There is an entity – a piece of artistry – a benevolent ghost that exists in order to heal the scars of solitude marked onto the souls of the creative in spirit – this goddess is the ghost of a woman, an artist driven by terrors – a gentle woman who visits the bodies of painters, guitarists, a dancer or a slave to Fado – and she spirits her essence into these people, allowing them – giving strength that they may gush these bloodied renderings – helping to coax intention into movement – lifting hands, pushing air through blood, imbuing the stuff of ragged people with the ideal beauty of gods.
This one has joy – he smiles the entire time – the strings dancing at his fingertips – there is cadence, cascade, a dynamic of gentleness building slowly and the minor notes pull a heart too near until there is an ache that can’t be satisfied. He feels the sound leave him, he feels the softness of the tone with the string plucked just here, he feels the purpose and then the anger of a crescendo and releases a listener to bliss with the resolve so long in expectation and so beautifully hidden – delivered when blood can take no more of the tears.
Silence – she leaks out of the hearts of an audience and feels for a hole somewhere in the universe.
This one is driven by a seething wound – he can’t describe any of the symptoms, but the pages fill over and over again. Short pieces, single words, sentences in language and commitment – they spin into one another and the ease of their delivery surprises him again and again. While he sleeps she will steal away – his heart will wait. He is confident of the syphon flow.
This girl with the voice – she is tragedy. She is despair, and the pain that drives her came at the moment she remembers as her most intensely happy. The flash of realization that death had betrayed her before she could even be sure. Love stolen by eternity at its most delicate moment. The words that spill are from this tragedy and she will sing the Fado forever.
This benevolent spirit holds her limp body erect so that the air can come in and be forced back through the throat in order to produce these beautiful sounds. Some of the ether of that spirit and the death-inspired longing issues with each exhalation of her soul. It is breathed by every heart that hears it.
The spirit releases the woman at the end of the night and because of this she will sometimes awaken in terror alone, and sometimes she will sleep long, imbued with the feeling that something else sang that night a thousand hours ago – last night, when she cried the words – her damnation of all love because hers was stolen by death.
And then taking with her the anguish of the journey, the gutted body of the creative experience – the ghost steals it away to wherever there are gods who care – in order that the artist can rest and the corpse of the idea can be pounded – on and about the empty chest until some creature or other can be summoned from the infinity of souls wishing to be resurrected again into beauty, pain, joy or horror.
Her limbs glow like ivory, her flesh is cool and opaque – a wiry frame holds draped veils – like wishes, and she will move during the night toward an unguarded heart – called instantly from impossible distance by Morpheus, accessory to the fire that will take these souls and burn their fuel, pound them against their own palettes, against the strings of their instruments or boil their blood into the paint thrown, or the ink and words demanded of a mind flaming with inspiration.
The boy plays in yellow sunshine on a deep-green grass lawn. The smell of the blades surrounds him, his fingers feel them – a succulent thick mat. He plays in fields across a gulley, on days when his heart can’t be corralled. He steps over and across a path into deep mud and laughs as his boots suck water with a sound that tickles inside his belly.
He doesn’t feel her enter his being, completely and with focussed intent – barbed light, scent with razor hooks that can’t be torn from flesh, this young vital heart belongs to her and she owns its sinews.
The youth is alone outside at the deepest depth of the night – the city is asleep – at the top of a hill overlooking river, railroad, fields, and homes – no soul aware. The deepest night smells of thick time. His heart feels splendid comfort and this is the beginning of an unknown path, a bubble of truth – his only solace – and a desire to be here will haunt him for eternity. He has found his home inside his soul.
A young man holds her body to his and feels exquisite pleasure expand within. At every touch this becomes more urgent – a new power – completely wild, with essence of purity, grace, animal driven and impossible with need. They couple, they share depth and wonder and heat – the stink of life issues around them and lays redolent on their souls for weeks to come, until she finds something new, and he retreats into that silence he found on a hill in the dark of night years ago as a boy, comfortable, forgiving, and carefree.
Middle aged, he founders – drunken and loud – alone among peers until his feelings dissipate out here, only to be re-created demon-like in the depth where they begin their building of his corpse – anticipating release.
Old hands at paper, pen, devices, he begins to spill. She returns in the night in that silent place, alone where the truth rattles inside his cold skull and she turns her veils and opaque skin to work in his imagination beginning with a single sentence and opening his heart to the wonder of blood on paper. A saviour. A harbinger of light, a voice uttered outward – exaltation bound with unseen shackles, blood and wires, the toll – mountain of toll logged for later and payment demanded regardless of the empty stores and their echoes of laughter at the very thought of substance. He fills and empties, fed by invisible ether, like a cistern drawn at by thirsty animals. Eternal cycle.
This one is a girl, frail hands that seek bits of matter out of the folds of a blanket where a cat slept last night at her feet, all fur and whiskers and softness and tired eyes, little claws and mystery – the bright morning sunbeams through windows at the end of a room illuminate a piece of foil turning in the air – awareness that calls – instantly – the ghost that sees the diamond soul and spawns inside this heart the embryo of a desire to cry the beauty onto a canvas board.
She travels with her sister to distant lands, a journal, an introvert and a sibling tilting over the countryside, riding cars, trains boats and empty vessels until the pressure of the words splits a seam and the idea of color and depth take her and she begins to need oil, brush, cloth and slick crusted fingers more than breath or food.
A young woman alone, outside in a forest on a wind-raked day, laying in a thick wool sweater on her back looking straight up – the reek of pine and salt air dizzying, the massive spires rocking, leaning with wind – the trees take on angles and swaying movement and impossibly deep color – green found only at the edge of the deepest black night – rubbed by a conjured purple and backlit with a dank gray sky boiling in horror inland, away from the violence of the sea.
She rises and runs panicked, deathly afraid and driven to remember every detail and nuance – to a dark room with a dangling bulb and an easel and her heart aches this vision out over a stretched white canvas until there is no space left for human being and when the paint skins over on the brushes she cries because perfection is still a lifetime away. Genius and damnation cycle here until a triumph of compromise or fatigue kills the will to go forward.
Pure beauty is borne out of this battle, but she looks out the window again.
Here is a sculptor, borne of sand and dirt at the base of a range of mountains. Landlocked dancer with limbs that flail uncommitted seeking some hint of purpose. The visits happen slowly – years pass – and the direction is never decided.
Love circulates in the girls veins making tiny rips in her heart as time passes. These scar into shapes malleable and renewed. This one is a cross-hatch of ferns. There is sand issued from a closed fist over a flat plate. A swipe – a lump of flesh bulging on the side, glistening and writhing with the pulse of muscle. That piece is a slice of metal, a sickle-shaped curve, sharp and dangerous.
This young woman becomes an inventor – she swallows possibility and forces form from detritus. She gathers metal, cloth, paint, pumice – all and every texture she sees becomes joy or discard in a fury of experimentation, pastiche life – until some night an eternity removed from the child, at a crescendo of practice, trial and tears she finds herself leaping into faith, lighting a candle at the side of a light-board in a filled auditorium, sifting and throwing sand at anger and tragedy and human sacrifice until the people cry and the blood flows slippery and sweet from rips rent in her heart – the leaking scars, over the hands of that ghost, already abandoning this house, disappearing into the void.
It falls away, rising – becoming infinite backdrop and allowing holes in the veil to leak starlight into the universe and onto the face of some infant – eyes innocent and tears still pure.