Michael Burns Charcoal, Gesso, Naples yellow 24 ins X 30 ins – Cotton canvas

The versions of old stories took on a life of their own. The sheer amount of time involved, expressed itself as well. Like myths do. It began to no longer be a campfire tale, an interesting thing one speaks about on a long voyage. It seemed it became the most logical answer to that age-old problem — well, wonder that is…many people tried to exploit it, they push mystery into what otherwise was a simple thing. Claimed they had inside information. Claimed all kinds of things. Swore to high heavens they knew someone who, knew someone…told lies, to impress their friends or lovers. And some were, genuinely delusional, or crooked, or just plain old lonely, and looking for attention, swore they knew the real truth of it. Others driven by hate and a deep seated malice. It was in fad, and then out of fashion, and then became fad again as it cycled. Some even threatened, to eradicate that curiosity for good. Others, went to war over it — some discovered it for the first time and fell down on their knees, and prayed till their hands bleed. Those on that sideline, saw an opportunity and decided it was worth their time to create a whole new us out of it, some of them used it for their own gain. I generally was in a state of mild curiosity, more a, wondering really. I was never for, or against any real knowledge. I might have had, or might not have had — I pondered some personal theories about why they thought this way. Anybody that I knew, laughed, or followed any of the previous procedures, I have explained in this…this explanation. I mean, some, went all out on it, invested untold amounts of money in the exploration of the ideas; following on leads; hiring teams of untold experts to split ever hair in ever argument or explanation. They spent oceans of cash, mountains of coins, on presuppositions, of the possible future ramifications of this…some claimed, they could channel the truth of it. They dug holes and holes onside holes. The complexities mounted, till it became so impossible to understand in any tangible way — perhaps tangible, isn’t the right word here, for no one ever laid their hands on any… real evidence. There was the ancient wondering, deductions, explanations, of adoration scratched out on some rock face. Interpreted out of context. An seeming artifact here or there, buried in a cave under layers of batshit; faked or genuine — made by some afternoon paleo, sitting on a rock or stump, in front of his fire, after a meal of some extinct species of auroch, that needed to kill some time till his beddy-bye time came along, and he could dream of who he really was…But those mounted to more speculation about the truth of the test — the fallacy in the logic to understand the ancient mind. Hell they even found time to build computer models, hundreds and hundreds of them that took into consideration, the hundreds and hundreds of many variables, that, could use orts of coal ash, smidgens of pollen, and splices of an air-borne virus, long dormant and stuck in ice cores; they bored into trees and rocks, and sea floors. They scratch the bones or shadows of bones, a million years dead for a hope. From the bottom of ancient glaciers to firing rockets into space and sampling the dust that floats around us — if there is around us, to prove their point? And their point? Was the tests absolute infallibility. The churches got involved and hell, that brought a whole new bunch of metaphysical configurations. Truly it was absolutely amazing, how many angels they claimed danced on the head of that pin. The quiet intervened, and said we were getting distracted from the real sense of it, it was the void speaking to us. The whole thing was a form of consciousness. That the best thing to do was, go with it, and try not to try to explain it…except and become one with all the possibilities. That some things can never ever be known. The simple fact of it is, ‘they’, who I am speaking about — discovered this place, and were enamored by its tremendous beauty — it’s a love story really. Its uniqueness in all that they had seen, and had discovered before…their curiosities, always seemed to, corrupt it in some way. They seemed to damage it in the looking at it. The fact of actually looking at it, changed it, the physical interaction….well. So they wanted to experience, and in that fact, they discovered, that if they became part of it, an integral part of it, if they joined with it in love of it, of which they were just starting to learn, they might be able to understand it. And so they put on a meat suit, and after a long time, forgot about why they started all this.

It was about beauty. That’s all. It was about a great work of art they discovered after their terribly long voyage.