Summoning the gods
Am I am a polytheist?
I don't think so. Probably more in the Panentheistic school of thought, but it's very unlikely I'll ever nail my colours to any religious mast.
Instead, my true religion is not knowing. You know, where I'm apt to invite the question, "What is there?", but to come up short simply because, whilst the question is easy as hell to frame, I don't have the ability to answer it, nor the desire. In fact, I'm quite happy — delirious at times — swimming in my ocean of uncertainty.
Then again, not to negate what I've just said, and particularly on my early morning walks, listening as I'm am right now to the wonderful Martín Prechtel, I've got this overwhelming sense that the gods of nature, the winds, air and river are watching over me.
Isn't that strange?
But, actually, it runs deeper still.
For a while now, I've been obsessed with ancestry; and that's why I keep opining on whether my generation, who've got the whorl of the Anthropocene all over their tawdry activity, will see us as ancestors worth claiming? I don't think so; but I also ask myself what did my putative ancestors leave me? Little if any wisdom but then again, I've not spent much time getting under the skin of this amazing county of Devon. I mean according to the font of all slightly iffy knowledge:
The name "Devon" derives from the tribe of Celtic people who inhabited the south-western peninsula of Britain at the time of the Roman invasion in 43 AD, the Dumnonii - possibly meaning 'Deep Valley Dwellers' (Cornish: Dewnans, Welsh: Dyfnaint, Breton: Devnent) or 'Worshippers of the god Dumnonos'. This tribal name carried on into the Roman and post-Roman periods. The Dumnonii did not mint coins, unlike their neighbours to the east the Durotriges, but coins of the Dobunni have been found in the area. Early trading ports are known to have existed at Mount Batten (Plymouth) and at Bantham where ancient tin ingots were found in 1991-92 according with classical reports of tin trading with the Mediterranean Aillen Fox, 1996.
I'm quite sure within that little melange there's enough enquiry and great gobs of wisdom to keep me on the ancestry trail for a long time to come.
But actually, what am I trying to say?
I feel something, something deep down that's hard to put into words. It's like I've dialled-in the spirits or they're watching over me and know my every move or at least sufficient to sometimes whisper a tiny message of hope, or an insight or to invite me to lay down my prejudices and anxiety about this fast-disappearing world and to be comfortable in knowing that I'm no more than a speck of cosmic dust among a Universe of trillions.
I know, it's all very vague and doesn't commend of anything more than a personal reflection on the place I inhabit beyond the buildings, landscape, sky and weather.
But somehow, don't ask me how, this place, in all its majesty, has my name on it and whilst I'm not on any quest — definitely not the Hero's Journey -- I do feel the need to go much deeper, when the pandemic abates, into the landscape and the peoples. In this regard, I'm reminded of the work of Dr Martin Shaw who seems to have been at this his whole life. Who knows, as would be benefitting of two local boys, our paths, physical or spiritual, may one day cross.
Anyhow, it's that time again. Suited (well, a shirt probably) and booted for another day of legal shenanigans. I'm trying to wrestle to the ground a big 'deal' (as the Bosses say) and something tells me this week is going to be frought with negotiating difficulty. And trust me, that's not where my heart is. I'm the collaborative guy and would much rather agree the principle of the thing than get involved in another battle of the salami-slicing wills.
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