The Artist and the Madman – a fable

In the sacred moments between darkness and light everything can happen.

Now, all was still it seemed. The mist descended lazily along with the twilight. Droplets of water danced in the air at every movement of the elements, painting a pattern of infinite variety.
Black birds hung overhead, drawing their profiles against the blue darkening sky.
In front of her the endless ocean lay, only small waves were touching the sand. Yet, she didn’t notice the vastness; the endless sky, the changing moods of the sea, the wide white beach where hundreds of footsteps had come and gone nor the forest that lay holding its breath behind her.  She hadn’t even noticed walking through it. All she could see was her own thoughts. Dark, full of despair.
Why? Why was she doing what she was doing? Why had she chosen to become an artist? Or, she wondered, perhaps she hadn’t. Perhaps the realm of art had chosen her?

Trying to get her bearings she mentally retraced her steps. She´d walked from the empty bar where she and her band had just finished playing a concert. Unfortunately, there had been more people on stage than among the audience. And it had made her feel like a failure. It made her wonder why she was doing this. What was the point?
She had walked along the deserted streets in the small Danish coastal town. The foggy lamplight that she had weaved in and out of had reminded her of a black and white movie. One, where the main character gets lost between all those shades of grey. Where the lines blur and suddenly you find yourself lost in a maze. She picked up her pace. Where was she going anyway?
An image of the beach flashed before her inner eye, so she shifted direction and instead of going home she went to the sea.

Now, having come out of her maze of thoughts, she realized where she was. There was almost no wind. And no sound. For a long time there was just… silence. Outside. Inside.

Stars were coming out and she watched the water slowly turn into a liquid darkness. Then, something odd occurred. There was movement. Splashes, to be more precise. Out of the liquid darkness came a manly figure. She couldn’t at first believe her own eyes. Where had he come from? she thought and remembered the psychiatric hospital that lay a little further in toward town. A madman.
It seemed like he was dancing in the water, with the water. And then his arms outstretched towards everything and nothing. He was twirling around himself, lighting up with joy. In the moment he saw her, a purpose seemed to manifest within him and push him toward her. As he reached the beach, he started to make little forward rolls. Like a child, she thought. A child and a man, seemingly in communion with everything.
As he reached her he stood up, looked at her for what seemed an eternity and then finally he put an arm around her. He was older than he seemed, she noted.
With a voice full of warmth and eyes that seemed to reflect the whole of the Universe he said: “Let it go, my friend. And take it all in – the sea, the beach, the forest and the stars. It is beautiful, it is much bigger than you think and it is good for what’s inside your head. It is love materialized.”

“Sometimes”, a voice began to say within her heart, “you have to get a little lost in order to be found”. She looked at the man and wondered about madness. To that the voice said:  ”The only insanity there is, is that which is created by the lack of love. This man’s madness is born from pure love, joy. And this kind of madness is the only sanity there is”.


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