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It’s a weird feeling - and I’ve indeed been weirding this work - to finish a project after about three and a half years of immersion.
The Killing Joke manuscript looms to completion over these next few weeks. I feel it - the coming to conclusion of what has to be thought and felt through of the work, for it to work. Of course, then there’s entry into a very different, next phase: preparing the book for publication with The Mute Canary (it’s looking like it will come out sometime in the second half of 2023).
In these cases, there’s never closure. It seems like I’m heading to a definite end, but mostly in the sense of the edge of a cliff, an approaching brink.
I’ve gone through this numerous times, with works that have come into the world and with works that remain unpublished.
Either way, inspiration driving the need to shape into form a nearest-as-possible approximation of an internal vision comes to be fulfilled. Then, out of fulfillment - emptiness. An absence in that exact internal space where inspiration arose.
So now, I anticipate such missingness. Emptiness at the edge of a cliff. Yet, openness.
Stasis. Utter quiet in my office right now, muted background ambience. Like the fog dampening autumn-turned leaves - what yellow suffusion nevertheless! lemon bright, gamboge, chartreuse - glutting my window.
Already, and before I’m ready, I feel the pressing on, a surge of the Creative, an urgency to figure out what to focus on next. It’s an uprising. The next revolution, inside me. Rather, evolution more than revolution, turns for sure, but then returns, undoing, redoing, fall and response, resurgence, retreat, advance, onwards and upwards: uprising? Upspiraling.
Thank you for reading Poetry, Thought, Word Magick! As of today exactly one year going! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and follow my work.
Please accept my gratitude for your readership! Today is the first anniversary of this Substack. Thank you to all who have stuck by me since the beginning and to all who have joined on throughout this publication’s steady growth - and welcome to all who have signed up these past few weeks! I celebrate you in my heart and thoughts. I imagine you when I work on this project: willing adventurers of the infinity ephemera spiral.
I trust you find here honest dealings with reality, in honor and support of the creative path, however you take it. For art, or - more universally - for life.
“Nacib was at his wits’ end. Gone were his peace of mind, his happiness, his joy of living. His fat cheeks had lost their jovial look, and he stopped curling the ends of his mustache, which now drooped over unsmiling lips. All he did was think, think, think - which is certain to get a man down, rob him of his sleep and appetite, cause him to lose weight, and leave him dispirited and melancholy.”
- Jorge Amado, Gabriela, Clove, and Cinnamon1 (italics mine)
Reminder to myself to walk the old-new path lightly, as I repost the “fundamentals” map for Creative Path-Workings, evolved in the first six months of this Poetry, Thought, Word Magick project.
If, due to societal threats or personal stresses, our laughter has to be strained - as in The Killing Joke - so be it; it is to be hoped something will relax or lapse into wisdom at last, or transcendence.
Wing-Beat of Spirit and the Creative Word
Nothing remains but what rises above the abyss of today’s monstrous problems, as above every abyss of every time: the wing-beat of the spirit and the creative word. – Martin Buber
The Idea of Upspiraling
We all know what a downward spiral is.
As Heraclitus says, “The way up-down is one and the same.” Forget about a straight line, however angled. Whirl about the vertical. Defy gravity.
Upspiraling Light, Upspiraling Humanity
The beginning of something to develop further here.
What hovers as halo, what hovers upwards of the brow - lets us know. Better angels of our nature, white light, the angelic light. The divine reaches downwards to us as light. Years of meditation don’t bear much fruit (beyond stress relief, inducing calm) until eventually one begins to perceive an astral white light. First as a glimmer, then quite easily, regularly - candescence.
But what to do with it? It came from above, and it provides a line of verticality, an axis, for upspiraling your own intrinsic and meditation-gathered light.
Similarly for humanity, and its future. It may be true that the arc of history bends toward justice, but that’s insufficient solace in an era of sweeping backlash against civil rights and gender equality (at least in the U.S. with its ongoing partisan judicial coup), effectively poised to take society back 70 years.
Distinct from the arc of justice (whether of History with a capital H or of Dr. King’s “moral universe”), recognition of a beam of heavenly light up-down the axis of Eternity gives indication of vindication of the future: the human spirit upspirals. Despite entropy and evil: ever and always for life, for the good fight. Upspiraling identifies the kind of spiritual evolution humanity engages, simultaneously with earthly adaptation. Even without faith of a future thus assured, we spiral in the Now; there is an infinity spiral of the present. The present is eternal and/or infinite, its presence connecting past and future vertically, as well as through infinite repetition, Eternal Recurrence; through turn and return, what is in real time - the mortal everyday - elevates each coming around to its true significance.
Translation from the Portugese by James L. Taylor and William Grossman.