RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition. He does have an amazing PATREON, but also *normal* ARTIST WEBSITE too.

Monday, May 27

SONG OF THE DAY: Cutting Down the Country

Did that momentary disappearance down to the 69th mile marker along the James again, to scribble out some prayers, and stumbled upon a cookout full of kinfolk with different bloodlines, at least as far back as we know. When I first moved to Fluvanna in Scottsville, it didn't feel like country how I know country - yards too military cut, too many cops living nearby… felt more like that fake country shit I so detest because it doesn't feel comfortable at all, and yet somehow between sterilized right wing rural Americans or shineface left wing urban American playing country, it remains a constant. We were a blight in our community - too weird and loud and goats and chickens everywhere, yard going wild with plants we ain't want to kill, even when I disappeared along the paths I made in the woods, I was always afraid somebody might shoot me on land that my name was on the loan payments at the county tax house building (I put it that way because I know I can't own that land). But back in the day when I was riding all the roads in the county, trying to find corners that felt comfortable, I was drawn to the end of this one road, and in fact not too far from the end was an immense compound of pure Power of Lounge - cars, campers, animals, sprawling two story house growing how it needed to grow… that professional lounger class compound.
Turned out, years later, found out some folks we became tight with, the man of that clan was child of the compound I speak of. That was his folks' place, and where he grew up, so they knew all about the 69th mile marker by the Shores Yard on Rivanna sub-division. And as I wandered for a momentary meditation along the river, they had a cookout popping, so I stopped in. Shit like that's always weird at times, because I'm sober, and it's hard to handle how you supposed to hold yourself, but won't no judgement, and I'm a talkative ass dude anyways, so it was fine. But mostly, sitting there listening to the patriarch of the compound see the back porch light was out, and they was trying to dissect if the breaker blew out, following all the things plugged into the right or wrong socket, hoping the AC in the pop-up camper running from an extension cord out the window hadn't messed up the balance of electrical currents - that shit reminded me big-time of how I grew up.
The failures of family has had me wrestling with the full context of how I grew up, because there's a lot about it that shaped me into who I am in good ways. Specifically I think of one dude from back home who died - Jesse - who always was a positive voice of creativity and keeping everything chill, big looming figure, one of them dudes who I saw as 8 feet tall because of his aura (does everybody do that? I just see some folks as huge because of how they carry themselves metaphysically; I've always assumed everybody has that ability but I don't know), and the combo of Jesse's passing and sitting on the back porch watching an old lounger try to figure out why the yellow bug light on the back porch wasn't working - it was the universe reminding me it ain't all bad. A lot of shit could've been better, and some of it absolutely should have been better - adults have to step the fuck up sometimes and do the hard work they're supposed to do, and not hide in self-medication or avoiding real work on their own insides. It's like termite damage actually - if you don't treat that shit, the traumas and bullshit that you went through, it starts to rot your own foundation, and then you fucking up other people's lives who are dependent on you. And just because you might be sharing a partnership with someone potentially more fucked up than you don't give you an out to not do that work, ever.
But at the same time, running around compounds as a kid, all the wild shit we was doing, batch of kids playing around junk cars while the grown folks was all sitting inside at the kitchen table playing cards and drinking and carrying on, I loved the freedom and the creativity it created in me. I wouldn't be who I am without all that shit. So it ain't all bad - it never is, and it feels like we lose sight of that a lot in today's digital environment of algorithms focusing our brain's microscope on the negativity. If you chill the fuck out, pan that focus back out, to where it's the heart seeing a little more than the brain (which often is a poisoned well to a certain extent anyways, regardless of your political leanings), the Universe provides. It always does. It's just a matter of letting the Universe do what it does, and stop trying to force order and answers on every goddamned thing.

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