last of the mytho-poets
Our individual interactions weave tiny, intricate, lace-like webs of pain and insufficiency between us, nerve-maps of tedium and loss. Some artists spend their whole lives delineating these minute patterns, the cartographers of the psychological genome. Many of them have developed languages of extraordinary beauty and precision in the process— rich gifts to those with the time and ability to appreciate them.
Meanwhile, over the living planet’s surface, under the dome of the vast, dark heavens, billions of souls—each involved in a unique, never-to-be-repeated internal communication—pour through the city streets and down the village paths every minute, every hour, home to work, work to home, age after age. And we have no comparable languages of beauty and power to describe this great flow—only the denatured syntaxes of political and economic theory, historical record.
Some collective destiny hangs, the ultimate human mystery, above the motions of this seething mass, but its last visionary storytellers perished over a thousand years ago, leaving brilliant outlines, no successors.
As the individual has gained focus, the race has lost it, until now both are held hostage to a system that manipulates our microscopic fascinations for its own ends: control, distraction, profit.
But beyond the minutiae, beautiful or garish, insight or ignorance, “high” culture or low, gallery openings and little magazine fiction or action figures and game shows—some project, directionless and unlit as yet by human understanding, continues to unfold.
Goddess, muse, give us no more grotesque salesmen, no more monomaniacs trying through horror to herd us to utopia! Give us again the subtle, mysterious brilliance of the mytho-poets to guide us back to awe. And yet still, not like in the old shadowplays of fearful abasement, righteous vengeance. We need the songs of the web, the deep songs of home, from which we have become so terribly, perversely lost, in a dark wood wandering. Who will sing them now? Who will weave us back into the story of life?