave someones life in better condition than we found it including our own.  That doesn’t mean changing their political or religious beliefs (though on a personal level it might for us an individual), it means we must find a way to make their life a better quality if we are to interact with them.  We become their guardians, to keep them healed, whole, intact and loved as a person and as a human being.

he Artist (Writer, Poet, Painter, Musician, Sculptor…) has the role then of leaving the world a better place than they found it.  We embark upon the ultimate, Shamanic journey of healing of entering into the underworld where we are plunged into darkness and we make our way out with healing in our hands.  One Christian myth is the “Harrowing of Hell” when Christ entered into the underworld after his crucifixion and liberated the righteous imprisoned there. Parallels in Jewish tradition reference legends of Enoch and Abraham’s harrowing of the Underworld while ancient Greek tales of Orpheus provide us with the same tale, the same belief that one impacts the world they are part of in a healing fashion not because it is obligatory, but it is because that is how we make life better.  It is our destiny as human beings to build a world filled with healing even though it may contradict our nature.  We can transcend ourselves and by doing so we change the world in both physical and spiritual form.  In my last blog I referenced the concept of seventh generational impacts both in the past and in the future.  Think of what this really means, especially for the artist who knows after they are gone their work will survive.

here are times when I must place myself off shore of the Wasteland I am part of.  physically it tires me, drains my energy, makes my bones ache in every joint.  My eyes lose focus and sight blurs, my head pounds and while I desire sleep it eludes me because my fatigue has moved me beyond sleeps touch.  Spiritually I shrink from the shadows and touch of my fellow-man.  Why must I drain my physical and mental strength upon them in order to help guide them, when they will not be guided or even remotely respond readily to the basic fire in them which speaks to them of compassion and reason?  How long must I endure the pain of their touch and air which poisons me moment by moment, and destroys the future piece by pice of the ones I love and cherish?  The natural world would not tolerate such conditions for a moment, the pack would rally and turn them to prey.  But I am denied this course, because I drank the chalice of peace and therein sealed my own fate that to engage with devils I will become such and yet attuning myself with the natural world I create paradox.  The way of death is not my way, it is not the human way.  Why then do we embrace that role so readily?  Everything we touch we taint with death?  From the moment we are born we began to die, it is a race of uneven odds even with the promise of some afterlife.  A meaningless cycle or an eternity giving our worship to a supreme being and nothing else.  Just one hymn after another as one receives adoration from us who kneel for eternity or burn in pain or cease to exist altogether.  Where is the artistry in these?

et the artist thrive, it is our birth right and if you wish to pull yourself into the flames do so but do not take the world of the artist with you.  Let us sing and write to our hearts content, or discontent for even in discontent the artist will find the doorway to meaning.  Make room in the world for the souls who walk among us that see the visions we do not, who see into the darkness and scry the seeds of light scattered throughout the very fabric of our existence as a world, as a universe, as a cosmos.  Let their voices be heard and the notes of their music lay the foundations for a better mankind.  Not a better nation, but a better world, a better human attuned to how the race was meant to live.  Who not just sees the patterns at work but one who lives the pattern as a daily routine and definition of who they are as human.  We must move past the incessant chants of “It is the Law!” and began to chant “It is in the heart!  It is in the Soul!”  Give sway to the chords of music, the polished and shaped stone, the pages in a tome or the canvas for all to see.  Do not give us reason to abandon mankind, even if it be for a few moments, so we have to watch from off shore as the human country sinks itself into the sea of nothingness.  Let us return from our journeys to the underworlds and dispense healing.  We do not ask anything we have not already done.

sking if trees really talked was a rhetorical question for the village.  They would not have thought to even ask that question any more than “Does the sun rise and set?”  On a daily basis , at any give point in time, one would see conversations taking place between humans and the natural world.  The conversations were quite engaged as both nature and humans were both avid listeners and speakers.  Anyone half observant could see such conversations all of the time.  Just how did one talk to say, a tree?  Quite simply of course.  You walked up to it and placed your hand on the trunk or let it lay a leafy branch in your hand and you began to talk.  You could even start to talk before you touched it.  In return it would respond but as in any conversation you had to listen.  Beneath your hand and fingers you would feel the warm of the tree and slight movement as it breathed and got used to your touch.  It might lay a leafy finger against your cheek, or run it through your hair.  Some of the more timid ones would tremble slightly.  Branches might clack, and one might hear whispering and when one ended the exchange, there would be no doubt two acquaintances had just conversed together.