A Woman of Constant Sorrow
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," coming soon to a theatre near you!
Today, Saturday, protesters against the Iraq War
gathered en masse in Washington to demand an end to the madness. People traveled by bus great distances to be there.
Me, I sat at a D.A.R. banquet, praying to God to protect our brave troops in the war.
Well, I didn't really pray. Me, pray to Mr. Jealousy, God Almighty? I gave that up for Lent.
But this afternoon, as I left the posh nosh with my door prize (a box of tea), I felt, to quote Huck Finn, "tolerable cheap." Like I was part of the problem and not part of the solution.
Well, we all have issues, don't we? Mine is very simple.
I'm a pessimist.
The combination of Scots-Irish Appalachian DNA and a bipolar mother imbued in me from an early age the steadfast notion that nothing will ever get better, no matter what I do or don't do. I don't attend political protests because it doesn't change a damn thing. Once in awhile someone like Martin Luther King Jr. comes along, and it looks like things will change, so someone shoots him. Done.
I have written a novel. A couple of agents have looked at it. One kept it a year. The rest turned it down within weeks. One rejection letter even got the title of the book wrong. Did I keep trying? Hell no. I can't even bring myself to send a few chapters to OakWyse. When the going gets tough, I quit. To be honest, I'd have been far more surprised if some publisher had accepted my novel than I am to have been rejected.
Pessimists believe there will always be wars, because too many human beings seem hell-bent on exercising their worst impulses. Pessimists believe that no politician can be trusted, that they're all out for personal gain, and if they aren't they get assassinated.
Pessimists believe that they can't even protect one little tiny mountain stream from a big city developer.
But on that one I keep trying.
Fortunately I'm far from alone in this bleak world view. 'Tis an Appalachian who wrote "I am a man of constant sorrow, I've seen trouble all my days."
Misery loves company, and in Appalachia misery has always been abundant.
Every now and then the stars align. I visit Berkeley Springs and soak my head. I attend a ritual. For awhile I feel better. Then my nature re-asserts itself, and the whole world turns dark again.
Writing this web log helps me to laugh at it all, but it hasn't changed my ultimate mindset, which is simply that things won't get better no matter what I do, no matter how many bored gods I invite to dinner.
Fortunately for me, the bored gods accept that. And deep down I do believe that things will get better -- on the other side. Not here. Not now. Not ever.
What the heck do you expect from someone whose favorite pastime is watching turkey vultures?
THE MERLIN OF BERKELY SPRINGS