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.

Friday, September 29

SONG OF THE DAY: Person to Person (kudzu'd)

Kudzu tends to be regarded with derision by the orderly amongst us, because it’s an invasive plant that takes over everything in sight, and thus negatively reminds us of our own human history of conquest and destruction of previous cultures. The same firing synapses that led to the concept of western civilization causes the kudzu to climb up and over everything it encounters, forever manifesting a further destiny with an insatiable desire for more. Of course, in terms of humanity and capitalism, this has become an unsustainable desire that ultimately might lead to our own failure at epic level. For kudzu, I don’t know, I’m just a human being, and we’ve never seen what happens if kudzu just runs wild in order to see how it ends. I know at the spot I love down the road where every summer the kudzu crests over top the guardrail in the curve like a wave at the ocean, it can’t creep into the road because the giant machines us humans drive around stomp it to death if it reaches too far out onto our unnatural asphalt pathways.
But to be honest, I’m not even here to talk about western civilization or capitalism, but just wanted to lay down a little background on the presumed psychology of kudzu, because it’s relevant to what I was actually thinking about, which is the Bottle Gods, which I guess is actually just a Trash God of sorts, but a very specific subset of that wild spirit. I should clarify that immediately there’s going to be a problem in utilizing my English language limitations to describe these spirits as a singular “god” or plural “gods” as they’re both, and neither, at the same time. The issue with the Creative Spirits that rule our entire Universe, is they don’t follow human logic. Instead, we follow their logic, or just as likely, stray from it and manufacture immense dissatisfaction in our own lives. But the kudzu conceals a lot wherever it grows, a lush prog rock album cover-looking overgrowth that hides the previous sediments of local history.
I’d always been drawn to quartz rocks locally, because they’re everywhere back in the woods. There’s this seasonal pattern of finding all these wonderful new rocks in the springtime, but then everything gets greener and thicker and those chunks of magic get lost in the shrubs and vines, and the human mind becomes worried about disease-carrying ticks or venom-mouthed snakes, and you’re less likely to go sticking your big dumb paws down into green tangles, grabbing at things. Fall comes in and the green turns brown, and shrivels back into Earth for warmth. Then winter freezes the superficial inches of the ground, squeezing rocks up to the surface somehow, so that when springtime comes back around, there’s a whole new crop of quartz sticking out the ground for you to be dazzled by. I try not to grab every rock, and as strange as it may seem, I do kinda feel the rock, to see how loose it is and gauge whether it wants to be moved or not, before taking one elsewhere (usually to stack around my compound in haphazard piles).
Living where I live now, it’s a blessed place whose best economic days were over a century ago, when the quarries employed thousands. That boggles the mind looking at this place now, even with the remnants of the small town that’s still standing. But because those quarries are everywhere, there’s also an abundance of human foot paths that have existed throughout most of these woods, made even more possible by the fact a giant defunct company at one time owned pretty much all this land, so modern property delineations are not quite as obvious here as they are in most of our well-parceled United States of America.
In the times between when the quarries stopped being profitable and now, there’s been a lot of foot traffic through those woods still, often times with a glass bottle beverage (or two or three or more) in hand, to help pass the time. Bottles litter these woods every direction, a combination of the aforementioned foot traffic, but also sign of the old school country practice of having a house dump somewhere in the woods behind the home place, where most all the other trash has decomposed over the decades, but a pile of bottles and rusted metal cans is still surviving the ravages of time. Thus, I find a lot of bottles.
It amazes me how, just like the quartz, new crops of bottles appear regularly, even in places I’ve wandered through many times over, specifically looking for bottles. Certain shapes and sizes, I’m called to, as the Bottle Gods have tapped me on the mind as captivated. Just last week, right beside another hillside bottle dump I’ve picked through multiple times, I was pissing in the woods, and over to my left was a whole slew of old wine pint bottles plus a couple of household bottles in shapes I’d never encountered before (more of a jar than a bottle to be honest). I carried what I could but hadn’t brought my sack, not anticipating the Bottle Gods blessing me on this day, and it was too cool to turn my t-shirt into a sack by tying the arms together, as I’ve done many times in the past. I appreciate the Bottle Gods blessing me that day though, because I needed it, even if I didn’t realize that beforehand.
But a lesson of the Bottle Gods is that it’s a hybrid spirit, one influenced by human activity. And it’s somehow natural. There is no division between man and nature in finding a dimple-sided wine bottle buried in the dirt for five decades. The divisions (created in our human minds) have been blurred at that point. Not all manmade creations are like this (plastic bottles come to mind, which shrink and shrivel in gross ways over time, but never decay either). And obviously there’s a lesson there as well, in that glass is more sustainable than plastic in terms of bottling and the long-term environmental damage they cause. But saying something like “long-term environmental damage” also is moving far too deeply into manmade ideologies and loses touch with the natural existence still possible to us. So I ain’t gonna go no further into that for fear of angering the Bottle Gods, because I’m looking forward to going through a nice little foot wander tomorrow morning, with my sack in hand, looking to get blessed (if I’ve been living right). Whenever I find a good bottle, unbroken and whole, I wonder about whoever it was who had been handling that bottle when it got left behind. I just found a pile of old Miller High Life pony bottles (an unmistakable style) by one of my sitting spots behind the house, and was thinking, “Who was sitting here at some point in the past, sipping on these pony bottles?” And also how these random bottles went from person to person, with somebody sitting there drinking them whenever in the past, and the bottles being hid from any other exposure to human interaction, until I find them sitting near that same spot decades later. I know I ain’t been the only one back there. The Bottle Gods are obviously tricksters (as are most of the Gods of Greater Appalachia).

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