"I'd Be In Heaven Now, If It Weren't For Hell"
TITLE - "I'd Be In Heaven Now, If It Weren't For Hell"
WHERE - Vancouver, British Columbia (2014)
"Which way I fly is Hell; myself am Hell;/ And in the lowest deep a lower deep/ Still threat'ning to devour me opens wide,/ To which the Hell I suffer seems a Heav'n."
- Satan, speaking in Milton's Paradise Lost
ABOUT THE GALLERY, MISFIT DESIRES
As John Milton observed, "The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven." This doleful gallery is a hodge-podge bestiary of things in life that many of us seek but that are rooted in misconceptions and fantasies, or that are ultimately unwise for us to want and uncongenial to our spiritual contentment, or that are fleeting or asymptotic and inherently impossible to attain, or else that, if attained, are unlikely in the end to be what we were really after.
Our tour begins with modes of desire that can lead to unhappy ways of being. We then foray into sketchy aspects of lust and romance (among both straights and gays); and finally we stumble into a pooh pile of other infatuations and addictions. Mankind's misfit desires are, as you know, as innumerable as chaff in the field, so what follows here amounts to little more than the entry-level, one-pound Whitman's sampler of contemporary folly. Spreading out from this crossroads are a handful of especially rough roads to paradise, all of them lost.
(Hungry for still more circus? Consider the daft arrogance of religions and the low paranoia of tribes.)