I’m not sure what led me initially to Victor Hugo, a giant among men, but I know I started with his poetry. From there it was love. Now I am reading Les Miserables. Almost cliché in its familiarity, but then so is the Bible. All for good reason. They both nourish the hearts and souls of their readers. What more could you ask for in a work of art?
I have not read his biography yet, but he seems to have had a topsy-turvy life. Espionage, banishment, bouts of perceived insanity – all while achieving immortality through his work. Theodore Roosevelt once said of living through difficulty:
“I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life; I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”
Though my island is invisible to the sleeping eyes, I, too, am living in exile. Why banish an artist when you can keep them under surveillance and slowly coerce their lives under your thumb. Much better control. Do not kill the artist – mold them, control them, watch them. If they seem a threat or worth more dead, give them cancer (Bill Hicks). If they are worth something, but refuse to sell their soul, ridicule and persecute (Michael Jackson). If they are up and coming, but won’t become a hollow, sell-out puppet, ignore all progress or perceived talent (myself).
The government knows how to handle their artists at this point. But, if my beloved Victor Hugo is right, then there is no stopping me. I am an idea, or an ideal, whose time has come. And he says there is nothing more powerful. And my ideal is simply this – to Love God. ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.’