Featured art by Maren Klemp. Click title image to visit her studio.
The Funny Thing About Butterflies was written in November 2019 and has remained unreleased until now.
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Phaeleh featuring Soundmouse “Afterglow”
It’s funny how things work out. Over seven years into my tenure as Keeper of The Crimson Quill, I finally know why my subconscious stumped for this particular pseudonym at the offset. The word “Keeper” would suggest that secrets are something of a currency to me. They’re not. While I reserve the right to possess a private life that I keep just for me, everything else is splashed across my journal pages with an abandon some way less than reckless. Nothing is held back, when expressing myself through art. All of me is all you see, albeit as and when I feel the need and calm to reveal. Those who know me well enough, will be aware that there is not a solitary question they cannot ask me. I will always provide an honest answer and right in the moment without the requirement to check my records. That being said, there is one secret I have been holding onto for dear life and it turns out I’ve been hiding this from yours truly. The secret of our innermost magic. Knew there were too many coincidences for there not to be something mystical afoot. Just hadn’t the faintest idea it was so self-sourced.
Having spent over twenty years unwittingly subscribing to the doctrine provided by a society that lies, I decided to ask the universe for answers and, no question, a great deal came like moths unto the flame. However, it didn’t take long to figure out that daily horoscopes could prove every bit as restricting. Should we choose to time our daily movements rigidly around the energies forecast for the day or take personally a line of dialogue in our horoscopes that feels as though it has been written only for us, then we’re often backing ourselves into the very same corner that we may have spent years attempting to flee. The cosmos undoubtedly plays a prodigious part in the cadence of our lives. Just not quite in the manner many are led to believe. For every prograde there’s a retrograde and it can feel like we’re running on a perpetual treadmill as the goalposts are moved every time it feels like we are about to make significant progress. No question the universe confides. The secret being kept from us is just where it resides.
Deep beneath our human skins exists a second brain of sorts. While our primary brains tend to be a mass of worry, neglect, doubt and anal retention, the lesser known of the two knows no boundaries; aside from the ones self-enforced when we refuse to accept its existence. This is understandable, given that we live in a world that teaches only to believe what we can see with our very own eyes. Not easy keeping tabs on the great unknown, when there is such a tremendous backlog of negative neurons topside voting on neurosis. Perhaps this is why everything feels so damn hopeless. Why we feel as though drowning in a sea of bloody noses. Whoever it is running the show is going to extreme lengths to stop us seeing sense. Reminding us there are five of them, when there are actually ten. More, should we tap into the innermost of Zen.
There is magic, after all. And this is where I earn my stripes as “Keeper”. You see, I am one of a select few here to put out a call. To guide lost souls Home. No doctrine. Just truth. I’m a “say it as I see it” kind of guy. And I see it so very clearly, through these eyes of mined deep crystalline. It has always been within, which would explain why inner children are so actively seeked when we hit the septic seesaw that is midlife. Effectively null and void until such time as we’re devoid of all the paranoid delusion being fed our brains through terrible transfusion. A mighty vessel cannot hope to set sail when its masts are on the verge of capitulation. Many a perplexing conundrum to solve in the attic before we head down to the basement of our souls. Having identified all afflictions and triggers, I am now in a position to truly think bigger. Thus, the past eighteen months of my life, in particular, have been dedicated to completing the rewire of a mind quite clearly damaged by the pitfalls, fools and savages faced.
And all the while, I’ve been getting up close and personal with the very deepest of essence. Unlocking potential I need never have been deprived; although perhaps everything is just as it should be. Had to feel every pain to wince through it. Had to suffer from delirium and salute a trio of druids in the very darkest recess of my room. Had to activate my third eye to believe the other two. Strike the fine balance between light and shadow and master the transcendental art of infinite high-wire. As “Keeper” of the one secret I no longer keep from myself, my gift of wealth to all those who see me is the very clearest of clues as to where the key to the entire universe is kept. It has been right beneath our noses the whole time.
This is why it is critical to love ourselves. Once this has been achieved, then we can be antithesis to disease. We can take the very blindest kind of leaps. We can leave the judgement to the ones who deem us freaks. We can take our unique egos for a walk once in a while. We can still be ever humble, all the while. Balance is the trial, its striking need not trend to tribulation. Boundless lost and found imagination. My unspoken oath is gently nudging those until now predisposed with all the sorrows they have faced in a direction where they know which way they’re actually facing. And when you feel the butterflies flutter in your tummy, don’t forget to infinitely chase them.
Richard Charles Stevens
Keeper of The Crimson Quill
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