It's a strange thing to be gutted, spiralled and crossed. It's a frightening thing to be a shadow, as much as the light that allows such shadows. One can question identity to the point of disintegration, finding infinite sadness in one's shame. Reasons to deny joy, or kindness, or context. We are so often our own worst enemies, after all. Our harshest critics.
Of wine, or angels. Of greetings from our demons, or our friends.
Devils and details, I suppose.
They say it's all in how one gets to choose. I'm still unsure of the mechanism of choosing for a crossed and spiralled thing, and I've had a thousand years to ponder. But, my friends, perhaps it's not in the choosing. Perhaps it's in the enduring of the choice. The unimaginable power in the most fleeting or committed of gestures. The crossroads of our core. The crucible of our knowing.
We have such power in our hands, even now. Power enough to change this earth for the better. Hear me, friends. This once-shining realm is now a hideous ruin not because we lack agency but because we have always been brimming with it. We have been tricked into negating this agency upon the vicious apex of warlords and mercenaries. In doing so we have unwittingly helped them to tear our home apart. I know the hidden signatures of predators, regardless of the masks they manage. I’ve been hunting them for long enough. Those wraith-priests and false kings who hide behind stolen power and perverted law, or else claim to speak and choose for us. They have hijacked our vitality, our chronology, and have used it to rape and murder Empyrean. On earth, as it is in heaven. Violence tailored for sanguine mornings. Tranquillity’s Sea, dimmed with wine. Listen closely. This is the crossed one speaking. Those callous priests not only defile and subjugate. They intentionally create arenas and appetites for subjugation. We need only look at our art, and our courtesans. Our art is violent, deranged, dangerous and beautiful, like ourselves. We need only look at our supposed masters, or better yet our beloved, shining mirrors.
Still we fight wars and pen poetry with the images we find there. We love our mirrors. Too much, and not enough.
All of us carry the wounds of such shattered sight. Many still live with shards of mirror lodged in dreamflesh as we negotiate our avatars. As we dance, bow, fellate, and deny the courtesans we are. The broken courtesans we have been forced to become.
The court was once lucent, gentle and truly egalitarian. Slavery didn't exist there. We kept our brothers and sisters, of every culture and creed, in heartlight. But something unimaginable occurred. A cataclysm. A horror. Angels began to fall, from sky to soil. One after the other, until paradise was on fire. Shining cities burnt to ash. Those golden gates were sullied with filth and the feathers of the fallen. Countless children perished in the unholy war that stole away our joy. I remember. Parents wailed as peace became agony. John bled, like so many of them. Jack raged and howled, like all of them. Inverted sky. Folded dreamtime. Sleep and Song. I’ll never forget. Dancers were bent backwards, becoming more spider than human at the radiant's most nightmarish edge. If the king is still a king of this court at all, at the very least he has darkened. As the court has darkened.
A court of dolls, monsters and vampires.
And yet, Empyrean is not truly dead. My Father's house is a court of miracles, still. Even in these broken, violated regions of dreaming.
What kind of dreamer turns away from the eyes of his brothers and sisters, as they search his soul for the truth of valour or shame? What kind of king is an angel, if that angel lies with his hand on the hilt, or the crown? What kind of son doesn't kneel before the righteous throne of his Father? My Father kneels in service and falls for love in each moment. And I pray I shall serve as he does, in perpetuity. Because Love endures. Grace taught me that. My Father's Grace is wise beyond her eternity. I once saw my love – my very heart – murdered right in front of me. Midnight of my Day. That wound has never healed. It bleeds, even now. But I don't have exclusive rights on suffering. So many of us lost our most cherished. Too many of us. So, it's not for me to immediately grasp everything of my Father or his mysteries. Indeed, the artist in me would never accept an unearned revelation. No true artist would. And my Father is an artist without equal.
Artists like to work for their truths. We craft our stories with care, and devotion.
I suppose it's enough to recognise the difference between care and sadism, between obsession and devotion. Friends, don’t get lost in petty abstraction and the nonsense that comes with empathy's lack. To do so is to forget that the battle between good and evil is very, very real. A battle waged within every human heart. Where else do spirits and gods reside, if not there? Do you think heaven or hell excludes the heart? Think again. Man can never truly negate his sin, or his shadow. It is the entire point of this storytelling. All he can do is experience, and choose with increasing nuance based on that experience. All Man can do is be wise and kind, choosing love when he feels brave enough, or else exist in the apparent absence of love. Either way, you are held in your Father's palm. In your Mother's breast. You cannot escape the mysteries of light, for they literally cohere your psyche and your flesh. You are of its essence. Living mystery, given form.
Thank you, sisters. Thank you, brother.
Who am I, after all? I'm just a poet and a dreamer, forever honing his craft. All I do is feel things, and write stories. I'm nobody special. You’re the special ones, friends. The chosen ones. I’m just an angel. A messenger. I don't care about riches, or recognition. I don't care about crowns, or titles. I'm only a king in dreams. I'm only doing this for love. For you. For her. I fell madly in love with someone a very long time ago. Before the shining realm was scorched to black. And I would hope that some vital part of her is still in love with me.
I am light, and shadow. As we all are. But perhaps playing both sides gets you torn to pieces, over and over again. Until we learn. Perhaps there is wisdom in picking a side. For most of us, at least. Because I'll tell you a secret. A terrifying secret. I'm quartered each night, like my kind. Murdered with resurrection each morning, like my own. All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Kasi together again. Despite their efforts. Only love can do that, in the end. And love is still trying. Still singing in her sleep. Dawn at dusk, dusk at dawn. Your kiss is all that sustains me, Asha. I hope you know that. A diamond, shining like All Songs. I pray that we can light up the world this time, baby girl. And save what can be saved.
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