Dueling Banjos in Pentagrams
It is time to say
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!"
Pantheons R Us!
Okay, tomorrow night is haiku at Pizza and Poetry. I've gotta practice. As you can see from the above, I've really got to practice.
I wrote this one yesterday before checking my comments section:
My people floated.
They were apples on the flood.
I bob in their wake.
(If I have the syllables wrong, would someone set me straight? I don't want to make a putz of myself in front of a bunch of poets.)
The reason I mention my comments section is because therein I have heard from a writer and scholar who has been very influential in my intellectual development.
Oh, for the love of fruit flies! That's sounds so pretentious I'm about to gag.
I heard from a writer. I like his book so much I keep it on my night stand. It's been there at least five years and is so slathered in highlighter the pages glow in the dark.
The writer is Rodger Cunningham, and his book is Apples on the Flood: The Southern Mountain Experience. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1987.
Gosh, I looked that date up on the copyright page! Now celebrating its 20th year!
Apples on the Flood is about several things. It is a deep book. It's about the origins of the Scotch-Irish people who settled the southern Appalachians. It's about how those people have been perceived by the wider American community, and how that perception by outsiders has influenced the culture within the mountains.
And more stuff like that. Don't dive in if you don't know how to swim. As I say, it's deep.
The final chapter is called "The Region of Merlin." Yep, you won't see a John Grisham novel at my bedside!
About 300 years ago, Professor Cunningham and I shared some correspondence about his book, because I glean from his thesis some similarities between Appalachians and Pagans. Both groups labor under misperceptions by so-called "civilized society" that are better explained by the behavior of members of the "civilized society."
Okay, it's complicated. And my brain can't wrap around things like it used to. So I'll just say this for now:
Behind Door Number One you've got a dirty, toothless hillbilly, living in a shack and married to his cousin, father to a bunch of murderous halfwits. Don't believe me? Read Deliverance.
Behind Door Number Two you've got a black-hooded, sinister, tattooed Pagan, slaughtering kittens in pentagrams and worshipping Satan in rooms with the walls painted black, where he also dabbles in black magic and drugs. Don't believe me? Listen to Focus on the Family.
I believe I discussed this with Professor Cunningham. (Hey, it was a long time ago ... at the time I had a pet T. Rex named Bongo.) He was interested in the connection I'd made with what's left of my fried brain.
And now, with his permission, I'd like to tune up my banjo and riff on how we Pagans need to understand the apple on the flood dynamic and apply it to save our lives and our religions.
He can email me through my profile. And so can you, if you want to. Our operators are standing by to take your call.
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS