Two lines of thought connected to this one picture that might help to place it in the whole series:
1. I talked about the motif of vampires in art and literature before and their relation to souls. I am not going there again as the facts haven’t changed and the character of Spike is in this relation not different than that of Angel.
What came up in Facebook conversations however and what meandered through my mind around the time, the initial idea for ‘Where do I go from here?’ came up, was – how much do beautiful men (for me men, but you can substitute women for men if this works for you better) presented as heroes impact our RL expectations?
I mean I lived already at a couple of places in my life and visited even more. By that I don’t mean I moved from Erkner to Hangelsberg or traveled from Dexter to Chelsea. I crossed borders and switched continents. The inside and out beauty with esprit, sex appeal, convictions and the liability to the right amount of badness displayed in the picture perfected world we live in with our eyes and ears is rare. Not to say, I haven’t really encountered it yet.
But, these characters create precedence. Slowly but steadily, the more we are exposed to a certain standard, the more our social life happens virtually as well as tangible and therefore intertwines with the medias traditionally used by the theater of dreams, we start to expect a certain image and type. We don’t accept less than the dream. And as (see above) reality is no match to dreams – never was, never was meant to be – dissatisfaction grows.
(Plus: Everyone starts to think of himself to be the born star yet wrongfully unrecognized. They run to casting shows and model contests what makes me mostly cringe and leaves me embarrassed for them. As if I wouldn’t manage quite perfectly to embarrass myself. But that’s just a side note and is only remotely connected to the painting of Spike or the overall idea of this art series to bare my soul.)
2. Back to the beauty of the character of Spike. I know, I criticized just that a paragraph ago, but hey – me and my twenty other me’s don’t need to like everything we love. (Don’t ponder the last sentence too long – I didn’t.)
I watched all 7 seasons of Buffy in far less than two weeks, followed by all five seasons of Angel in about a month. My brother and SIL introduced me to the series during my last trip to their home in Michigan last January. I had read about 15 books in the first 3 weeks of my trip, had to stop buying more and as my brain hadn’t yet reached the point there the creative process wanted to break out, I needed something to keep me occupied.
I loved Angel immediately, while the character of Spike annoyed me at first. It grew to me even stronger in the curse of Buffy up to the point there I highly anticipated his appearance in the last season of Angel. Two moments of his are most memorable for me- the way he explained Buffy why he loved her without expecting her to love him back and the Open Mic appearance in the very last episode of Angel:
My soul is wrath in harsh repose
Midnight descends in raven colored clothes
But soft, behold! A sunlight beam
cutting a swath of glimmering gleam
My heart expands, ‘tis grown a bulge in’t,
Inspired by your beauty effulgent.
It’s not the poem itself I remember and cherish, it’s the choice his appearance on that stage at that moment of time represents.
I wear a bracelet at all times. It’s nothing special – a blue, lightly chipped Scarab on a knotted thread of wool. I bought it in July 2005 in Egypt. I was on vacation in Sharm el Sheik when a series of bombs blasted through the night. This could easily have been the last day of my life. It wasn’t. The bracelet is a reminder to myself that the same is true about every day.
So, what to do on this last day? The thing one wants to be remembered for. Spike went up on this stage and was the one he’s always been – the poet, the songwriter of the soul. While our body is fleeting and will molder to ashes and earth – it happens for a vampire even faster than for a normal human – our words, our music, our pictures and our actions (the true marks of the development we took in our life time) remain. And only them.
In this one moment, when Spike got drunken to overcome his shyness and fear to truly show himself and when he then stepped up on this stage, my heart went out to him and I felt – no, not embarrassed for him like I feel for candidates in a casting show – I felt connected and up on this stage with him.