The Poet According to Kierkegaard

…[Just] as God created man and woman, so he created the hero and the poet or orator.  The poet or orator can do nothing that the hero does; he can only admire, love, and delight in him….He follows his heart’s desire, but when he has found the object of his search, he roams about to every man’s door with his song and speech so that all may admire the hero as he does, may be proud of the hero as he is.  This is his occupation, his humble task; this is his faithful service in the house of the hero.  If he remains true to his love in this way, if he contends night and day against the craftiness of oblivion, which wants to trick him out of his hero, then he has fulfilled his task…

I find that last sentence most intriguing.  I identify with the poet, and my task is to contend with the oblivion that constantly threatens to swallow up my motivation, and consequently any productivity I might have.  It brings to mind the darkness, the Nothing that threatens to swallow up Fantastica in The Neverending Story by Michael Ende.  As a writer, I must, like Bastian, keep journeying onwards towards the new name that will give existence to something beautiful, towards real love for others that forgets oneself.

‘Listen to me, Bastian Balthazar Bus,’ [the miner of forgotten dreams] said. ‘I’m no great talker.  I prefer silence.  But I will answer this one question.  You are looking for the Water of Life.  You want to be able to love, that’s your only hope of getting back to your world.  To love – that’s easily said.  But the Water of Life will ask you: Love whom?  Because you can’t just love in general.  You’ve forgotten everything but your name.  And if you can’t answer, it won’t let you drink.  So you’ll just have to find a forgotten dream, a picture that will guide you to the fountain.  And to find that picture you will have to forget the one thing you have left: yourself.  And that takes hard, patient work.  Remember what I’ve said, for I shall never say it again.Image

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