Things are going to be changing at the Pop HazMat blog, although I am not quite certain about the exact nature of those changes, yet. One thing I can reveal is that aforementioned changes will indeed have a great deal to do with a number of rather gradual tectonic shifts and (strangle me now for using a vapid, dancing-through-the-flowery-fields-of-Self Improvement term) “life-changes” that have been occurring in the last … well, quite frankly, these things have been occurring all my days, and more often than not in a less-than-gradual fashion.
Mine has been a tempestuous existence–not entirely by choice, not entirely by happenstance, and not half because I have been more than a bit of a deliberate Mad Hatter, in my way. Mine has been a life decorated with portents both ominous and enlightening, ever since I can remember. Secrets and murmuring shadows have lurked at the outskirts of perception without cessation since I was a child, beckoning with the allure that only the irresistible glimmer of Mystery can command. Demons and gremlins and angels? Oh, my! There has been a multitude of those interlopers and pestering forces, creeping or tip-toeing along the switchbacks and hairpin turns of The Bewildering Quest. These are the wayfarers who do somersaults with gleeful ease up the assorted mountains that I have labored to climb, the high chaparral through which I have sought to claw some sort of trail skyward for myself. The smug little sting upon the consciousness in the midst of it all, at least with the onset of some measure of entrenched, irreversible maturity, is the realization that the demons and the angels are so alike in their purposes and their packaging as to be indistinguishable. Most of the time.
There exists, at this juncture, not the slightest interest in exploring or writing about the things I have in common with my Fellow Travelers. The way I discern the faint-spoken but glistening Vision that inhabits the sacred territory at the periphery of my Understanding, it’s my job to plunge forthright into the depths, breath held and pulse-pounding against the currents that fight to repel me, to snag what uncommon treasures only I may find in perilous, darkling pools at the bottom, and hoist them aloft above the waves, surfacing victorious and gasping for air from the sheer toil. Then, if any strength remains within me, these strange artifacts and potentially dangerous dainties may be brought to shore for shared scrutiny and celebration or, perhaps, a swift toss back into the murk from whence they came, if it is determined that I have wasted my energies and obstinate pursuits and have, by mistake or misperception, snatched-up handfuls of mere misshapen rock that can be observed with all ubiquity by anyone, anywhere, at any time. All else is pointless, now, even if I am pointless without realizing it.
Witty little captions beneath comical pop-photographs poached from the Internets are just not cutting it. Not for me or from me. They have their place in human commentary, to be certain, but if such things (no matter how clever) occupy my particular place in the contribution to public discourse, as bloodcurdlingly cacophonous as that discourse has become, then I am a fool. A fool among fools. A thing must be what it is, according to its nature. All else is dishonesty and illusion that leads to unwitting disillusion, and societies are already so saturated with that wretched effluvia –so easily and willfully mistaken for ambrosia– that they do seem to be in that peculiar jeopardy of a permanent descent into a tomb rife with the odors of some pervasive slumber, a soullessness that betokens no hope, no eventual glimpse of transformation or resurrection.
Lights hidden under bushels. Pearls strewn before swine. “Gaze no more in the bitter glass.” A number of images and adages and metaphors spring to mind, even on cloven hooves. Now is the time for honest work in the world of men and women, and it is within this world that I live, like it or not. Now is the time for each thing to be what it is, according to its nature. We need not be humorless, pompous or vain. We need only be true to our talents and diligent in what we create, particularly if we are artists. I don’t care one whit about what you create. But here’s the magic –the mundane, marvelous magic: You can make me care, if you demand my attention with integrity, and with excellence in craftsmanship. I shall expect the courtesy to be returned.
A friend recently suggested, merely in passing, an artistic endeavor that involves original comic/cartoon work combined with satirical commentary. Most noble, with a long and illustrious history this specific medium. My friend had no way of knowing that I have indeed explored those avenues in the past, with success, and that for some time I have been mulling another ongoing project of broad strokes across a canvas capable of sustaining appreciable depth, both visually and spiritually. It is not beyond the pale to think my friend’s suggestion might have emerged from the sphere of the Providential, particularly at this Moment of Exquisite Cataclysm, when all facades are torn crumbling from their foundations and destroyed, to be replaced with vast gardens waiting to be nurtured, and pristine wetlands welcoming all manner of Life–mischievous and mild, retiring and wild–eager to nest and dwell therein. Home at last?
We shall soon see. The edifice and the artifice and the pointless scaffolding have been collapsing in great sprays of mortar and tempests of obliterated stonework for years, thank God, to reveal the intricate mosaic laid at the True Foundation. The siege is nearly over and I think a sledgehammer will just about take care of what remains. There are some satisfying days of work ahead.
Jonathan Kieran’s (as-yet-untitled) new novel, an epic supernatural thriller, is now finished and slated for release in late Spring 2014. Look for news about the release here and at Amazon.com in the coming weeks and months.
Jonathan is also the author of the classically appointed Rowan Blaize series of modern fairy-tales and novels. Visit Jonathan Kieran’s Official Facebook Page and give it a “Like,” if you are so inclined. Meanwhile …
Escape the Imminent Collapse of Civilization, if only for a few hours. A sweeping modern fairy-tale is born with the Rowan Blaize series of books. Click on the book covers to the right or have a look below …
Watch the Rowan Blaize Book Trailer HERE.
Book One = The magical cornerstone – a lavishly illustrated epic narrative poem … a genuine “spell” for the young and young-at-heart to treasure for a lifetime, telling the story of sorcerer Rowan Blaize’s battle to regain his magic powers. (Think Beowulf-meets-Dr.Seuss or an epic story-in-verse of a scope similar to Tolkien’s soon-to-be-released The Fall of Arthur, only contemporary.)
Book Two = The rip-roaring novel that continues the adventures of Rowan Blaize and introduces the three hilarious witches of the Ancient City, along with its dysfunctional werewolves, wraiths, ghosts, vampires, dryads, banshees and a beauty pageant brat that just might destroy the world.
Book Three = The next novel that finds Rowan trapped by a spell in another world, caught between a faery-squashing sorceress who’ll stop at nothing to conquer the kingdom … and a feisty teenage prince who’s determined to get it back.
Click here to purchase the Kindle e-books and watch a video of Jonathan discussing his work.
Barnes and Noble
Rowan Blaize Official Website