I am, to be honest, still figuring out where this piece went. I think it was a great experiment for me, and it seems to be becoming a series for me to draw women in priestess outfits. I think a lot of this is because I have been thinking about the world of The Fallen Father.
I wanted The Fallen Father to be a darker tale, a more stained place, showcasing the worst of us, and, hopefully, by comparison, the best of us.
I still haven’t decided, or know, if the look on the woman’s face is the beginning of terror or acceptance. Is she creating pain for herself because she likes it or is it, in fact, a manipulation of some great force? I don’t know. I wish I had more to say about this piece, but I think it is fascinating to me because I get to sit with it more and figure out what it is trying to tell me, let alone what it might say about The Fallen Father, or people in general, if it says anything like that at all.
I’d would heartily welcome opinions, etc, on the matter. What do you see?
“She is the Blight Mother, last of the lovers of Dalvarouk, and the most beloved. Now goddess, she walks among the crooked trees, silent, watchful, and mournful. Her womb is despair, her mouth a cavern of fear. Yet she weeps. And she weeps. For no one called mother, has been made barren and yet gifted with many children. Broken, shattered, lost husks that they are.”
I originally had planned for Dalvarouk, or the Unalda of Blight, to have no wife, no goddess (or unalda) by his side. But when I was conceiving this piece she fit perfectly for a great folk legend, an almost unspoken whisper of the last love of Dalvarouk, the one they would call the Blight Mother, for her womb was made barren, and like a blight, she can create nothing but death.
I wanted a minor character in Unalda folklore to not have the same grievances and motives of the true Unalda, while still being married to one. Also, I wanted her to be human, a story of star-crossed lovers turned awry.
I also wanted to play with the idea of a childless mother. A woman barren, and, in many ways, without the miracle that is a blessing–to give birth. In many ways a woman’s identity is wrapped in motherhood, in child-labor. Pain is always sized up to child-birth, and motherhood is the one thing that, I think, truly sums up the female gender, in one way or another. A woman’s compassion and rage is often like the stages of childbirth, or at least the ones I have seen. A woman rages, and it is mighty. To give birth to life is a great pain, a terrible burden, but when the child is brought forth, there is compassion, there is love, clinging, holding. A desire to touch, as though all that rage has been transformed into passion, into a great love of that which has come forth–that you can truly claim as yours.
I know not all women feel this way, but to me, childbirth and motherhood are some of the most beautiful things in the world. And like fatherhood, I think they truly affect how we perceive and engage the world–by those that have taught us, grown with us, cared for us, or, sadly, never cared for us.
What would it be like, then, to be a mother without children? To bear the burden of being barren from that could-be joy? From something so central to the female identity? Some might be glad to be rid of it, but I don’t think, in the end, many women feel that way. And the Blight Mother, also known as the Barren Mother, doesn’t feel that way. She grieves. And only the crooked trees provide her solace, as twisted and gnarled as she. She is renowned, respected amongst the Unalda world, but she wishes only to have that which she can claim as hers–that which takes forth her legacy. But she can’t. And never will.
Instead she has the husks, the blighted creatures from Dalvarouk’s abilities. She is no longer the true mother. She is but a caretaker. And yet she loves them fiercely, because it is all she has to cling to as hers, in a way. A sad tale.
And a tale used to scare young girls at night.
“Don’t be like the Blight Mother, getting caught with the wrong crowd, becoming barren and alone. Don’t run off. Don’t go where I cannot follow.”
She has been given a name that inherently mocks her. But there are a few, who know her pain. Who understand her grief. Who, in many ways, gain strength in knowing such a woman exists now within god-hood.
The Ynalda of Wisdom once met her, walking absent-mindly in the woods, weeping. And the Ynalda of Wisdom did not curse her but stretched out her hand to someone who should be her enemy.
It is said that to this day that the Blight Mother has been, at times, seen with a mystical large deer walking softly by her side, keeping her company; giving her the love she could not have as a mother, but allowing her to love and be loved as and by a friend.
And it is seen as a lesson: that even the lost can be loved. That sometimes all it takes is an outstretched hand, a word, a smile. The barren need not be left to wander alone.
I have tried writing this first post one hundred times. I thought it would be interesting to write a blog about myself, or, at least, a half-hearted attempt at saying why it is I feel I need a blog to begin with, considering I have a Tumblr account. But, in the end, I could not seem to compose a great post elaborating on these points indirectly. Thus, I shall take the direct route because I was never one for subtly anyways.
When comes down to it, Tumblr is a great service for quick posts and for quick responses. But for me…I don’t run in that type of environment well. I am, like a dwarf, “very dangerous over short distances.” I tend to take longer, scroll slower. I don’t want to make my experience with someone’s art or work to be a quick-like-reblog-and-done type of deal. That doesn’t, in my mind, do anyone any favors, especially someone like me who likes to hear people’s voices beyond tags and replies (because tags are some of the single most shallow things I have seen, beyond their pragmatic use (as in to identify a post for easy accessibility at a later date), and replies don’t give anyone enough words to say anything coherent). Or through ask messages that hardly anyone every uses unless, I guess, they are the most popular person in town, but I think that is jealously talking rather than pure fact.
Tumblr has its place, and one which I gladly accept and will continue to use, but I needed another outlet to express myself. To talk, to vent, to explore, to question, to sit…to speak. And I wanted it to be in a place that is designed for long-winded conversations, not quick tweets.
Maybe this blog will become a discovery about me, a kind of “behind the scenes” type of deal for anyone who is curious. Maybe no one will venture this far south, and this blog will remain filled with thoughts with only one sole person to view them.
But either way, I felt this place needed to be created, crafted, and forged. I need a space in which I can ramble on and on and feel like someone won’t keep scrolling down to find the like button, or, tragically, to keep moving on as though I wasn’t worth their time. As though reading has become a lost art, and only a few know the fruit of its labors.
Either way, I want to consider this place an introspection into myself; a blog just as much for me as you. A place to post art, yes, but, in some small way, a place for you to journey beyond the fast-paced world we live in.
I invite you to slow down with me; to ponder, to question, to think, and most importantly: to be present.
A professor once told me that the single best thing he could ask for from his students was that they “be present.” That is, that they are engaged, if not verbally, mentally with him. That we, his students, weren’t just husks zoning out into another world while physically being present in his class. Instead, he asked that we try to be present with him as he was present with us.
And I think he was on to something. Something I have taken with me in life. That the single best thing in the world is to be present with someone–with the person sitting right in front of you, not whose buzzing on your phone. With the words and voices that come from a screen or a page in a book. Whatever the engagement, whatever the thing, that we take the moment, the pleasure, the time, to experience and exhaust ourselves by doing more than just scrolling, or liking, or composing witty one-liners. Instead, to better ourselves by being present in another.
Thus, with that I shall wish you all a very fond farewell.