This elegant collection — Reflections on Writing, Art and the Artist — originally began as various short pieces that poet-philosopher Ron Lampi had written in the 1980s, offered in a little printed booklet. Lampi began adding pieces to this work in 2008 until he was satisfied it was ready to be released again in a more formal version. In these short pieces is something that will speak to every artist, writer, and poet. These reflections are ideally read in conjunction with the author’s recently published poetic work Poetry / Is.
And this, too, happens: That Sun-like moment of Revelation that launches the visionary. It is the event of what-so-long-remained-concealed suddenly revealing itself before the eyes of the awakened mind. Immediately it comes upon us as an overabundance, a spiritual outpouring of such Sun radiant intensity that can be so overwhelming, it can easily paralyze the unprepared. We can be blinded by so much “Light.” There may simply be too much pouring through, all so fast, not to mention that our meager linguistic ability might not even be capable of meeting the challenge of trying to put it into words. To make the attempt to speak, or to write, in the midst of its happening may very well prove to be impossible. It is as if we were witnessing a great cloud of agitated birds, somehow having been trapped in a room, all taking flight through a suddenly opened, tiny window simultaneously.
The visionary poet
It is apparent that the community today doesn’t really know what to do with a visionary poet—with a visionary artist of perhaps any kind. The community certainly hasn’t asked for a visionary poet to appear on the scene; there are no job postings for it; there is no demand for such a role, such as we find for various businesses, or for police officers, firefighters, teachers, doctors, and increasingly today, therapists. The community, let us consider, certainly has a place for the doctor—everyone will need a doctor at some time or another. And a doctor’s role is as important as they get—they literally save lives. In a small city and its environs of, say, 50,000 or more, there is the need for perhaps a few hundred doctors, not to mention, a greater number of nurses, especially given that a city of this size must have at least one hospital. But in that same city of 50,000, is there a need for visionary poets? Is there a need for one visionary poet? Within what size population is a visionary poet called for? But to pose the whole question in this way is misleading. A visionary poet responds to the Age itself, not to any ready-made job position that the community requires. The visionary poet mysteriously emerges out of the Call of the Age; the community certainly hasn’t asked for the visionary poet to come along, but the Age does. And such a poet can live in a shack on a mountain, in a tiny hamlet, in the smallest town or medium-sized city, but perhaps lives least as well, if we reflect upon the needs of fostering a Vision, in the most populated urban centers. The increase in population does not entail by any means that the poet with a Vision must live in the midst of such human density in order to fill a social position.
But what does a community do with a visionary poet? Does such a poet even have a place in the community, in society, at all today? Does the visionary poet have to find his own place nonetheless, despite all lack of community support?
The visionary poet, the visionary artist, certainly finds himself living in two realities: He lives, of course, in the everyday, contemporary, conventional world that all are naturally born into and live in. But simultaneously, by a certain age, he comes to live in a whole other psyche reality that has opened up for him through the life Vision that has been given to him. If he is not to simply live a schizoid life, he instinctively uses the creative powers he has and through this whole other reality of Vision, he is called to help transform that contemporary world to a greater or lesser extent, whatever he is destined to. And what he is able to accomplish, whatever that might be, appears then, along with others called by their transformative Visions, on the cutting edge of evolving humanity.
A visionary is one who sees a Greater Reality for evolving humanity and has dedicated him or herself to bringing that Greater Reality into Human Reality.