“To get beneath the facts I would have had to be an artist, and one doesn’t become an artist overnight. First you have to be crushed, to have your conflicting points of view annihilated. You have to be wiped out as a human being in order to be born again an individual.”—Henry Miller, Tropic Of Capricorn
“One morning Parzival said courteously (as many there saw and heard), ‘If you will permit, my lady, I should like, with your allowance, to see how things stand now with my mother: I know not whether ill or well.'”—Wolfram Von Eschenbach, Parzival
Two seemingly disparate quotes, but they are not. Not from a poetic sense that is. And I’m not referring to the intellectually challenging word-games that pass for poetry these days; I’m talking about profound soul truths many spend years in therapy grasping the slightest inkling of.
Wow. How to tie it all together…all life….
I peer out the window to my right. Next door four men in their late thirties and early forties share a house. All have decent jobs, one at the university, another as a lawyer downtown, and all are separated or divorced. At least two have children who put in appearances now and then. There’s a lot of sports on the television, beer and beef on the barbecue.
They are manifesting in the temporal world what is taking place—has taken place—in the metaphysical, poetic world.
“I should like, with your allowance, to see how things stand now with my mother,” stated the recently married, twenty-two year old paragon of knighthood, Parzival. He has earned the undying love of his wife, Condwiramurs, through noble hearted selfless bravery and strength of arms. Significantly though, after fifteen months of marital bliss he wakes with the sudden urge to learn what has become of his mother.
It is at this point in the great adventure that he stumbles upon the Grail Castle for the first time and, clinging to the prevailing mores of his courtly upbringing, fails to relieve the maimed Grail King of his terrible burden of pain and sorrow.
How many men today—and women for that matter—having gained a means of earning a livelihood, having acquired an education and attained the station and status of adulthood, fail or languish miserably in the next phase of their lives? How many go through the middle years of their lives with a hollow feeling in the pit of their stomachs that no amount of material wealth or passionate affairs of the heart succeed in filling?
“To get beneath the facts I would have had to be an artist, and one doesn’t become an artist overnight.”
Wise words mister Miller.