I just opened an email from Dr. Martin Shaw’s Cista Mystica newsletter, and it was full of pertinent and lovely words, as always. In this email, he asked us to keep the “smoke hole open” – the opening in a traditional Siberian tent whereby the smoke leaves and the gods enter in.
Numen Arts was long in the making, and unlucky enough to be born in these dark days. But it cannot wither on the vine; this is nourishment that our communities need, maybe now more than ever. We can’t let our fear and, as Dr. Shaw so bluntly puts it, neurosis, be our only company while we bear the burden of grief and uncertainty. The path ahead may not be what we think it will be, but there will be a path.
If you are in quarantine, consider this a time of contemplation, a time of sacred incubation. Turn off the news for a while, sit with your numinous powers, and put pen to paper.
We will need something of ourselves and our relationships to look back on when the fog lifts and this first of many storms passes. Social media should not have the monopoly on our memories from this time – it’s important that we do not forget the fire in our hands, for it is a shaper of histories.
It is our job right now, as artists, to recenter and remember.