|Painting by Kirby Sattler|
I recently discovered this fabulous painting by the artist Kirby Sattler, and was amazed to discover the very image of a personae I envisioned for a short performance piece back in 1997, one I made a mask for. Very often I would make masks for personae that seemed to present themselves, with a story to tell, and a voice to speak.
That summer I was living in the attic of an old house in Brattleboro, Vermont. I remember that my friend Steve and I were studying with several local shamanic practitioners, and were upstairs in my attic doing some "soul retrieval" visioning work. We were talking afterwards, while a candle flickered in the corner, and some sage burned. Suddenly we both felt that there was a potent presence in the room......and the candle burst, glass flying across the room. We weren't frightened, but it did seem that some spirit had come and announced itself.
Why have you come?
I am the one you ran from years ago.
You say you want to investigate the night.
I have no time
for breathless words.
If iridescent wings
call to you in the pungent darkness,
if they whisper your name from there,
then go, leap, do it! Haw!
Do you think they will wait
for your convenience?
Your fear is useless.
You will, or you will not.
You will be gifted,
you will find what is to be found,
or you will fall, and be crushed on rocks
you cannot see until they find you.
There are no certainties in my country.
No IRA's. No Savings Bonds.
No bungee cords.
Or sit in your chair,
with your imaginings of what might be.
And you will say, "Well, tomorrow I will go."
Do you suppose they will come again?
They may not.
And the night will gleam, radiant,
on the other side of your door.
Sit in your room, until you are too old to fly,
you will forget that you ever could.
Fly into the dark,
and take what is to be had,
fight well what is to be fought.
There are beauties there,
shaped by all your passions -
they will wrap their arms around you,
they will tell you their stories,
they will love you, they will gift you,
and they will wound you.
And there are horrors there as well:
they will also come to you.
Go to both of them with power
fight well and bravely,
take what you will.
In my country there are no certainties.
You are not safe.
You will never be.