Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mares of Hope

These walls are stained engraved with pain
You will find them under shadows casting shame
For some, it's all they've ever known, Angels of
the fortunate sons come and go ... You may not

Entities pass in the night
Guardians and the Reapers fight,
The will to live shall win
Mares of hope ride through their dreams
Blinding light awakens sleeping dawn
It seems it was all a dream, an endless dream

I will wish upon a star I believe in you
And if my will has strayed afar I remembered you
Will you remember me
I the one you sentenced penance unabsolved
Answer me, save my will, have you forgotten me

Pace the hallway blind man,
for a million miles of stars his mind has seen
Think you may that he lives in darkness
We're in the dark, he's seen the light of dream

Karen, she's been asleep forever
I know she hears me, she has so much to say
The machine sends sparks through her eggshell mind
A tear streams from her face
Into my hand, to my heart

I'm a fire without a flame
Helpless child without a name
With broken wings catch me I'm falling
I'm a question with no answer
Who are you that takes my life away from me
Unveil the boundaries of the black

I had a dream I was you
Strong as the fire in my veins
And when I called out your name
I would remain to witness the pain
I am beyond silent black
I will be back as your guardian

Angels in white you have sacrificed
You witness and bury the pain
You walk hand and hand with the fear stricken child
Strengthen the weak and the lame

Have you seen beyond the unborn
The pillars of penance and lore
Perpetual journey into the realm
The sovereign servitor

Human beings do not share a lot of common experiences. They share common drives which result in named emotions but the combinations of them as designed by circumstance and fate are unique to every one. The common experience of humans is not ideology either because words and meanings, while evoking with the austerity of thousands of years worth of pondering a deep respect, are in the end as subjective as the symbols conveyed by clouds.

The common experience of human beings is that of hope. Assorted elation and anger, fulfillment and despondency follow and mix and are difficult to describe but who doesn't know of hope? The illogical and untestable belief (if that word can begin to describe, because sometimes it feels so flimsy) that life will be good, one will achieve what they desire, the tally will be fair and finally, closure and contentment before the end.

Art isn't hope in itself. Art reminds of hope through awe. Artistic artifacts are fancy externalities, emotive curiosities that we often keep a safe distance from. We like to count them and catalogue them according to how often they made a controlled impact on us and we call that 'good art', thereleft the discard pile of bad art that made us feel nothing, highly suspect in both motive and design as usual. However from good art to great art there is a surrender that can only occur when the external breaks the safety net and reconfigures the internal, finds its vital place at the core. That's a violent process and it's shocking and it's a surrender and this is why people are sometimes reticent to talk not of 'good art' (art which has had some curious & controlled effect a week ago and might be worth suggesting to others on the same safe level) but of great art, the art which has climbed inside, has rearranged, has become real. People are reticent to talk about that because it's like talking about their deepest hopes.

As an aside, this is also why people often disguise merely 'good art' as great art and praise to the sky stuff that barely managed to have a bit of an effect on their mood last Saturday as if it's the self-defining pinnacle of all artistry. Merely a diversion. The undead like to appear breathing so as to gather around them a secondhand vicarious existence while their tender heart beats in the secret phylactery underneath their bed. You can spot these liches by their terminology when discussing said 'great art', avoiding personal risk and exposure.

Heavy Metal became an internalized reality for me during a troubled adolescence, as is common. Dreaming darkly through the disappointing minutiae that coalesce to a monumental disappointment, glimmering in still black water, a severe hope. A reflection of the stars above, so below, a proud dive inwards where the superego is distant and the ego can liken itself to the primordial fierceness of the id.

Heavy Metal has nothing to offer in ideology or social grace, its pursuits are personal & ingressive. It is dangerous because what it inspires is extremity and hyperbole: the world is for it, an eternal enemy. One might learn to shield themselves from it and be proud but what when the victory is complete and they are left alone? An absurdity of being calls magnetically to suicide and perhaps Camus would instead suggest the absurdity "requires revolt" but Heavy Metal is also dark and in some ways, a coward when it comes to toiling under a measured, endless burden.

But Heavy Metal sings of hope even through surface morbidity and through the naive solutions of a romanticist destruction and in this way it is a human art (humanist has become a different word meaning "that which likens but is not" so let me avoid) and the way it can get inside and rearrange is through the awe it inspires. Awe reminds us of our hopes. Some times people I meet who listen to less obvious types of music struggle to see how I - a person they think, of some sophistication and education - can be very single-mindedly given to Heavy Metal, why I become easily bored or disassociated from other types of more faceted, glib, subversive music. It is because I have been awed by Heavy Metal, I have fallen in love with it and the love will last forever. I have no strength for many mistresses and those who dabble with them all I do not want to emulate nor do I ever trust completely.

Heavy Metal induces awe with ancient, simple meaning. When Fates Warning sing of secret promises to stars, of obligation and of remembrance, they are not humans named John Arch or Jim Matheos, they are a primordial entity, named as far as the warnings of fate can be given names. Clotho spins the threads of life, Lachesis will measure them and Atropos will cut them with her shears. A god sings distant, a symbol behind the symbols of clouds, he doesn't teach anything but shows with grace: one has been given back what they always possessed.

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