Why do my eyes fill with cooperation, caring, invention, and consideration, upon a world where a woman can dismember her disabled step-daughter and a "leader" empowered by dark deals for the sake of "the standard of living", itself haunted by the wickedness that accompanies ingenuity---a "leader"
who can use millions of dollars of planes to drop bombs on his own people so he can fight to his death and the deaths of those around him;
governors cut taxes for the rich and then ask unions (who helped my Dad come home with something to make up for his long hours away from us, through collective bargaining) who give into all financial demands, to surrender their bargaining rights, to help "broken banks" in a country loaded with wealth stolen in Tower of Babel stacks, and a litany of personal disgusts with the fears and apathy of those I meet which I, as usual, refuse to bare, in deference to a wish not to poison your minds with despair, if I am to write anything...
Let me praise the loveliness of people I've known, and inspirations who've shined brightly. I've judged bitterly, acted vindictively, yearned selfishly, carnally, and beautifully, consoled the miserable with grace, and all the while, breathed the sustaining air, to live another moment, now passed, and then the next. With compassion, I know what it is to be lost, directionless, limited, sick, left to tasks without the accompaniment of their meaning.
I'm sorry to those of you who've offered your openness and friendship, when I have not made time for you, with my strange sleep schedules and work and obsession with the call of creativity, which demands of my blood when I sit weary, seeking inspirations from days long gone when I could not articulate the power with which art became fused with my mind. I thank you all for every moment we shared, together and apart, by the thread of word, image and song.
What amazing visions I've lived to see, and what profound connections I've felt with hope, and how deeply I've imagined lives across the world and across history. I've peaked into intellectual intensity, much of it lost to me beside the flow of passions and bursting emotions that make me a wild creature. What gentleness I've shared, and what a kind face I've seen almost half my natural life, which seemed to begin there at our joining and flow into both directions, to the birth and my utter helplessness,
and to this edge of my experience, and my utter helplessness.
How many laughs we've shared, and what rich conversations: a life that seems never to have lacked for a best friend, as I cannot help but love, and enjoy companionship, as much as my precious solitude. What a treasure of ideas, and fears, and ignorance, and communication.
When have I not had my imagination---even when it fills with pity, or covers the eyes with a passion like the sun, given to destroy and create and pass time? What dreams have I, encouragements, and optimism, too, and who have I inspired?
Where will I go, even while I turn to sail my ship of hopes into disastrous seas? Eating the bitter and the sweet, I know a better shore is possible, and I know not where the journey will end; for in mind is no answer which details every moment of Eternity, nor every agency manifest in immortal possibility.
On the day of his death, Blake worked relentlessly on his Dante series. Eventually, it is reported, he ceased working and turned to his wife, who was in tears by his bedside. Beholding her, Blake is said to have cried, "Stay Kate! Keep just as you are – I will draw your portrait – for you have ever been an angel to me." Having completed this portrait (now lost), Blake laid down his tools and began to sing hymns and verses.
At six that evening, after promising his wife that he would be with her always, Blake died. Gilchrist reports that a female lodger in the same house, present at his expiration, said, "I have been at the death, not of a man, but of a blessed angel." ---From Blake, by Peter Acroyd.
Blake abhorred slavery and believed in racial and sexual equality. Several of his poems and paintings express a notion of universal humanity: "As all men are alike (tho' infinitely various)". In one poem, narrated by a black child, white and black bodies alike are described as shaded groves or clouds, which exist only until one learns "to bear the beams of love":
When I from black and he from white cloud free,
And round the tent of God like lambs we joy:
Ill shade him from the heat till he can bear,
To lean in joy upon our fathers knee.
And then I'll stand and stroke his silver hair,
And be like him and he will then love me. (23-8, E9)
Blake never achieved recognition in his lifetime, but what a talent echoes, in ideas still revolutionary to those who discover his genius. It is a genius apt to touch each of us at some remote time and place, whether any other one knows what masterpiece resides in the stirrings of our souls. It is Eternity, taking on fleeting forms, who waste many moments, but have so much to give.
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