Century after Century of Puked Beauty
"In each human heart terror survives
The ravin it has gorged: the loftiest fear
All that they would disdain to think were true:
Hypocrisy and custom make their minds
The fanes of many a worship, now outworn.
They dare not devise good for man's estate,
And yet they know not that they do not dare."
Shelley, Prometheus Unbound
Can art survive the knowledge that art isn’t inspired, (engendered by the breath of a deity,) while never ceasing to acknowledge that any art worthy of the name requires an absolute conviction?
One is well aware of imperfection and impotence, and after the glorious certainty of early childhood has passed, one looks with dreary sadness at the mismatch of what one has made and what one had hoped to make, what one has made of oneself, and what one had hoped to make of oneself.
One also gets kind of used to the experience of this mismatch...It's tolerable. I fall short of my self-set mark, but so do most others.
I compare myself favorably to some, so what's to be concerned about? I'll get along...We'll all get along. This isn't a dire situation, even if it is peculiarly and anxiously nagging.
One can learn to live with and manage one’s sorrowful shortcomings – one can adapt, continue to edify oneself, and become satisfied with increments of improvement.
Strategies of amelioration, not transformation... If to ameliorate was as far we could go, I do not believe we could ever speak of such a thing as human creativity.
If "terror survives the ravin it has gorged" (psychic strategies of amelioration fail to eliminate fear or to create boldness) and the "loftiest fear is of all that they would disdain to think were true" (idealism succeeds in casting psychic shadows but fails to create an ideal reality), one is left with a wager or a dare as a creative option. No dare, no creation? Do we dare? Do we know that we do not dare? Why isn't it more obvious to us, one way or the other?
What is the nature of the dare?