Dreams, monsters and sugary treats lure Mark back to the Artist's Truth.
Maybe it's just my own personal experience with something similar, perhaps you just have a remarkable way to weave a gripping narrative about things that seem mundane (you do), but this is one of those pieces I read and just know it's going to haunt me and probably come up in a dozen conversations over the next week.
The last paragraph in particular is, in particular, standout. I remember when I wrote my first novel, I wrote it from a small, dingy college town apartment I shared with three total strangers who were up quite literally every hour of the day with raucous parties, on academic suspension, unemployed, living on what I could fit in the mini-fridge under my bed and barely ever leaving the confines of that room because I was living on roughly $20 a week. Despite being in such a miserable situation, I'd never felt the muse speak so clearly before then, and, to make a long story short, rereading the thing years later when I decided to re-write it, mostly to touch-up on the prose and dialogue, I realized that what I'd ultimately done was not just write a very elaborate, perhaps somewhat fantastical analogue to my present situation at the time, but also, in the process, provided myself with a sort of "exit strategy" for it as well. It was kind of incredible how I'd subconsciously crafted this how-to guide to escape the hole I'd fallen in and, in a way, subconsciously followed it without ever realizing the parallels. When I go back and edit the other stories I wrote from either that time or the thick of the lockdown era, it seems consistent that the themes and ideas they hinge on always reflect a major issue I was facing or a philosophical question question that was dogging me at the time. Love versus infatuation, the nature and causes of abusive relationships, whether or not to help someone who isn't willing to help themselves (at your own expense, at that) - it seemed that while I thought I was writing fun, exciting stories packed with wish fulfillment, looking back they almost read like Socratic dialogues between different positions on the topics and questions I had distilled into characters within the narrative to debate their merits. To put it another way, what I thought was pure catharsis was disguised guidance.
Point is, there is a power in art that I feel like the "dark ones", as you rightly call them, have done their best to hide and make us forget that it has, so they can weaponize it against us. I've come to believe art is like food - a good, well-composed, and sincere narrative, musical piece, painting, what have you, can have a variety of positive effects on your spiritual state. Conversely, consuming the debased garbage pumped served by the entertainment industry is the spiritual equivalent of junk food. At this point listening to some of the music they blast into our ears without consent is akin to being force-fed pure Beyond Meat and canola oil slurry through a funnel, and has the same effect on the soul that such a grotesque combination would have on your body. And then we wonder why so many people - young people especially - seem so despondent and deadened.
I already wrote more than I intended, so I'll cap it off with this - you're right that AI could never hope to replicate what true human art from a genuine place of passion and emotion can generate. I suspect there's a divine quality to it a machine simply cannot duplicate. That's why I welcome the coming "purge" of the entertainment industry that they seem to fear. The mediocrities that currently live fat and happy shoveling literal poison slop into troughs for the public to consume may be displaced and dispossessed by ChatGPT, which can mimic their soulless trash in almost every facet, but I'm hopeful that this will allow pockets of new, more sincere, more uplifting, and more human artistic movements to flourish in the aftermath. They won't be big. I doubt they will be popular. I have a feeling that, should certain elements remain in power, they will try to crush in where they find it. But I do think it will come, in time.
Wow. This is an amazing composition.
Considering all that we now know, scary and depressing as well. Makes me want to weep, as my heart begs for help for the children. It is now ALL about the children. Evil, TRUE evil is no longer just at our doorstep. It is here, and it is after the children.
But I also felt like I might be peering into the soul of the first generation of humans who were fully broken, totally alienated, completely unplugged from their moral, intellectual and spiritual heritage. The page almost seems to cry out:
“Dream? What’s a dream?
“We don’t have those no more, Boomer.”
This realization makes me weep for my grandchildren. 😢
This composition is so refreshing. It reminds me, as a mother, to keep asking my kids to describe their art work to me because doing so gives me a glimpse into their minds and hearts, which is priceless me because it allows me to SEE them as they really are. You are an amazingly talented writer, but I guess you already know that. ✨Thank you for your efforts
A brilliantly depicted glimpse into our current neoglobopsycho period, as it’s influence is portrayed through generation transhume.
Hats off to your admonishment of the dark and evil forces that are fueling these abhorrences. We continue to stand by and gape in horror at their dystopian perversions. Will pray for this generation that they might perceive and reject the warping of reality by the globopsychos.
💬 God [...] All-Time Greatest Comedian
Now, the wording you've chosen duly scares the bejeezus out of me: Greatest of All Time = GOAT → Baphomet 😓
You and Libor Soural were b/w in my Substack like a record album in the two sides of a single. Good stuff.
Then I went to the kitchen to do some dishes. Spotify kicks off with Guy Clark singing about his late wife, “My Favorite Picture of You.”
It is a good tho g that eternity will be for eternity, because there will he so much to bring in. Halleluyah!
Ingenious, to scrutinize children's art for signs of the psychic undercurrents of our times.
Also, just try and tell me why "Kayoss Theory" and "The Bleeding Veil" shouldn't be next to Jackson Pollock's art. Tell me that "DEATH IS HERE" isn't more interesting and relevant than anything Andy Warhol ever did.
??? (2023) — We see the pattern of below from above: swim meet, lane ropes, demersal monster (whose eyes gleam) seeing to it the athletes speed.
Take that as you will 😏 I'll see my pathetic hopelessly materialistic derrière out.
Mark, you ought to go over to Alexander Adam's substack. Seriously. I'd like to see your honest response to what he's doing. Or, you can say something about it here, if you don't mind.
“a professional artist” (whatever the Hell that means)
According to the IRS it's anyone who derives more than 50% of their income from making images, gestures or sounds in time.
I suppose you could say anyone who says he's an artist is one but I go with the idea that it's the patrons who decide.
Quite the journey you got to take. I appreciate very much your letting us tag along. Your life truly winds along unusual paths.
I especially found your description of how these types of pattern showings follow a certain script fascinating. “God truly moves in mysterious ways His wonders to proclaim”. The preceding slightly altered by my mind verse, is from an old hymn by William Cowper, and it just leapt into my mind as I was pondering what you experienced. I’ll include the hymn in it’s entirety below as it seems fitting to me.
I’ve a couple of impressions on the ??? work. To me it looks like two different people’s arm(s). They are rendered quite differently as to the length and shape of the arm and hand, yet are quite similar as both are wearing some type of short sleeve red shirt, and the skin coloring is the same. Maybe some type of duality undercurrent going on there? Two brothers or twins? .
The one on the left, the hand looked to me as though it was in the prayer position, like those pictures of little ones kneeling down to pray, hands clasped in front of them. Although this arm is very rigid and stiff.
The right side the arm is much thicker, the hand has the fingers spread apart as though in rejection or held up in a desire to stop something or attempt to grasp something unseen. The nails on that one are also blackened. And as you pointed out this one has the curious bent sway. Altogether very off-putting.
As to the circular things in the middle, they resemble eyes to me. There is something animalistic or insectoid to them (praying mantis or cat-like), peering out from amid that sea of blue.
No earthly idea of what those chartreuse flowing extensions might be. Only impression those give me of is of something leaking or flowing out of something.
I then for reason unknown tried flipping the image 180 degrees. It felt much more innocuous feeling in that position. One could read it as two little boys, probably brothers, fishing around in some kind of container of water, trying to grasp those green discs on the bottom.
Thanks for letting me natter on about it all.
And now for something completely different, here in it’s entirety is the hymn by William Cowper
“God Moves in a Mysterious Way”
God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill;
He treasures up his bright designs,
And works His sovereign will.
Ye fearful saints fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence,
He hides a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding ev'ry hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flow'r.
Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan his work in vain;
God is his own interpreter,
And he will make it plain