February 2015

Posted: February 15, 2015 by zacharyandgillian in October 2010

Two Artistries-February 2015

Allegory of the Dragon

Posted: October 5, 2013 by zacharyandgillian in October 2013

Dragons

 

Dragons always remind me of what is sacred.  Much over-popularized in games and movies, dragons once occupied a holy place in the mythology of nerds.  Part of the namesake of the most ancient of basement entertainments, dragons were the quintessential “better half” of Dungeons and Dragons.  For every role-player began their adventure traipsing through dungeons, but few would ever lay eyes on a dragon.

Not for long, at least.

Dragons are the most majestic of lore.  Kings of Fantasy.  They are Benevolent Overseers of Moral Perfection, such as Dragonheart’s Draco – protecting the Knight’s Code and having faith in man.  They are Malevolent Usurpers of Perverse Degradation, such as the well told tale of Smaug.  But in each case, they are larger than life.  Singular in their greatness.  In 15 years of playing Dungeons and Dragons, travelling through countless countrysides, I can safely say I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve set (imaginary) eyes on one.

Each time, whether I was 16 or 26, it caught my breath.  They were the pinnacle.  The 7 figure salary of the role-player.

It is strange that they should be so, however.  There are a slew of other mythical beasts just as strange and terrifying.  If not more.  Certainly, titans and sprites, pixies, and the undead should compare.  Dragons, when stripped of their divine aura, are really just big lizards with wings that spit fire.  They are made up of components other animals that we master and cage on a regular basis.

Fantasy, as a genre, has become more acceptable over the years.  With it, so has the metaphorical inflation rate – dragons are far more common.   It has eroded the divinity of the creature, while keeping its scales and talons.

But I like that.  No matter how familiar a dragon becomes, it will always maintain its sense of nobility, presence for me.  But I like that as more come to know draconic glory through tale and song, it becomes a more familiar beast.

We are dragons.  Sacred by our own right – benevolent or perverse.  Some of us sit on mountains of treasure that was never truly ours to begin with, while others fight for the glory and equality of our world.  And as media spreads the word of our greatness further and faster, we are revealed as the fleshy contraptions of biology and chemistry that we are.

We have not become less sacred.  Just more understood.

Nature’s Grace

Posted: August 25, 2013 by zacharyandgillian in October 2010

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The Earth is the most graceful person I know.

The art of Grace is a subtlety.  It is neither deception nor equivocation, and yet it is not truth.  To be achieved, it requires a misdirection of multiple parts.

Firstly, the person on whom the subtlety is acted must take a perception that is true.  Often, it is believed that grace includes only that the person believes it to be true, but that is a cubic zirconia.  A gold-digger’s grace; mere deception.  The truth of the perception received must be real, both in the mind of the Graceful and in actual fact.

A skill of real grace is revealed if the perceiver does not, entirely believe the truthful fact themselves.  A master will leave an amateur perceiver believing they have perpetrated a misdirection of their own design – that the Graceful believes a falsity.  A complete reversal of reality, not by design, but by the weakness of the perceiver.  A veteran perceiver will more quickly turn to doubt than confidence – a modest humility or a selfless skepticism.  But the truth-in-fact, and the truth in the Graceful’s mind of the perception must remain.

Secondly, the person on whom the subtlety is acted must take an old perception as original.  This is not to be confused with making the previously unperceived, perceived.  For that is a makeup.  A harlot’s grace; mere equivocation.  The truth of this perception must have come previously, true in the perceiver’s mind by some other affirmation.  It is only born-again.

The skill of real grace in this case is revealed by the weight of the revelation.  A master will leave an amateur believing that the perception is entirely new; lightning from the sky.  A veteran perceiver will instead believe that it is a phoenix; a thing once dead but breathed life again, wearing new feathers.

Thirdly, the effect of the perception in the first step must be to have the perceiver accept the proposition reborn but unsaid in the second.  This is to be an obvious step, but not one that follows from necessity, and so the Graceful must follow through.  It is easy for the perceiver, left unguided at this point, to consider these two perceptions as separate instances, and so immediately reject the second as brilliant, beautiful but ultimately unsupportable.  While the arrogance of the amateur will complete the process, a veteran perceiver will quickly recognize this.  The skill of the Graceful is defined in their ability to provide the bridge.

It is then that the Graceful has communicated that which is true, with a statement that is true, while never claiming any ownership to the thing at all, and offering the platitude of ownership to the perceiver, without cost, should they so desire it.

The Earth is an incredible source of Grace.   How quickly we perceive the truth of nature’s beauty and bounty – so ever-present and self-evident.  How easily it ignites all of our feelings of human passion, spirit, and glory – with an inexplicable newness, every time.  And surely, even the skeptics (and surely the humble!), accept the two as connected.  If our soul shares one ounce of that splendor, how could that brilliance be rejected?  We, who are made in His Image, are at least to that extent, Gods ourselves.  We, who come from dirt, share all the romance and perfection of that dirt.

Perfect Grace is the impossible art of providing a positive by proving a negative.  It requires the expression of a truth through the provision of an infinite number of independent and unique truths.  The Earth offers the single answer of its nature to billions of perceivers every day.  They, no matter their own acceptance of it, see the truth in it.  In turn, they see the value it offers them and their own humanity.

The Earth, every day, proves a negative.