The Unseen

The Unseen

Some people say they will not believe in anything they can't see. What a catastrophe to not have any faith at all! You live only less than a half of life, if you will only believe in the things that you can see. Life is lived by those who have much faith and believe in many unseen things. If you believe in nothing that you cannot see, think about how much there is that you choose to turn your face away from! You can't see your soul and you cannot prove that it exists, therefore if you call yourself one who believes in nothing unseen, then you will forever deny your soul its existence, for the existence of the soul dwells in love, trust, anger, passion, faith, belief, strength; the soul is forever nourished by things that are unseen! And so we have too many empty bodies walking around! Bodies with souls inside that are half-dead and dying. I tell you a thing: that I believe in many unseen things. In fact, I think that I believe in more unseen things than I do things that can be seen! Simply because there is more of what is unseen that exists, than what exists as material. Look at that person's face! All you see is a face. I see the way that the sunlight shines and then drenches and then swims across his skin. And after that, I see that same sunlight illuminate his memories and they dance before my eyes. You see what is seen, while I see what is seen, then what is overlooked, then what is unseen. If you deny the existence of all that you cannot prove, then you do not have the right to say that you want to find love, that you want to be led by destiny, that you want to live in peace, that you want to feel happiness; for all of these things sprout roots and bud in the unseen soul!

Copyright © 2011 C. JoyBell C. All rights reserved.


The following piece is something I first thought of saving for the book, but  goes very well with my other recent piece called Hope, which is on here, so I think it's best that I share this now:


I look and I see
The narrow path on which I have tread
The narrow path winding the side of this mountain
This mountain that reaches high into the clouds
Over cliffs of rock and jagged stone
This path curves and winds and dances
A path so narrow that my shoulder against the stone
Has constantly pushed me off to the edge
To the edge, to the end, to the brink of death
If I were to fall from walking this precarious path
Surely my death I would meet
And through the mist and the fog and the clouds
I cannot see beyond myself as I travel these steps
Upwards they wind
Always upward, around the cliffs of this mountain
A continuous winding, turning
I am the pilgrim of this path
I am the martyr of these steps
I am the saint of this mountain
Upwards and always upwards is my route
I cannot see beyond myself but I can feel another mountain to my side
And this is why I do not fall
Into an abyss
Into a dessert valley
For I feel I am in between two mountains
From the one I am pushed, for the path is too narrow
But onto the other I lean and I am steadied
I have walked this path for many a long stride!
Many a year, many a morrow!
And I have reached the mountaintop!
Now from this mountain I shall fly!
I can spread my wings and can you see, I have flown!
Through the clouds
From above through the clouds I peer down
To find the other mountain I could not see

But there is none

There was no second mountain
There is only a deep abyss
There is only the unknown drop
There is only the fall, the valley
Down below
Low low low down below
There is nothing but emptiness
And death

I never fell because
I believed that something would never let me

Copyright © 2011 C. JoyBell C. All rights reserved.

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To The Artist, And To The Artist's Keeper...

"Some[who?] consider "The Lady of Shalott" to be representative of the dilemma that faces artistswriters, and musicians: to create work about and celebrate the world, or to enjoy the world by simply living in it." ~ Wikipedia

Now, as a writer myself, I know for a fact that something I have written may be far less complicated than what it comes across as, I'm aware that people interpret things in a manner that will make a piece more "digestible" for their understanding or for their benefit. This is how humans function: we take what is out there in the world and we process it all into an interpretation which will finally be one that we can chew on and digest. Some people like to chew on gum and some people like to chew on tobacco; we all interpret to each his own. But for the poem The Lady of Shalott by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892), I would like to go with the school of thought that understands this piece as an allegory expressing the struggle that artists experience, and I want to discuss this with you!

In The Lady of Shalott, the Lady sits in a tower, facing a mirror which provides her with reflections of the daily life down in Camelot. She weaves everything that she sees on the mirror, into a beautiful tapestry! Now, I think the connection between this lady and the artists of yesteryears and the artists of today, is that we are in fact somewhat locked up in a tower where we can constantly weave a beautiful tapestry of the things that we see and our experiences in life, the emotions that we feel (whether they may be emanating from others or are ours entirely), the things that we smell, touch, taste; we take that and create something beautiful out of it. This is what we excel at, this is our arena, kind of like a "tower." And in this tower we often find ourselves, more often than we like! We are kept in this tower by our own desire to produce, to create, to give, to share.

Often, an artist is breathtaking standing in the light of what he/she creates. You see Picasso at his best, in his paintings. You witness Van Gogh in all his glory, while admiring Starry Night or Irises. But have you ever met these people? No. But did you personally know these people? No. And they didn't know you, either. More often than not, artists (anybody who dedicates him or herself to producing excellence in his/her craft for the benefit of the rest of the world) are able to explode into brilliance behind a blank canvass, in front of a blank page in Microsoft Word, over a traditional pen and paper, sitting at a desk with all sorts of twisted metals and beads or whatever. But when that artist is taken out of his/her "tower", that same person tends to go unappreciated and even be seriously misunderstood! An artist feels his/her essence in the creation, the production, the "doing" of it all!

The Lady of Shalott has an unknown curse upon her head. She knows not what it is, but she can feel it constantly looming. A curse will fall upon her the moment she chooses to turn around and look out over Camelot, turning her back on the mirror providing her with reflections of the life as seen through the tower window. The moment she chooses to put down her woven tapestries and come down from that tower into Camelot, the curse is going to descend upon her. And it happens the moment that she does just the thing! Overcome by her own passions and desires , suddenly a reflection isn't good enough! Suddenly, weaving a tapestry isn't worth it anymore! Suddenly, to feel the grass beneath her feet is altogether too good of a desire to have and far better than creating interpretations of what that grass means. So she turns her back on the mirror, and looks out the window. She puts down her "projects" and she leaves the tower.  I believe that every true artist feels a looming "curse" / a looming "darkness" threatening to descend if ever he/she dares put down that pen, put down that brush, put down those tools and turn around in the opposite direction. Even-though it's still the same thing. The view from the window is still the same view that can be seen in the mirror; the difference is in the choice to put oneself first rather than to create and produce material for the betterment of the rest of the world. And even in this, there is a dilemma! Because the artist has become so much a part of what he does/ what she creates, that to back away from that just for a second to turn and look at the world through the window would feel like death to one's identity and reason for existence!

The Lady of Shalott dies in the end. The curse overcomes her and she dies, never able to touch her Lancelot, never being able to love, to live, to be a mother or a warrior! Now, one must wonder:  if she had chosen to stay in her tower, facing the mirror, perhaps she could have devised fantasies in her head of long nights with Lancelot, far battles in the beyond, feasts and old age? But then, would that be a life worth "living"? Would that all be worth it? To never truly taste? To never truly love?

If we are to believe that Alfred, Lord Tennyson wrote this masterpiece out of the context that we speak of, it's safe for us to conclude that he decided in the end that to be separated from ones' craft is a death. Is the death, really, as this is how the Lady of Shalott passed away quite literally and graphically! And so we can say that the writer of this poem sees it as the better choice to have stayed in the tower. Or can we? Maybe the writer is saying that death was worth it? For even to experience death, for this Lady, was to experience a bit of life?

My conclusion to this, my take on this, is to think that perhaps the curse is a lie. Perchance all curses are chains and lies? Selfish lies that want you to think yourself bound, so that you may never really live, and what if the true curse lives in the belief of it? Because then you see yourself as dead, already! You see yourself as cursed and shackled and imprisoned because you have put so much belief in the curse! So, what if the Lady of Shalott was already dying? What if THANK GOD before she did die, she was able to feel that air on her skin, the grass below her feet, and set herself assail on a little boat down the river? Has anybody ever thought of it this way?

I think that the curse was a lie and she was already dying as a result of dedicating her life to believing that lie. I'm happy that she at long last turned herself in the real direction for her, even if it was only some moments before it all ended! I believe she died a better death because of her choice to turn away, to leave the tower!

As an artist, as a writer, I am not going to be the Lady of Shalott. I don't want to be like her, dying while living and living only at the very end! I should never become an extension of my writing but my writing should always remain an extension of me. The gist of my life should incarnate every day in the person that I am, and in the choices that I make, the life that I live, live, live, live, live! I want my writing to remain something that I choose to do, therefore something that I can at any moment choose to let go of, without losing myself! I don't want to live so that I may write, I don't want to write so that I may live. I only want to write because I live! And I want to know within myself that if I do stop writing, that will not stop me in any way from living.

What do you think, artist? What do you think, you *the artist's keeper?


*I am referring to the rest of the world as "the artist's keeper" as I believe that the rest of the world is the driving force behind every artist to produce and to create, therefore, you quite literally "keep" the artist as an artist, as well as being "keeper" of the artist by accepting and celebrating the materials he/ she produces.

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Dante's Prayer



We are free and uncorrupted. But when we are born as babes unto this world, our flesh is born into bondages. We are born into chains of expectations, ideals, norms, mediocrity, social quos, religion; and so our birth into this world marks a decline of ourselves. Day by day, year-by-year, we grow into these chains and as time passes us by, it’s harder for us to escape, because we are bigger and so the chains become tighter. And then we grow so accustomed to these bondages that we develop a formula for creating new ones and imposing them upon others. And then we have children, and we enslave our children as was once done to us.

But there is hope.

All these chains cannot be seen, but these chains enslave the mind. They claim you as prisoner through your choice to believe, through your will to believe. But you–you are still free! You–you are a soul, and you are free! You must but choose not to believe, you must but choose to return to the path that you wished to travel for which reason you descended here. You must break away from the paths of others and find your own. You must step out of the rivers of others and swim and set sail on your own river. You have to catch your own gust of wind, and go with that wind! Let others find their own gusts of wind and let them go with their winds, and you go with yours. Have no inner struggles, you should never struggle against yourself, for you yourself are free and you yourself desire to go in the right direction and you yourself know where that direction is. Do not struggle within yourself, but in yourself you must find your peace. You must remain in peace. If there be any struggles, may they come from encounters with vile people who wish to jump into your own river, who wish to overtake your own wind, who wish to push you off your own path. But never, ever struggle with yourself. Go with yourself.

The bondages are not you. They are merely chains that entwine your mind. You need to see the difference between the beliefs you have grown into believing and the one who is you. So do not look at your chains and fear of being what they are; you are not!

Your life here is a process of seeing yourself apart from the self you were born in to. We are not one with our flesh, in that we tear away from our flesh, we long and desire to break free from the chains which enslave us, which enslave our parents, which enslave our peers, which enslave our society. And so we are not united with our bodies, but are whole as ourselves on the inside. If you have any quarrel with yourself, may you identify that this quarrel is not within yourself, not with the body you were born into, but your quarrel is with the many entrapments that your mind has fallen into.

There is someone who came to earth to pay the price for the entrapments of our minds, our bodies. His blood more precious than the blood of a perfect, spotless young lamb; it was spilled and dripped onto the earth as an ultimate sacrifice for the freedom of our minds, our bodies. Yet this very same man has Himself been captured in unjust images of Him hanging on walls of churches, and has Himself become the mascot for bondage and judgment. Stripped of who He is and what His desire and purpose is, He has been taken into religion, written into their books and laws, and twisted into a form so unrecognizable that almost no one now can recognize Him. And people run away from this twisted form, this monster! This monster that religion has portrayed Him as.

There be a few who recognize Him in His true form behind the lies and the paintings and the stories and the laws written in His name. Fortunate are these few.

During this life, our ultimate goal is not to end it and move on, is not to achieve the prize of Heaven, is not to be able to say to God “I have done all of this for You”: no. Our ultimate goal is to turn around and look at ourselves as who we were before we were born into this world, and then keep that vision always in sight, breathing life into it, living it, for after all, that is who we are! Do you believe that this goal is weak? That this mission is a failed one? A weak one? You are wrong. The chains that bind you which are so hard for you to remove yourself from, are all visions, ideals, pressures, expectations, fears, intimidations, lies, and they are all unseen, they are all intangible. It is only our beliefs in them that give them strength. We give strength to our bondages! If you can give strength and life to your bondages through your belief in and of them, how much more can a simple knowledge, a simple vision of who you were, who you ARE; breathe life back into that forgotten soul who is you? For that soul was created by God! Bondages were created merely by the minds of man and if you forsake them they will no longer have power over you! Likewise, if you believe in the creation of God, this creation and this truth will overcome all entrapments, cages, prisons and chains.

And you will fly.

Copyright © 2011 C. JoyBell C. All rights reserved.

Saint Paul Trois Châteaux: 1948 (buy my novella today)   FaceBook (join the family now)  Goodreads (add me as a friend)
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