The Painter-in-Rust

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The Painter-in-Rust is a deity of the Wanderers, associated with entropy and what comes after it.

The Painter didn’t make entropy. Entropy is more fundamental than any god. The Painter gives entropy meaning. Xe loves entropy, it’s xyr favored and only medium. The Painter puts the intricate fractal curves in pavement cracks, shapes the artful slump of a collapsing building, and, of course, shades the subtle colors of corroding metal.

When one is working on a project, one doesn’t propitiate the Painter so that it might not fail. That’s disrespectful; it’s literally trying to deny the Painter xyr due, should xyr artful eye fall upon it. One propitiate the Painter that, if it fails, it fails either gloriously, or in a way that is instructive. Failure holds many lessons, more than success does. Imagine the sculptural shape of a building collapsing in all the ways it possibly can, superimposed together. Surely you’d see in that some way to build the next one better.

We offer to the Painter by owning our failures, speaking of them and working on them and not giving up. Kintsugi, literal or figurative, is one of xyr most prized offerings. Indeed, responding otherwise to entropy, saying “I give up, I’m done trying” is also denying the Painter xyr due; when nothing is left that’s not ground to dust, xe’ll have nothing left to paint in.

A Prayer to the Painter

(To be delivered in as exasperated or disgusted a tone as feels appropriate at the time)

O Painter-in-Rust:
In this moment of failure,
In this hour of loss,
In this time of ruin,
I see your brush.
What’s done is done,
Your work goes on,
And so does mine.

Stories about the Painter