There is Beauty in the Darkness

They're my friends, I call 'em Larry, Mo, and Curly.
Death has never been a subject that overly concerned me, not even when I was young. It's always hovered on the periphery, the inevitable, the natural course of existence, the unavoidable conclusion to the story.

Those that fear death, fear life, the warrior philosophy goes. So say the soldiers, who won't set foot in a hospital unless they're dead, or unable to fight their way off the gurney under their own power. They don't fear it -- but they sure as hell don't waste much energy talking about it either.

But the stories in my mind, the untold sagas, the muses who haven't yet had the opportunity to be born, to stretch their limbs, to wander through the minds of a hundred readers, and live... present something else entirely for me.

I was confronted with a reminder of this recently, when a writer friend of mine succumbed at last to a chronic illness he'd been fighting for some time. I only knew him for about 18 months or so, all told. But the camaraderie was there all the same. I didn't even know he wrote until he asked why I was smiling so hard one day about a year ago, and I told him about DEoH. We talked about his stories.
Stories that, like mine, weren't written for the ambitious desire to see one's name in print on the cover of a book. They were written from the need. From the muse-driven passion to tell a story, to get the words out, to share the people, the events, seen on the screen of the writer's mind's eye.

His stories followed him to his grave, trapped in his mind, unfinished, untold.
All those characters, unshared. I mourn their loss, not because he had any duty to give them away, but because I know he wanted to share them. He wanted them to dance.

And now they never will. Sometimes--most times, I'd wager--a writer creates solely for themselves. Because they must, or the restraint causes injury, or because that is quite simply the medium their passion takes, the path of least resistance. And yet, art is not truly art without an audience, is it?

Love isn't love until you give it away.
I don't want my muses to follow me to the grave, trapped in my mind unshared. I want them freed, to dance immortal in the minds of a hundred readers. I don't care if I end up forgotten or unknown. But the muses, every last one, they deserve the chance to wander free and live on.