Frances Coombe in ‘Owner of Darkness’ by Yuji Watanabe for Harper’s Bazaar Kazakhstan December 2019

Frances Coombe in ‘Owner of Darkness’ shot by Yuji Watanabe for Harper’s Bazaar Kazakhstan, December 2019. Humanity can’t hide as the arc of light & dark Poetically collide. Life is a constant battle between the elements of existence. Light and dark are merely forces that exist because the other is present. We must understand that one can’t be without the other’s reality. Let those words sink in for a moment. Darkness is what bounces off light, Light gets it’s dimensions from the dark. When illumination is shut off we are all the same. The equity of humanity should not be up for negotiation.  We are all similar under the eyes of the universe. In that we can see both sides rely on the other’s reality. The arc of humanity balances on this fragile fusion. That which binds us sets us free… that which unites us is far greater than that which divides us. People need people. For they aren’t just connected they’re inexplicably co-joined. Naturally communal, they are two halves of the same whole. Existing not in spite of but because of each other.

Tensions clash arising from the combination of two disharmonious elements. We are in a state of unrest. Where truth is literally a commodity. It’s becoming untenable. My concern is that it will soon dissipate into the cloud of chaos that surrounds our current society. That shades our state of being. We must gather our senses to heal ourselves, for this we must make haste. We can’t let all the noise distract us. If this calendar year is a turning point, we must then stand up and say we won’t take it any longer. We will not be cast aside. We can not allow the destruction of human language. Poetry built over centuries must not be destroyed. I (we) must put aside thoughts of saving ourself in favor of finding our stronger selves. The art of beauty, love, hope and healing all hinge on the higher mind. Our goal is clear, we must work to engage and grow together.

We are entering a New World… a place that dictates our every move. It’s a Winner Take All Mentality. It’s tragic, almost terminal. But, let me be clear, behind all the blustering, idiocy of the me-first class there is nothing but emptiness. When all the yelling, screaming and hyped-up shenanigans are gone, we are left with people in need. Hungry, cold and alone. We must wake up and see this danger for the threat is has become. This is not an abstract exercise. This is thoughtful preparation. This is an all out WAR ON THE MIND. Do you get it… does is seep into that dark place that we were told would never be taken… never need to be awaken. Well they were wrong. It’s Time to Wake the F*** Up. Excuse my crass words, but it seems to me the time for poetry is not now. The biggest mistake some make are to think that intellectuals are the soft-bodied souls of the world. We are strong in spirit. Lingering in the quiet spaces… hurts surrounds… longing to erase painful memories. Under the dutiful yearnings of time gone by I lean forth and find my own mind.

Shohei Kashima uses couture to connect. Each image is distinctly compelling. Sweeping gestures reach outside the body and swallow up the beauty beyond. This is tactile fashion. Works that strike a balance between art and evolution. They provide a powerful hit of visual pleasure, while instilling an emotional response. Avant-garde artistry is first made to upset the balance of things. To stir the pot, as it were. Here we stand at the precipice of change. We are a forward people. Will we choose to follow the path of progressive discovery. Or will we continue down this road, leading us to face our own day of reckoning.