The Goddess of Phoegos



TITLE // The Goddess of Phoegos
ARTIST // Jeffrey Bowman
SIZE // 6" x 8"
MEDIUM // mixed media on canvas base

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This piece is signed and dated on the bottom.

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I think we are online with the lights we had seen from the night before. The day did not provide the backdrop needed to follow the lights, but I remember the direction. I've thought about creating a map. However, I don't recall how I got here. The beginning is blurry. I think its best if it remains like that. My past isn't something worth documenting.

The memory of the fear planet we somehow visited last night was still vivid. The electric projection we experienced during our meditation was burning my eyes. I mentioned something to Maker about the experience, hoping a conversation would ensue. He smiled and stretched his arms out. His palms down letting the tall grass tickle his makeshift wings and with a sudden sound of him mimicking rockets he ran off. His arms still wide, he would turn and dip into the grass recreating our flightpath across Phoegos. All the while mouthing sounds of rockets and the music we heard. For a moment I stopped walking and found myself studying him. I could almost see what he was seeing, The Phoegos Lines. I quickly shook my head and tried to disconnect from his silly madness. I began to quicken my stride, catching up with the others. I left Maker still flying high with his rocket wings.

I quickened my stride and caught up with Wizard. There was still so many questions I had about Phoegos that I wanted him to answer. I wanted to ask him while the vision was still burning in my mind. I began walking up to the front of the line. He was always a good bit ahead, fast walker. The need for questioned faded as I approached him. I didn't want to waste the mental effort in figuring this out. I managed to hold onto one of the questions. “Who is the King of Phoegos?” I asked him. It came out sounding more like desperation than a question. He turned around as if to catch me. He too must have heard the agony and thought I was wounded. Feeling confident I wasn't under any real stress he answered, “Lots of Kings, war seems to create them in droves.” “However, there is only one true Goddess.” I quickly asked another question knowing how elusive they are here. “The wars? Kings fighting for the love of the true Goddess?” He smiled, “ Ah, the romantic. No, it's not that simple. They have wrapped the Goddess in a thousand spells.” Before I could ask another question, he stopped and faced me. When he gives you attention, it's intense. It's almost threatening at first. However, one of the first things I learned here is how passionate everyone seems to be. The threat I feel is my nothing more than my projection. The truth is I don't possess that passion and my ego tells me it's threatening to save face. The ego is also the silly bastard that has been telling me there's no real magic, even while following a group of wizards.

Wizard started telling me about the goddess, and the thousand spells. I was trying to hold on; I was able to catch a few words and fewer phrases. The abstract, I thought. I nodded and tried my best to hold on to any information that would stick. He noticed and eased his cadence, patted me on the shoulder, "hang in there," he mumbled.

Maker, powered by rockets from his mouth spat along and eventually caught up with us. He caught the last bit about the Goddess of Phoegos and nodded along with Wizard. After I flew my white flag and surrendered from Wizard's story, I looked to Maker for a possible source of information. With spit still on his mouth from his rocket sounds I quickly realized the absurdity of anything resembling clarification coming from him would be equally abstract. He noticed the disappointment placed squarely on my face. He used his shirt to clean his mouth and looked disgusted at me. He rolled his eyes and let out a big exhale. I instantly felt like apologizing. While I quickly tried to formulate a sentence, I thought he would understand he laughed at me and ran off. The rascal.

The suns started to set, and several moons were out. The city’s light was once again on display. I was startled to see how far they appeared from us. We had been making good strides today. Only a few interruptions and stopping a few times for water and the abstract story Wizard tried to share. We camped outside an abandoned shack left behind by the farmers that must have worked the nearby field. Maker went inside and made use of the forgotten materials. He came out bags heavy pockets full and began searching through Dye’s belongings. Dye watched him, unfazed by his actions. Maker started searching for something. He became more and more frantic when Dye finally stood up and with one glance in his bag brought out the piece Maker had been wanting. Maker clapped his hands in celebration and ran off. Dye returned to his sketching.

It was late in the night when I felt the presence of someone in my tent. Maker was trying to tiptoe up to where I was sleeping. I pretended that I didn't notice him. I peeked through my eyelids; stealth was something I had over the group. He placed a small sculpture beside my pillow. He slowly turned and headed out of my tent. I opened my eyes a bit to see the statue. Maker, without turning around whispered, “ I know you're awake, your breathing changed. The sculpture is the cursed Goddess of Phoegos. I think we should save her." I held still in case of a bluff. He whispered, "sleep well, Scribe.” He was gone, and I was speechless. I don’t know anything about the people I'm documenting. I will fail this task. The only thing constant is their inconsistencies. Now, they're adding sweetness. I am doomed.

I guess they aren't doing or being anything other than what they've always been. I am the one who is pushing back and not accepting the group. I am fighting a battle they've already won. I began to feel comfortable with those thoughts. I eased a bit. Now, confident enough to inspect the sculpture. I picked it up and cracked open my tent for any available light. The moons were all out, and their ambiance worked nicely. The material Maker used caught the light beautifully. There were hints of blue, from the abandoned shack. The wire acted as the curse; the shape was familiar to that of a female. I understood it all just by holding it. I would try to explain it, but it would probably sound abstract.

-- Ready for Translation.


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