I don’t get much reaction to my on-line offerings – a subsistence level of looks and the rare comment, which is fine with me as most internet comments are of the back scratching variety, i.e., I’ll pretend your crap is good if you pretend mine is, or, really at the root, I’ll pretend I’m interested in you if you pretend you’re interested in me. However yesterday I got a couple of inquiries which got the wheels turning.
There’s a woman who somehow found my 360 poetry/ art page, and was drawn by my Inanna poem. She’s a pretty serious student of the esoteric and her blog is very engaging, with a refreshing modesty and sense of humor about the whole thing. We comment on each other’s blogs regularly and I’m always interested in what she has to say. Her latest question was triggered by my creation "kklassroom" which is in the slide show to the right:
is this how you see astrals?
Well, at first I thought she meant is this the method by which I see astrals, which, since I don’t think I’ve ever seen one except in dreams, I didn’t really understand. But then I started realizing that I do believe in, as Rimbaud says, the alchemy of the word. In other words, I’m convinced that if I’m to perform any kind of magic, and experience the transcendent it will be via an aesthetic experience. I do think, as do most artists, that I touch the angels in the act of creation – obviously you’re taking the creator’s place, and even if the result is something noone gives a tinker’s damn about, at least you’ve been there. For me, it is an alche-mystical project, changing the dross of our world into something significant, seeing the eternal in an adolescent girl sitting by a classroom window in the sunlight. Since the image is based on a photograph the process must be to change the given image somehow in order to awaken the viewers to not just say oh, yeah, a girl by a window. So what?
Then I realized I was misunderstanding her question – what she meant was is this what you imagine astrals to look like. Seeing and/or portraying astrals is not how I envision my artistic mission (such as it is) but, yes, I suppose astrals are often described as beings of light and may well resemble the women I post. There’s a wacked out website out there that specifically equates Klimt’s paintings with an occult desire to portray visionary beings, but, rather than the unleashing of esoteric secrets, I think it’s more of an effort to express the transcendent and numinous in terms of contemporary beauty, to create the sort of infinity within time that Schopenhauer finds the only meaningful peak experience of life and the only infinity we’ll know. The thing about astrals, and beauty in general, is the next turn of the modernist wheel, with artists like Schiele and Munch, who portrayed the danger of the urge to beauty, the fear that goes with awe, the feeling that you are going to be consumed by it and, let’s face it, the uncontrollable sexual urge that’s hardwired in us at the sight it. Any good occultist knows that astrals can be as dangerous as they are beguiling (the "it’s all good" aura of most new agers is what most bugs me about them), and I want to create an expressionist unease along with the temporary manifestation of the eternal that we call beauty.
When this woman first commented on my blog I didn’t reply by saying who are you?, and she’s never asked it of me, but every time I comment on a younger person’s blog that’s the first question they ask. I really think it’s a generational thing. In today’s world of the sanctity of celebrity who you are is much more important than what you have to say. Despite their strong image and personalities, when you think of the Rolling Stones you think of songs, Satisfaction, Brown Sugar, Start Me Up, but when you think of Madonna or Jessica Simpson, you just think of, well, Madonna or Jessica Simpson. Even a novelist’s website and picture are more important than their book. I noticed during the Monica Lewinsky scandal mature people such as myself thought oh, my gosh she must be so embarrassed, while the younger set admired her for "putting herself out there" and becoming somebody, the definition of a person being someone whose been in People magazine. When asked Who are you? I used to quote the Emily Dickinson poem "I’m nobody/Who are you?" but that wasn’t satisfying, so now I’ve just shortened it to I’m nobody, and they don’t reply, secure that my input is meaningless.
Any other questions?
I didn’t think so.