Sunday 28 May 2023

A Silent Song

It's a strange thing, singing in silence.  Throwing voices.  Talking through the whispers of others.  It’s strange but it affords many graces.  A kind of contextual luminosity.  The bright ones gather just beyond the edge of ordinary sight and if the heart's intention is noble they exalt this quiet communication.  I’ve felt them before, sometimes even glimpsed them clothed in dream, lullaby or a warm, playful smile.  They take this lateral speech, this tongue without words, and lift it to a higher, more expansive realm.  It is they who make poetry of our prose, delighting our inner ear with some insight or turn of phrase.  I've spent a long time doing this, always silently.  Living with and through subtext of all kinds.  It's how some of my greatest magic was wove.  Their magic really.  I act only as a channel, I suppose, or a medium.  But I've made some beautiful friends this way.  And those I hope to soon befriend if they feel a kinship.  Can friendships truly exist without ordinary speech or shared experiences? How genuine can such a connection be if it's formed entirely of glimpses, imaginings and dreams?  Well, some of the people I love most in all the world are still connected to me in this way.  And I to them.  I treasure those connections with all my heart.  Sometimes a gossamer thread of silent conversation is all that connects you to an old friend, or a lost love.  None of this happens by chance, you know. There is a plan, divine in its majesty, where souls who once loved and laughed together return to do so again.  Missionaries, nurses and teachers.  Artists and explorers.  I've known a few.  I still know many of them in this quiet way, scattered about the realm.  Threading music and light like jewels on a through line.  Isn't that the very rhythm of creation though?  Breath and death and life itself?  Moving apart only for the glory and thrill of coming together again.  Ebb and flow, lead and follow – the many turns of a sacred dance almost beyond mortal imagining.  I say almost because mortals are so imaginative.  We grasp so much, despite our doubts.  Every heart that touches ours in some unique and lasting way – we knew them once.  Some measure of genuine love and camaraderie was shared between both.  And we shall know them again.  Sometimes briefly, or for a lifetime.  In this world or the next.  This is truth I speak, my friends.  This is our Father's grace, made manifest even here in this harsh realm of polarities and frozen light.  Whether lifelong allies or ships passing in the night, our Father never denies us an encounter with an old friend.  Hear me now, beloved ones.  Think of the kindest stranger you ever met, or that brief encounter with someone you were certain you had known before.  The heart has such wisdom.  It connects affection to affection despite all odds.  Across space.  Beyond time.  It’s our passport to eternity.  I miss my friends dearly, gifted and cursed as I am with the burden of recognition, but I'm so glad to be among them once again.  Even at a distance.  They’ve taught me courage and kindness, composition and scale.  But more than this they’ve shown me wonders.  I once asked my Father if it was hubris, this desire for awe.  This craving for magic, mystery and endless unfolding revelation.  He chided me with the sweetest, most gentle touch.  And then he stirred a song in my centre.  A giddy sparkle at first, then a rousing flame.  A mutual delight.  Birthed within me was an ever-deepening joy.  My recognition of this holy mystery ebbs and flows, of course, but it never leaves me entirely.  Even in my loneliness I’m grateful.  It might seem a difficult thing to understand and yet I’m sure you’ve experienced some of this too.  I think we all have.  Those of us with faith, empathy or a delight in creative expression.  It reminds us when we’re lonely, doesn’t it?  It heals us when we’re hurt.  Quietly, silently, like a hidden song.  We were never without faith, my friends, even in our darkest and bleakest moments.  We just called it by other names.

Wednesday 24 May 2023

Left of Love

Bleeding the moon, enslaving the anima.  Chains upon the wrists, ankles and throat.  Is this where interplay was first imagined?  Black holding white, holding dark?  A half-remembered atrocity perhaps, recast now as axiomatic, enthroned as some ancient creation myth.  In the end all goddesses become black, then white.  And finally red.  But is she more than this?  Are we indeed all more than this?  Perhaps we are liminal Victorian ghosts, pregnant with fatal knowledge of our own deaths.  I’ve thought long about this mirror in the sky.  The way it shines, or bleeds.  The way it hangs upon the night like an eye, or an overseer.  Oh, writers, I commend the urge if not the truth of things.  I respect the poetry if not the prose.  Genocides are so often recast as heroic quests for freedom or sovereignty, depending on who commands the pages and the scribes.  But I understand the desire to make demons of our doubts and legends of our loss.  We still want to believe in heroes and gallant knights.  It’s a beautiful aspect of the human spirit.  That urge in both men and women to save the princess, to protect that which yearns and deserves to be protected by her beloved.  Isn’t that so many of us, angels and mortals alike?  There is still a place for softness, gentleness and empathy.  Isn’t there?  It has always been a favourite of mine.  Waterhouse’s painting of Lady Shalott, drifting down the river to her death, a crucifix and lantern at the prow, desperate to keep the light of her beloved in her breast.  Though he knows her not.  Unrequited or lost love, it’s still about pain – the profound ache in the soul.  It’s the Magdalena facing Christ on the cross, knowing with full agony that her love is leaving.  It’s the oldest lament in the world, isn’t it?  At least to an angel.  My love is leaving, or, my love does not love me in return.  Is this what turns black to white, and white to red?  No, I think perhaps violence against this holy muse, this imagined femininity, is what streaks blood across snow.  Red crosses upon white robes, drops of blood upon an unwritten page.  What happens when you slit the throat of primordial light, when you turn hierophant into whore?  Templefell.  Dark churches.  A frosty morning well aware that violence and injustice is coming.  I am here, she cries, and my heart is broken.  Elaine of Astolat will merely fade from view in death, joining again the primordial light in the trees and the river, in the birdsong and the rustle of leaves.  But Maria will become something else.  An Albigensian caution, a wandering Victorian wraith, as dark forces marshal by turns to deny her and to commit gleeful atrocities upon her dreamflesh.  It sickens me.  Does she know?  Can she sense it?  Did she look to that dead star in the sky and wonder why she was now drenched in her own desecrated life?  The poet’s moon, they say.  The key of souls and tides.  Why did nobody protect her when she walked those gas-lit nineteenth century streets?  Cobbled stones and alleyways.  Where was her never-met truly beloved?  Only monsters came.  Vampires and folding cities.  Believe me, I should know.  I fell prey to them too.  As I said, chains upon the wrists, ankles and throat.  Don’t be deceived, dear ones.  That was not simply then.  This is now.  Yeru-shalem is right here.  The fallen place of peace.  Cassiel is all our imagining, not mine alone.  Alchemy and gold and oblique saturnine mockeries.  But I want you to know that within the heart of the rose there is purity.  Truth, warmth and hope.  Ashash’el, known for her fury, has a deep sadness in her core, a howling cry for cognizance from her beloved.  Play with me, she yearns, tease and dance with me, but understand and be kind.  Similarly but conversely in the fair one, within Elen, there is a restlessness of great power hidden beneath the sweetness and the calm.  Hold me gently in your heart, she asks, but take me with all your passion if such vigour be noble and true.  In this way the sisters share a shadow, and a light.  They weave as one, quilting and stitching the infinite fibres of imagination.  Is this where interplay was first dramatized?  Black holding white, holding dark?  Switching skins and eyes and souls?  Whatever the case, I pray always for mutual affection.  I pray that we’re more than mere atrocities in some ancient war.  I need to believe that a spirit of genuine union still counts for something.  We exalted each other once, didn’t we?  We kissed, danced and teased, and found ourselves in each other’s eyes.  And we were so glad of the embrace.  Tell me, sisters.   The colour of our kindness, our passion and blood.  Tell me how to save what’s left of my love.

Monday 15 May 2023

A Diamond in the Flesh

Familiarity breeds contempt, they say.  Even among princes and kings.  It's a pity.  I really did care, you know.  But nobody can say I was a populist, back when I burned the world.  The earth of your imagination, Fallen.  Scorched to cinders and ash.  A thousand years ago, I think.  Or yesterday.  Maybe tomorrow.  Who knows?  Time is such a sly, mercurial thing.  Still, it wasn't a hateful act.  Such fire of the hearth was not a choice I made lightly.  Some of the most terrifying decisions ever are made in the name of love, aren't they?  Some misguided attempt at protection or immortality.  Making our beloved ones sacred somehow.  Transcendent.  These things still hold true for wraiths and darker shades.  After all, who is left to haunt – if not the hearts of those we once loved in some lost golden age?  Ghosts are nothing without context or lore.  But legacy isn't just family, or tomes in a library.  A true haunting is like mist.  There and not there.  Half-imagined whispers like glimmers on the edges of a quartz, shaped by the minds of men.  As I've said before, I care little for these imposter thrones.  These callow and violent lies of succession.  The new, altered world.  Perhaps one day soon I'll tell you the nuances of a real king and queen.  Brythonic, Saxon, Norman.  And all else besides. Maybe soon I'll tell you Jennifer's real name.  Oh, savage ones.  How you so gleefully elevate these hollow phantoms to godhood; it’s beyond me.  Your royal cults of black blood and inversion.  Would you like to meet a real dark angel?  A winged thing of midnight sun, perched among branches on the tree of life?  Whilst you scurry about below with your silica and sigils.  Would you?  I wonder.  Also, I want you to know that as you continue to poison everything there are those among my brethren who honour the tree and seek to reclaim the land.  To heal and rejuvenate the dreaming earth.  No earthly king in a thousand years has cared enough for such a task.  The ghosts, books and precious stones still whisper secrets if you know how to listen, and they hold nothing back.  Such cruel, mocking monarchs.  Perhaps I've already said too much, Callous Ones?  Perhaps I'm far too generous in my romance of your pathology?  Evil is just so fucking banal.  But as an enemy in the struggle against such banality, I have to say – what's life or struggle without a little magic?  We all need some pixie dust from time to time.  It's been said that I'm far too liberal in my use of it.  Purple prose and tall tales all a-glitter.  Perhaps that's true.  But Kashi only shines because his loved ones shine.  Flight is meaningless without friends, even if you're able to touch every star in the sky.  Hear me, Fallen.  You reign from the earth whilst imagining yourselves gods, but I search from the sky whilst walking here among men.  Fly for long enough and you'll discover the stars are infinite, believe me.  When all is said and done, who of sound mind would really want to reign or soar alone?

Friday 5 May 2023

Stories in the Sun

Hello, my friends.  It's been a while since I've addressed the readers of Amid Night Suns.  First of all, I want to thank everyone who's stuck with me over the years. Whether you read the blog regularly or just check in from time to time, I really appreciate it.  I hope my free-verse writing and video collages have brought you some comfort or inspiration.  I hope they've quickened you in the best possible way.  Nothing is going to change here in that regard but I wanted to let you know that moving forward I intend to post more of my fiction pieces on this blog's sister-site, The Night Sun.  You can find it by clicking the sun icon on the right or through the Allied Informers tab.  The formatting there is just better for narrative purposes.  I've always been a storyteller at heart and I'm constantly inspired by art and mythology, as well as the incredible work of others.  For me, art in general and fiction in particular is the place where the full spectrum of human experience can be expressed in all its depth and multiplicity.  Stories have always been a source of passion, nourishment and healing for me.  It's in that spirit of adventure that I hope to share these things with you.  So, if fiction is something you enjoy as much I do, then I hope The Night Sun will be a place you'll visit with me in the future.  With all that said, here's a link to my latest piece: Little Bird.  I'm not a professional writer by any means but I've worked very hard on it.  I hope it intrigues, engages or moves you in some way.  Be well, my friends.  I wish you all the best.