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.

Wednesday, May 1


The mythologies of demon creatures who perhaps were never demons but just normal spirits that organized religion demonized to pull people out the swamps and from the mountains, out of the semi-feral but entirely whole Earth, and into stone clusters of boxes called civilization. Rouxgaroux is a wolfman from the swamplands, and carried the same threatening stories to misbehaving children that were used elsewhere with the New Jersey Devil or the Mothman (who was a “bat monster” in the story my parents recounted to me of them having seen him as teenagers). Science and religion are a binary in our culture, and as with all binaries, what’s really the truth is probably at neither binary pole. These creatures can’t be proven to exist thus they aren’t scientifically validated and fall on the wrong end of the true/false binary of science. But also they’re not necessarily evil spirits so much as spirits that exist beyond Christianity and outside the godly good end of the religious good/evil binary. So these two binaries of belief – religion and science – put the rouxgaroux on the bad end of their binary, thus it’s a grey zone of the science/religion binary. And even the description of these creatures breaks binary thinking – a human who transforms into an animal, at least with the head of an animal, which suggest thinking like an animal, like a wolf or dog, or in the case of the Mothman with a bat’s head. Both science and religion also think our brain is where we think everything so the mythological head being a different creature means our thinking is fucked and unhuman.
I don’t know, have you looked around at everything lately? Maybe we need to not think so much like humans. Maybe we need a little more holistic swampland philosophy in our lives, a little more “what would a dog do?” in certain moments. I ain’t saying it’d solve everything, but all these binaries where we make everything an on/off switch like the lights on the front porch, it don’t seem to be working. And by “working” I don’t mean remaining productive, I mean giving us a good quality of life where we enjoy existence. Kinda feel like that should be the goal, as a culture, and to be honest wolves seem to have that shit down better than humans do. So maybe we need more wolfmen.
Oh here’s a great story. When my maternal grandmother was dying, she was in the hospital, and it was literally the final days, she was on oxygen, not eating, and I went to sit with her, and just sort of pray and hold space for her to be at peace and transition. She wasn’t talking at this point, kind of in and out, but she started yanking at her oxygen thing in her nose, and I kept fixing it. But she kept, in this half state of consciousness at the door of death, fiddling with her oxygen tube to take it off. I kept fixing it. All of a sudden she opens her eyes, looks at me, and says, “Just because you look like the wolfman, doesn’t mean you have to act like him!” And those were my grandmother’s final words to me, and perhaps to anybody, as she passed within the day.

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