My limbs are tethered to a shadowy great wing, unsure whether they are fleeing or willing captives. It’s such a riddle to see one’s own spirit embodied in the illusion of dueling, passionate entities. Is it I or the familiar eyes staring into mine? I see my seemingly private afflictions reflected in every struggle to comprehend romantic holographic encounters. The projection of love- the task of understanding the other only to ironically return to yourself. I, the initiator of vibrational images of unfettered intensity- the woman who loves unconditionally. The story, a brilliant thought-form, materialized as a truth of unmatched authority. How I love, how dearly, packed into combustible cannisters of volatile creative force. My cupboards are overflowing. I am incapable of coming to terms with my own creation. I am a wounded spiritual force, living in fear of its own potential. Is there not some other hologram willing to share the burden? I’m lost on this plane of existence unwilling to extinguish the light that is mine and mine alone. I live as a woman walking circles in the garden of herself. I call out to witnesses with lovely porcelain and sweets. Are they poisonous or liberating? I eat and drink and love him so.
Creation happens at the meeting between two souls, the border, the shoreline, the cliff at the edge of the abyss. It happens on the line where innocence descends into a dark, stony hole and that which lies at the bottom is purely uncertain. I have long sought a true merging, a coming together of mentor and muse, heart and lust. It is my deepest longing and sorely neglected need.
I stare deeply into Chopin’s portrait while feeling his music pulse through my aura. Gentle, spirited hands, manifested inspiration and a face lined with passionate knowledge gazes through me. It is the music made physical I seek; the merging of unfettered passion and vibrating harmony. The portrait, come alive.
All that I have to give remains bound inside the limitation of my own flesh. I feel the crude prison bars of the boundary between self and other. I embrace them and urge them to bend at will with incantations and unwavering faith. It is my spirit, lured ahead and the will to triumph that provides the impulse to continue.
I am lost in sex without alchemy and ill-returned passion. I stand alone afterward, bewildered and empty. The stage is the only refuge for feminine fulfillment. It is only there that body and soul intertwine and the prince eternally reveres his princess. Tears are nothing without function; a dancer lives through other means of expression. The loss of idyllic illusion drives her to reconcile the frivolous futility of music when withheld from barren physical reality. It is here she rediscovers her passion. How she longs to give more than a soulless exchange of lifeless matter!
Discipline replaces dreams; resignation replaces love. I tread on with a relentless striving for transcendence. How do I release desire for all that I am–the dream of someone willing to take my hand, dissolve and live for starry discoveries and unbridled human expansion? How many times must I sell myself to artless vulgarities? There is no frequency compatible with the ‘Song of Myself.’ It is lost in space-time, a sacrificial relic of romantic literature. The yearning to love is an affliction handled with ridicule and shame. Until it springs forth from yellowed pages, infused with life, shall I suffer.
“Aber die Stimme sprach vergebens, denn ein nüchtern gelebtes Leben ohne das süße Laster der Träume war kein Leben – das Leben hatte ja nur den Wert, den die Träume ihm gaben.” (Jacobsen, Jens Peters. Niels Lyhne. Reclam, 1984, p. 12).
What Jens Peter Jacobsen referred to as the “sweet vice of dreams” in his novel, Niels Lyhne, I have grown to know all too well. I believe that certain books remain tucked away on a shelf for years and emerge at exactly the right time. I began a project of reading the books that inspired great writers. After finishing Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet, I learned that both he and Hermann Hesse had been inspired by Jacobsen’s 1880 Danish work.
The book centers around certain life events of the young man, Niels Lyhne. Throughout his life he endures revelations that portray a gripping literary tension between romanticism and realism. The challenges that surround his confrontations with both emotion and logic come to full fruition in topics such as happiness, religion and love. The characters reveal and speak to an ache in the heart of romantics and idealists who struggle to reconcile their place in a world of ever looming disillusionment.
At 218 pages long and written in an exquisite 19th century stylistic elegance, this book will speak to those of you caught in a world torn between ideals and reality. Those who feel they never quite belong will find solace in the insight and acknowledgement of the “sweet vice” we were born to carry.