The Ballads…


When I started my artwork, and became fascinated with what was being created, I wondered if it would evolve? Would it change? And how? How would it change?

Furthermore, who? Who is my audience, besides myself? Hmm, I wondered and pondered…yet I could not help but continue.

And so I watch and observe; I witness and observe in awe. It has changed.

Yet again.

I’m curious about where it will go from here.

Even more so curious about what is being communicated. As I’ve explained in my previous blog, defining Shadow Cartography, it’s not a creative representation of a cultural language. It’s created; from some deep place within, Not inspired by culture or the written languages it appears to be of.

Today, this night, this post, is about the transformation of my work. It’s new…face, shape and form.

They’ve named themselves “The Ballads”. [Which has now taken my attention to the “Mantras”; I will post about them at a later date].

Here is the Ist Ballad:

Ist Mystery_Mystery of Ballads









On my computer, it’s saved as “Ist Mystery_Mystery of Ballads”. Looking at it again, it calls itself ‘Ist Ballad”. It was initially a ‘mystery’ to me because, well, it was something new and not clearly understood.

It still isn’t clearly understood. It will forever maintain the feel of ‘mystery’, but I probably will no longer call it the Ist Mystery.

The quality of its character is mysterious…Let’s look at the definition and word origin/history for the words “Ballad” and “Mystery” so that you can have a better understanding of why it named itself in this way. You probably won’t have the opportunity to speak with me at depth; this is the best that I can offer at the moment:

ballad: 4. the music for a ballad. ; 1. any light, simple song, especially one of sentimental or romantic character, having two or more stanzas all sung to the same melody.

1350–1400; Middle English balade  < Middle French  < Old Provençal balada  dance, dancing-song, equivalent to bal ( ar ) to dance (< Late Latin ballare; see ball2 ) + -ada -ade1

Word Origin & History
late 15c., from Fr. ballade “dancing song” (13c.), from O.Prov. ballada “(poem for a) dance,” from balar “to dance,” from L.L. ballare “to dance” (see ball (2)).

Thesaurus: poem, written composition, melody sung or played with musical instrument, fanciful story or narrative, highly expressive, rhythmical literary piece, tales from the past, song, narrative song
mystery: 1. anything that is kept secret or remains unexplained or unknown: the mysteries of nature.; 2. any affair, thing, or person that presents features or qualities so obscure as to arouse curiosity or speculation: The masked guest is an absolute mystery to everyone. ; 4. obscure, puzzling, or mysterious quality or character: the mystery of Mona Lisa’s smile. ; noun, plural -ter·ies. Archaic .
1. a craft or trade; 2. a guild, as of merchants; 2. a person or thing that arouses curiosity or suspense because of an unknown, obscure, or enigmatic quality; 3. the state or quality of being obscure, inexplicable, or enigmatic

Word Origin & History
early 14c., in a theological sense, “religious truth via divine revelation, mystical presence of God,” from Anglo-Fr. *misterie (O.Fr. mistere), from L. mysterium, from Gk. mysterion (usually in pl. mysteria) “secret rite or doctrine,” from mystes “one who has been initiated,” from myein “to close, shut,”
perhaps referring to the lips (in secrecy) or to the eyes (only initiates were allowed to see the sacred rites). The Gk. word was used in Septuagint for “secret counsel of God,” translated in Vulgate as sacramentum. Non-theological use in English, “a hidden or secret thing,” is from c.1300. In reference to the ancient rites of Greece, Egypt, etc. it is attested from 1640s. Meaning “detective story” first recorded in Eng. 1908.

“handicraft, trade, art,” late 14c., from M.L. misterium, alt. of L. ministerium “service, occupation, office, ministry” (see ministry), influenced in form by M.L. mysterium (see mystery (1)) and in sense by maistrie “mastery.” Now only in  mystery play, in ref. to the medieval performances, which often were staged by members of craft guilds. The two senses of mystery formed a common pun in (secular) Tudor theater.

The first word, Ballad. It appeared to feel musical, in a sense, but I did not give voice to the thought. I showed my mother the picture and she said it looked like keys of a piano. And so I said , “Yes, it’s a ballad.”

Then I looked at it again, and the second word, Mystery, came up. So I named it, in those moments, the Ist Mystery. Knowing it would be the first of a few, or perhaps many, the “Mystery of Ballads” came to mind. They will be a curiosity to my senses for some time to come.

But let’s get back to the words, starting with Ballad. Why Ballad? Especially if there is no equivalent verbal language. Yes, I’ve acknowledged the ‘glyphs’ as a form of movement in writing; yet to use the word ballad…? I’m still curious…

According to the information above, the word ‘ballad’ as a few meanings to it. Overall, the connotative meaning refers to a ‘song’. But looking at the origin [I’m all about origin and root] it comes from words that mean ‘dance’.

That’s interesting. Perhaps…perhaps it is a tale from the past; my past? My family’s past? A tale from WAY, way back….? I’m going to go with that one, simply because of the quality of each piece when it’s created on paper.


And it has to be parchment paper. Anything else feels like it makes the glyphs less than what they are.

Make sense?


Now let’s take a look at ‘mystery’. The meaning [and our cultural connotations] define it as secret, obscure, hidden, an enigma, etc, etc. And the origin, well, the word origin is pretty much hand-in-hand with the common/general meaning. Secret doctrine, initiation,to close…

Putting two and two [or one and one] together, we have: “…dance secret doctrine…” Or, a “secret doctrine of dance.”

If we add the synonym ‘tales from the past’, that would be adding two and one, which would make three. “Tales of a secret doctrine of dance.”

WhatEVER the case may be, it is a Ballad of mysteries…the Mystery of Ballads. And this is the first Ballad, the first Mystery.

I have discovered more, or more has been revealed: there are six thus far. There are more, I’m sure of it. I know for the mantras, there are only eight.

They have something to ‘say’, yet I do not know what it sounds like. I only know what it ‘feels’ like. One can listen; but it’s listening with the body, not the ears.

Is it a secret doctrine of dance? Is it a story of a secret doctrine of dance? Or is it something more? Is it something to be shared? Scratch that; it obviously is, if I’m posting it. Hmm, I think I’ll inquire within.


Are the Ballads a secret doctrine of dance, telling a story from the depths of the past?



ballad. (n.d.). Roget’s 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition. Retrieved March 19, 2012, from website:

ballad. (n.d.). Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved March 19, 2012, from website:
ballad. (n.d.). Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. Retrieved March 19, 2012, from website:

mystery. (n.d.). Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved March 19, 2012, from website:
mystery. (n.d.). Unabridged. Retrieved March 19, 2012, from website:


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