Ascent And Apotheosis - Poem by Daniel Brick
Andrea Mantegna's PARNASSUS,
or MARS AND VENUS, painted
between 1497 - 1502
Do not try so hard my friend,
to mount these steps. Do not
try at all: trust fully your mind
in its repose, listen to its granite
calm and say within its fathomless
silence what it is you desire...
and it will happen, you will embrace
your desire, as your inflamed heart burns
but is not consumed. You have slept
for ages past counting, you have awakened
to your bliss. There you bent your head in shame.
There you were judge, prisoner, jailer, all at once.
Here nothing must be hidden, nothing is false.
Every moment shine in its truth of being. You look
at me with speechless eyes, but here eyes can listen,
can speak, can touch and taste every good thing.
If you love what you see, it will be given to you.
We two are in the precincts of MOUNT PARNASSUS.
Look at that stone arch at the summit
of our climb. See the MUSES NINE dance,
their gowns billowing in the gentle wind
of their intertwining movements. The air itself
becomes the dance that carries us forward.
Feel how you float on a cushion of air, without
effort, without strain. You are already within
this dance, it envelops you, and the sweet sound
you hear within and without is Orpheus, the divine player,
whose music fills every space, every moment...
Look above the stone arch. Can you see through
the celestial light with your new sight? Open your eyes
to Eternity! From this moment forth, you will
never look back. It is body and soul becoming
one that gives you these new powers. Do not resist
any longer. Let yourself become your New Self.
Look, look above the stone arch! Your eyes can now
see through the veil of celestial light the truth of things.
The blessed pair is blessing us all. Mars and Venus,
side by side, Mars no longer a man of iron and blood,
and Venus no longer a wayward woman, look with favor
upon us as we stand side by side, in their presence,
bright and blissful in their bounteous regard.They preside
over our revels. Their harmony is the world's harmony.
My friend, this is the central place, the Omphalus, the hub
around which everything, us included, revolves, as the measures
of the dance bring pattern, as the planetary music, sympathy,
as our fused bodies and souls, happiness, each to all
and all to each, this is our home forever, this is
the place of wonders, our ascent and apotheosis....
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