I've been absent. And as I watch my father's favorite tree hanging its leaves in the front yard, I cannot help but say, where there is sorrow there is holy ground. I read it in Wilde's profound De Profundis; and there are some things Wilde touches upon that relate, almost too well, to me.
When you feel as if everything has been stripped away, the way I felt at 19 when I was first diagnosed with the Lupus, humility finds you. It isn't something you can give. It isn't something you can receive from another. It's an endemic nakedness, that we all have, and can only be rediscovered through trying times. Wilde knew this. And there's something about sorrow he touches upon that I must touch upon. Yes, he says where there is sorrow there is holy ground, I imagine inspired by a verse his mother used to recite from Goethe, but he also admits sorrow is really the secret to art and life and individualism. Sorrow, unlike vacuousness, has no mask; it attempts to make its soul incarnate, its body introspective. Like... art.
There are definite modes of being, we all experience, through life. We are colored and tempered by Mood, so that it seems Mood, is the supreme creator, of a rediscovered creation. But, when you think, as Wilde thought in Reading Gaol, that shallowness is the supreme vice. And all beautiful things must be realized, you come to find the importance of sorrow in consort with the imagination.
Many feel their relationship, sorrow and imagination, is clandestine. That they don't really meet to exaction. Their coming together is a secret, something they hide from you, ruthlessly, so that you feel sorrowful without an imaginative pulse.
But, it seems to me, sorrow and imagination are inextricably bound. Because when you find humility, when you're fortunate enough to rediscover this treasure you've buried, you sometimes, or at least I have, find an essence. An intrinsic possibility, I call it. And you begin to sense this in everything. The consort of science, and silence, in their loudest capacity, come to be a source for beauty and creation. I've been thinking a lot about art. I've had a difficult time since my father's death, trying to realize things. But, I've found that the sorrow I feel at his loss, isn't the Mood that can be fashioned into an idea and visual concept, presented as a hanging climax to your artistic audience. It's more the creation of Mood. The only experience we have that can reveal itself while revealing the beauty of everything. Pulchrum Est Paucorum Hominum. Beauty is for the few, because it must be realized. And, to me, what' beautiful is the end result of sorrow and imagination; the taking a form, even an "ugly" form by societal standards, and taking its capability, its intrinsic possibility to such a point that, you experience its beauty. I'm not saying we should take life, and say Nature is inviolate, I'd more agree with Tennyson that it's (Nature) red in tooth and claw. But, Nature is violated by the idea of its being inviolate; when it should be inviolate by our need to make it violated. Just like... art.
There are numerous and numinous parallels between. I'm all excited because I'm going to get The Flowers of Evil and Paris Spleen by mail (Baudelaire) some time this week. From what I understand, of him, he understood what Wilde did. He didn't just revolutionize poetic art, he revolutionized Individualism. And being an Individual isn't anything but a re-discovery, of something you've buried long ago. Like Sorrow and Imagination and Mood. Like all great art, whether it be poetic, visual, prosaic, photographic, it reveals to us what we already know. And it's this, re-discovery, that makes us, not only more cognizant of real beauty, but... indeed wiser.