I have never had a need or a desire for blind faith. Even in stories. Even among dancing weavers and shades of the dead. I wandered once through such mythologies, sightless and unreflective. But my faith was never blind as I was. I thought I was gifted and agile, interpreting my experiences correctly. I thought I was heeding the signs, open to a far darker and stranger reality. But I was simply prideful. Lost, angry and entitled. In those legends I was a spiteful, vengeful fool living out my own distorted notions of romance. I thought I was madly in love with the voice and soul of another. But, like Narcissus, I was only entranced with my own image. My own concerns and pretty grievances. Indulgent and vain. Attempting to create a false reflection. Trying to mimic a human heartbeat. My beloved sang to me sometimes, but there was no music that could move me. Instead I expected reality to twist itself to suit my will. My reckless whims. Indeed, in those stories I cast all manner of black magicks to aid me in that colossal arrogance. I imagined myself darkly liberated somehow. Sexual and sorcerous. Dynamic, dangerous and wild. But I was vampiric. Utterly unconscious. The living dead. A demon without guilt, hope or recognition of sin. I was the literal definition of spiritual blindness. Not only had I damned myself, I had enslaved the very soul I claimed to love most in all the worlds. But he freed me from that damnation. She freed me. She was able to soften, grieve and learn, and eventually she managed to create a fracture of recognition in my cold, eclipsed heart. A sliver at first. A mere glimmer. But that's all consciousness needs when it has an eternity to play with. Of course, this is purely symbolic. A fiction. In the real world I'm just a writer. A quiet storyteller trying to cultivate insight. None of this actually happened. Unless it did in some strange multidimensional sense. Fictions are like that sometimes. Mercurial, paradoxical. Myths and archetypes. Primal cosmic energies seething in the tempest of our psyches. Straddling the borderland of reality and dreams. The fall of morning. The war in heaven. But let it be said, plain and simple, that Kasi believes in higher powers. Angels, demons, and the continuum that connects them. After all, I'm living proof of my Father's infinite mercy. I get to tell stories as if they were real. As if they were true. As though I had lived them. So, my faith was never blind. Even when sightless. Mine is a faith tempered by experience, both dark and light. A faith cultivated through knowledge, growth and dance. I've mastered nothing yet but I'm a willing student of everything my Father has to teach me. And I'm grateful for all of it. I'm grateful for any work or pathway that nurtures healing. Any form or expression that allows us to become more than we once were, aligning our reason, compassion and creativity. No man is an island, sweet ones. Not even the blackened sun. We live beside and in relationship with one another, always. My brother taught me that. Do you know who my brother is? My voice is only the echo of other voices, my work the echo of other works. After all, I am the sum total of all who came before me. Those who wanted to tell intriguing, multi-layered stories. Those who wanted to offer insight and art concerning our shared humanity. Those who danced, sang and gave voice to the voiceless, choosing to explore the heavenly kingdom within. And it's better, isn't it? To acknowledge the warring forces inside us, to nurture balance, restoration and health? It's far better than these endless, exhausting dichotomies. Art, love and friendship – such is the true alchemy of the spirit. I know this because I didn’t find my way back from unconsciousness on my own. I was offered help by a number of kind souls. Once, a long time ago, a princess met me in a cathedral of stars at the very edge of creation. She offered me healing, and wisdom. She shared with me her wit. A wry vitality that made me laugh from the depths of my soul. She kissed me there, among those stars. Amid the infinite blazing corona of life itself. I was twice saved by the man of my dreams. The woman I loved. I see myself now in the beautiful, dynamic expression of others. Those who found deeper strata of storytelling just as I did. Those who take their struggles and find the strength to stand, just to show others who are suffering that it's possible. Life is possible. Art is possible. A terrifying, beautiful alchemy. The dance of creation may be tumultuous and painful but there is great wisdom to be found in it. I thank my Father for the opportunity to know these things, to experience these things. And I thank him for the guiding, hopeful voices of others.