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Descent To Mediocrity

By Kartheik G Iyer

The thing with beauty; true, untarnished beauty, resplendent in its own glory,is that she can not be appreciated fully by the mediocre, and doesn't care a damn about it. Whereas the truly perfect is naught but an abomination, bringing destruction upon itself and its maker, in the manner of Athena and Arachne, beauty, as humans perceive it, is chaotic, mesmerizing in its asymmetry, which, while not immediately apparent, forms an inherent feature of its appeal.

The mystery also plays a part. We have always been intrigued, awed, frightened by that what we do not know. Figaro, yes. The arms of the Venus de Milo. Mona Lisa's enigmatic half smile. The crescendo that a concerto rises up to, the percussion beating against our hearts, synchronous in its solid thump, the strings quivering in its high notes, vacillating between ecstasy and torment, while our body responds in a thousand different ways to what we do not understand. The slow rise, followed by the near deafening music, yes, music, not noise, and ye unfaithful be damned. The rapture of rhapsody, the untold words of a picture, the primal attraction of a dance, they speak to the soul, insofar as one exists, in tones of exquisite sensitivity, in a language made up in equal parts of thoughts and silence.

But this isn't for the mediocre. No, the mediocre have been cursed, to live in this world, of unparalleled beauty and unequaled horror, and yet, to go through life, either content in their ignorance, or suffering in the eternal torment of yearning to listen, not hear. To surrender, not understand. In the manner of birds that want to take to the sky, they wish to fly where others shamble along the ground, not looking up, and yet their wings are clipped. And so they live, nudging and shoving, fighting petty squabbles, concerning themselves with trivialities, wishing, but not truly knowing what they're wishing for.

The only thing that is worse, pain beyond all measure, that drives one to the brink of a cliff of sanity, then pushes them off, is the pain of those who have risen above the rest, who have seen, and heard, and felt, something that touched their souls and changed them forever, but lose their ability, either by quirk of a fickle fate, or the premeditated malodorocities of malcontents, and are, like Icarus, thrown down to the ground to live with the heathen, the hoi polloi, to have their thoughts drowned out by the incessant meaningless chatter that is the vox populi. Their silent screams rend the fabric of their existence, in a desperate, last-ditch attempt to push themselves off the ground, to push off themselves the chains of an uncreative gravity that binds them to the maximal plane of the many.

What kind of a life is that?

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