Those who are most damaged have endured the most harm; their injuries, while healed, remain scarred. Though they are often thought to be dangerous, their only threat is independence, self-reliance, self-possession. They know they can survive unaided. They can endure, because they have lived through neglect, abuse, betrayal; because they realise that loyalty is the least of virtues; because they are certain that alone, disavowing the vacuous claims of the sympathy of others, they can better outstay, outlast, outlive.  Perhaps when their karmic debt is paid, redemption granted, they may be blessed with the companionship of those who genuinely care. Scars : Proof both of hurting and of healing.

Why me? Why was I born defiant of fear, dauntless unto folly, recklessly assured of the boundlessness of both my vulnerability and my invincibility. Why? What brought me there, to that place, to those places? Of what was I guilty at birth to have deserved such torment. None of that matters. Destiny may not be coerced, cajoled, or counted on.

You cannot control what is happening. You can, however, control your response to what is happening. Never will you have any real, legitimate power or control over anything else, or anyone else. Only over your choices regarding those people, places, and things will you have any control. Your life will unfold as your choices command.

I eat the sins of others. I swallow them whole. I do so that the anguish caused by those trespasses might be borne by me. I do not pardon the penalties for the sins, of course. How could I? Is it not known that the penalty for sin is death? I am no murderer, no agent of expiation. Redemption must be sought elsewhere. Fearless, though, and guiltless, as the crimes are not mine, I believe that I can eat the sins of the culpable, devour them inviolate, undiluted, diminishing the consequences to the erring by embracing those outcomes to myself, my ransom but another gauntlet away, another battle waged and won, another foe subdued. The gauntlets were after all but mine alone to run. As destiny may not be coerced, cajoled, or counted on, how else were I to eat the sins of others? There is no guilt without sin, no sin without offence. But offence wrongly taken may not be made justified, rendering nil the sin, rendering the offence controvertible. This is where we enter, we, the eaters of sin, where sin is but equivocation. Dauntless in the fight, defying all hypocrisy, knights errant on errands of destiny, vigilantes, rectifying, delivering retribution where all other justice is duplicity.

Of course, all of this is sacrilegious, is it not? Yet without religion, can there be sacrilege?

Despite and still, today, the angels only leave me when I smile.

Art is personal, autobiographical. The depth of one’s experience cannot exceed the height of one’s experience, and vice versa. The depth of one’s pain cannot exceed the height of one’s joy. A life lived vicariously cannot produce art. A life without passion, devotion, adoration, sacrifice, commitment, obsession, pain, and joy cannot create art.

In every intelligible reality, in belief rendered viable, the place of sacrifice, the wound, must be found.  A being is only touched at the point of vulnerability, at that time and place where it succumbs. The wounds of injury, hurt, pain, suffering, grief, anguish, agony, distress, ordeal, trauma are the places the light enters you, to heal you. Darkness is the absence of light. Darkness is also the opposite of light. Darkness conceals. Light elucidates. Light reveals. 

The darkness to which we return in sleep, is a deepness, an extremity, an intensity, not blackness. In sleep, though the wounds may be healed, the scars remain, reminders of the gauntlets we have run, the lessons we have learned, the triumphs we have won. The deeper and more permanent the scars, the greater the sacrifice, the more thorough the redemption.

On awakening each day anew, the course of that day is foretold. Where, vis-á-vis whom, will a difference be made, will value to added, will a catalyst, an impetus, for change, for betterment, be brought forth? The meaning of life is to find your gifts, as bequeathed by destiny. The purpose of life is to give them away, in sacrifice, in service, again, as bequeathed by destiny.