The Art of Individuation ~XXXIII~

You know the taste of your own blood, and
you know the suffering one must endure
merely to exist in this world, therefore,
you know the essence of life.

All life.

You’ve rejoiced in the sun
and you’ve wept under
the moon.

Only you know what you’ve experienced
and you know how these private experiences
have either heightened or diminished
certain aspects of the person
you are today.

And when you’re all alone looking in the mirror
at your aging face, you hear the aching howl
of your mortality, and you feel a
deep-seated anguish over your
approaching fate.

This makes you question it all.

This makes you either want to
hurl yourself in the great sea of
the sublime or rescind completely
from the exuberance of life.

At 2am, when you can’t sleep,
you sit up in your bed in the sheer silence
of moonlit walls, and you feel the
residual stardust stirring in your veins,
and you feel the pang of regret and
the dread of tomorrow and the
joy and pain of being half-alive in a
senseless but beautiful world.

You know things people don’t. You
feel things that people are too frightened
to admit — your lusts, your secrets,
your spinning demons, your shadow’s
ravenous thirst for ecstasy.

Let it happen.

Dare to kiss the light and the darkness
and let this reconciliation
a defiance towards all the
artificial trappings
that sustain the
ordinary life.

This is how you differentiate
yourself from the herd. And,
in ripening your peculiarity,
you’ll discover kinship with
all of humanity, even the
very lowest.

Your darkness revealed,
can be a light for others.

Solitude, Silence, and Spirit–
seek these often and you’ll
realize the wisdom beyond
learning, beyond the
stuffed into your head
by an expired culture.

In the end…

You’ll see that you already
have the insight of all the
ancient mystics
and dead prophets
inside your own

No need to look to the
outside for salvation.

You are your own genius.
You are the seer.
You are the poet,
the sculptor
the painter
the savior
of your own life.

We create art as a way
to dilute the agony
of uncertainties.

Take the mask off and speak
the language of the soul.
Say it in spite of it all.
Say it amongst the walking dead.
Say everything.
Say it truthful and with guts.
Don’t compromise with it.
Don’t water it down.
Don’t say it for recognition
or money or to appease.
Don’t say the obvious or
fall victim to clichés and

Create raw form out of intense feeling.
Squeeze blood out of the abstract.
Strip it of all drivel and reveal
it. Give it to us.

Now, you’re a poet.
We need you.

More than ever.

~ Erik Rittenberry

[Art: J Edward Neil]

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