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Beautiful, powerful words have helped me through some of the darkest moments in my life.

I'm sure it isn't surprising or unique that, having grown up gay in the South, as an atheist, and with bipolar disorder, I have had to compile my own scripture to guide and sustain me.

I'd like to share some small but powerful bits of language that have been fuel when my fires burned dangerously low, and which inspire me now. The Psalms in Sunday school never sounded so sweet as these. I hope this little trio of Bees and Gods inside inspires others as well. :heart:
 
"The Greeks bequeathed to us one of the most beautiful words in our language
the word 'enthusiasm'en theosa god within. The grandeur of human actions is measured by the inspiration from which they spring. Happy is he who bears a god within, and who obeys it."
- Louis Pasteur


Last Night As I was Sleeping
by Antonio Machado

Last night as I was sleeping,

I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that a spring was breaking
out in my heart.
I said: Along which secret aqueduct,
Oh water, are you coming to me,
water of a new life
that I have never drunk?

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my old failures.

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that a fiery sun was giving
light inside my heart.
It was fiery because I felt
warmth as from a hearth,
and sun because it gave light
and brought tears to my eyes.

Last night as I slept,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that it was God I had
here inside my heart.


The Arrival of the Bee Box
by Sylvia Plath

I ordered this, clean wood box
Square as a chair and almost too heavy to lift.
I would say it was the coffin of a midget
Or a square baby
Were there not such a din in it.

The box is locked, it is dangerous.
I have to live with it overnight
And I can't keep away from it.
There are no windows, so I can't see what is in there.
There is only a little grid, no exit.

I put my eye to the grid.
It is dark, dark,
With the swarmy feeling of African hands
Minute and shrunk for export,
Black on black, angrily clambering.
  
How can I let them out?
It is the noise that appalls me most of all,
The unintelligible syllables.
It is like a Roman mob,
Small, taken one by one, but my god, together!

I lay my ear to furious Latin.
I am not a Caesar.
I have simply ordered a box of maniacs.
They can be sent back.
They can die, I need feed them nothing, I am the owner.

I wonder how hungry they are.
I wonder if they would forget me
If I just undid the locks and stood back and turned into a tree.
There is the laburnum, its blond colonnades,
And the petticoats of the cherry.

They might ignore me immediately
In my moon suit and funeral veil.
I am no source of honey
So why should they turn on me?
Tomorrow I will be sweet God, I will set them free.

The box is only temporary.
  • Listening to: A Song to Come Home To by Jinkx Monsoon
  • Reading: nothing at the moment
  • Watching: Stranger Things 2
  • Playing: Final Fantasy IX Remastered
  • Eating: Fasting
  • Drinking: Water
  • Listening to: "What Else is There" by Röyksopp
  • Reading: Starting "A Song of Ice and Fire" series
  • Watching: An endless stream of YouTube tutorials
  • Playing: FFIX Remastered
  • Drinking: Soda D=
Hiya (to my, like, five watchers)! ;)

I haven't posted any updates on DA in a while, and I figured I might as well.

I am busy refining my skills with 3D modelling and texturing these days. I'm learning Substance Designer and Painter, and am pretty stoked for the Blender 2.8 release that's coming. It's crazy to think that a decade ago I was a kid posting my drawings to DeviantArt, thinking I knew anything, and now I feel so small and like I know so little. It doesn't change how much I love making things, though, and I feel truly grateful that I lucked into a life of art.

I wish I had more work to post, but I pretty much have always been a quality over quantity kinda person (but don't worry -- I try and do a lot of testing and iterating so I'm not defeating the sort of flow and feedback necessary for learning). I'll try and post new work here as I have it, but you can always follow me on ArtStation or at donavanneil.com.


Also, on another note, I'd honestly like to be more involved with DeviantArt, but the site has grown so large and sort of unwieldy, I don't really know where to begin. Definitely let me know if you've got any recommendations toward that end. :D

Best,

Donavan
So, I'm writing this as an introduction, even though my account isn't actually new.

I initially joined DeviantArt back in the bronze-age of the internet, when MySpace was still a thing. For an overweight, gay, awkward, ambiverted 16 year old boy in the South who liked to draw things, DeviantArt was definitely the more welcoming social media choice of the era. There were fandoms and poetry groups and critique and people missed you when you were absent; there was good will. However, as I grew up a bit, grew thinner, less awkward, and made my way into the world of "real-life", of college and grown-up jobs and appointments and relationships and smartphone calendar reminders, I left DA behind. And at times, I almost completely forgot how central art had been to my life, and how much the DeviantArt community had inspired and supported me when I needed it.

But now, about a decade after I first came to DeviantArt, I'm coming back. I made this account nearly two years ago, for the ability to browse around occasionally, but I've decided to upload work and to participate again. This year, I decided to give up my "real" job. I am single for the first time in nearly 4 years. It's been a year of change, and of a lot of self-discovery. More than anything, what I'm realizing is that the one thing that has truly been central to myself and my life hitherto is my love of art, both as a consumer and creator. And so, I have decided to re-dedicated myself to art, and part of that definitely means dedication to the art community, so much of which exists via the internet in today's world.

I'm so appreciative of the warm response I've gotten from total strangers already: favorites and llama badges and kind words. Thank you to everyone who has had a moment to spare for this drab little account in the last couple of days. I hope I am able to give as much back.

I look forward to many more good things to come. :)

- Donavan





If you'd like to check out a more robust portfolio, or if you'd like to know more about me, you can visit my website at www.donavanneil.com
  • Listening to: Adele
  • Watching: Penny Dreadful
  • Playing: Downloading the FFXV Demo
  • Drinking: Soda D=