When the Army of Amazon broke me, I tried to fathom success. When the Dragons of Vindictive Criticism scorched me with their hot breath, I looked up to the sky at the clouds for shapes of who I was. Who I am. When the Royalty of New York made me into a pariah, I looked deep within for the signs of my whole life.
And I knew nothing.
But when I had to drag my beaten hide across the Battlefield of Amazon to the place I called home, I scored a glimmer. Amid the gray silently screaming detritus of the Amazon War, I found victory.
Victory is in re-definition. Victory is in you. And when the artist dives into that pool from whence the art, the stories, have all come, he will emerge bathed in the sweet stench of truth.
I asked Corinna for the truth and she gave me two roses. My beautiful Corinna, who’s beauty can never lie.
And I was afraid to smell them until now. Oh we are all often afraid of the truth.
But now that I display scars from Amazon, I have smelled the roses. They smell ethereal and placid. They smell like a symphony.
The Rose of Quality carries the scent of the artist’s ambition, his dedication to the consummate mastery of his art by studying his teachers, both posthumous and contemporary, and striving to take what they have done and, searching deep within himself, through pain and sacrifice and uniqueness of voice, lift his art to another level.
The Rose Adored need but one adorer. That is all. Though let it be said that more than one may cause the Rose to bloom more fully while the artist is alive.
Now combine these roses together and suddenly, magically, one has a garden. The Garden of Success.
May all my fellow artists find their bench in that garden, that garden protected from the Army of Amazon, the Dragons of Vindictive Criticism, and the Royalty of New York.
And spend the rest of their lives there.
I’ll be waiting for you.
In that garden.
Yours in literature,