“For his art did express a quintessence even from nothingness.” A Nocturnal on St. Lucy’s Day by John Donne
The two selves, dark and light. Without the dark, no art speeds across the page, no paint spreads across the canvas, no clay transformed, no creative play.
The artist lights a little bonfire to protect himself from the night. A brave man, he quakes, flees, hides beneath a cover of leaves. Thinks to cheat death through its semblance.
All happy sounds banished. The lights extinguished. He walks in shadow until his fears subside, derides his tremor and lights a flame to blind Lucia.
The spark, the light, the gasp of breath. Flesh flinches from touch until laid to rest. His body, once hot with blood’s tumescence, its essence denied, lies cold and still.
And still he dreams in darkness. And still his genius rests, quintessence of clarity drowned once more in nothingness.