The Child Orpheus

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Artist's Description

pastels, water and mould damage (the mould is dead now though. i think.)
I did a sketch of a renaissance masterpiece, though which one escapes me like the name of the first girl I kissed…
The sketch got left in a badly made cardboard folder, in turn left in one of my less spectacular residences.
The damage made it more.

Sometimes it does.

Don’t count on it though. Also I love the Orpheus myth, of course. Child of Morpheus; the Greek god of Dream.

I look at my hands. It is almost inconceivable that so much could be wrought by something that seems so simple. Everything I am surrounded by has come from the these three jointed fingers and two jointed thumb, from this slab of muscle and bone, a wedge of ordinary, common flesh. Objects smoothed and cut and furrowed, drawn and built, made from machines made from machines made by hands, adapted from older machines, drawn delineated, carved and cast. Astonishing capable and versatile tools, a pencil holder and maker, world altering gun builder, love-maker, architect and destroyer.

Or, as Monty Python put it in the Meaning of Life, people aren’t wearing enough hats.

Ask…. How was this day spent? Did the hours that passed over me, under me and through me, add up to anything at all? Were my gritted teeth and reaching spine accomplishing strength or waste?
And hey, what the fuck, what difference would it have made, as the walls the ceiling the floor the air itself teems and swims and brims and squirms with seething, irresistible life, a wild mutating sea of it dancing on our skins. Each swaying humming atom of each cell a wonder of placement and order, we wear these miracles, hold them inside us, unconscious and what are we but an illusion within an illusion a Russian doll striated with consciousness lapping our own inevitable sensory LIES?
Spoiled and rotted with delusion and memory, hot with denied futility, with aching rasping vanity, digested and recreated each sweeping fucked up morning. How many times will we watch the moon rise, the sun rise, watch a storm wracking the steaming ocean, open our mouths to the pure rain, fuck under the fluted cadence of the stars, how many, how many, before we never again have the chance?
Find the value, a heart skip of means, an agony of choice. Lips mouthing violent truths – touch the hand of a child, thought and love over proof and cost.
Calm ourselves in walking sleep and waking ruin. How many of us are blind to it all? To even the first stuttered consonants of the questions?
Am I really the one with the delusions…?
It’s true, it is. I have never been able to even hold a JOB. I can barely pay the bills I need to be able to survive… I am in so many ways what would be described as a contemporary failure. I don’t own much that has not been given to me. I exist at the very end of means, I am in the lowest bracket (and here’s something in brackets to make my pointed point) of income that this society has, and this society measures success by dollars. And yet I can exist only on its sufferance. Were this any other age, I would starve. A supplicant, as I have always been. Ah well, ah hell.
It’s not only that, of course. I am getting older… and though I rant and rave and rave about value and awareness I have no idea how to amplify what I already have, and if the way I live now is any more authentic or real than anyone else. I could spend my hours, I have considered this, I could spend my hours and days helping people, working towards the easing of suffering, fighting against real monsters. I don’t know where or how to begin.
Bleed white into the dark. Wish and wish and wish again.

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Artwork Comments

  • Paula Stirland
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  • Paul Douglas Robertson
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  • Cliff Vestergaard
  • Cliff Vestergaard
  • Cliff Vestergaard
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