Love of County
About a month ago, I was re-reading an essay that had been read by a visitor to this website. One line in it mentioned “love of county” instead of “love of country”.
I immediately corrected the error. I then realized all of the ways in which Love of Country has been reduced to Love of County, depending upon the county in which one resides. Certain county governments in the States are vigilant in their protection of civil liberties, as defined by the U.S. Constitution. Other county governments are pretexts for carrying out the illegal and illegitimate dictates of the ever-shrinking Elected Leader — aka Mayor or aka Governor or aka President — none of whom is a leader at all, nor much of a politician, and, in certain crooked cases, sometimes was not even elected!
There are times when I write, or say, something that sounds completely and comically odd at the time, but which, in time, turns out to be true; and was, in fact, very true at the time of my utterance. On an instinctive level, I have figured out Something that many others have not. I hadn’t figured out that Something on a conscious level — but I’d made a quip that was 100 % pure unadulterated truth.
Typically, if not always, I say, or write such a thing, and then rapidly move on to the next Something to Say or Write, a statement that may or may not turn out to be prescient or prophetic. When The Past Statement does become The Present Truth, I must to refer back in my mind to remember . . . whenever it was that I’d glibly announced, in jest, the Gest, or that masterstroke of veracity. That unvarnished truth had since become quickly veneered and varnished by people afraid of, or threatened by, the Truth Getting Out.
Because I’d since progressed to receiving the next incoming signal — via the Image Revelation — I am rarely aware of the people out to get me because I unknowingly knew the truth, and had cleverly wisecracked it out of my uninhibited mouth. I was once warned by a menacing male that it is not WHAT I say, as much as THE WAY that I say it, that brings to me assaults of all sorts. That cad-lad long-distance telephoned me once, concerned that I was going to lump him in with all of the other louses I’d encountered during my young fatherless, orphaned life. “Oh, no,” I assured him. “You get a separate category, all your own.”
I disagree with his bloodless characterization of myself, not only as getting whatever is coming to me; but in terms of my being a stylistic aggravator to the Feckless Fibber.
The Truth, no matter how it is stated, is always a threat, the threat, the only threat — to liars, con artists, criminals, two-timers, three-timers, four-timers. I merely find the most efficient use of my words and verbally deliver them with rapier wit. Learning to parry — after I’ve thrusted the deadly reality — has been the most challenging task for me in defense of The Truth, especially when I have not been presented with an En Garde.
This “ability” of receiving incoming signals has not always been a good thing for me, but I have tried my utmost to turn it to my advantage, and to the advantage of those whom I love. Over the course of a lifetime, in my own best interests, I’ve had to learn to muzzle my second-sighted muzzle. My sound-editing training began young, within my Family of Origin. I exited that combat zone with battle fatigue, so shell-shocked was I by the overt hostility to truth in any form within most of that group.
Those self-censorship skills continued to be refined, at various junctures, of my adventurous life, in spite of The Jersey in me asserting herself at the most opportune of moments in the paradise called California. Timing is everything, you know.
After I’d settled into married life in northern northern California, I decided to write my very first novel, NORTHSTAR. The Zero-Hour, Moment-of-Truth alerts thence went on high-alert on several fronts in my home state of New Jersey, including the former war zone, The Mother-Home Front. The battle-ax had one hell of an H-hour. You’ve heard of a White House Counsel lying to his diary? How about a mother who creates a fictitious family tree in the frontispiece of her Bible.
One sibling-spy was commissioned to fly 3,000 miles, all the way from New Jersey to California. He had written me with the urgent request to “catch up on things,” after twenty years of his non-existence in my life, ever since he’d dropped out of my childhood as an adult.
“And just who are you?” I asked.
In truth, this turncoat put in a wretched performance of pretending to be my blood-relative friend, while he feebly, and futilely, tried to pump me for information that I either knew or did not know — about The Family Myth that I’d just recently unraveled and annihilated.
Comrade Yefgrav, the Bolshevik, cynically but accurately says in the 1965 film Dr. Zhivago.
“Perhaps it was the tie of blood between us, but I doubt it. We were only half-tied anyway, and brothers will betray a brother. Indeed, as a policeman, I would say, get hold of a man's brother and you're halfway home.”
The rat-fink sibling did not find out the Covert Gospel Truth he’d been seeking to lie about to me, mostly because I was too dumb-blonde dumb-founded to speak truth to his face, in the face of so much treachery being so bungled! And . . . he did not deserve to know the truths that I knew.
Truth is a sacred and precious non-commodity. In THE DAWN, Guillaume de Vallon would learn to live these cynical and prophetic words of Jean Giraudoux:
Tout le monde, quand il y a la guerre dans l’air, apprend à vivre dans un nouvel élément : mensonge. Everyone, when there is war in the air, learns to live in a new element: lies.
There has been, for decades, a new cold war upon We, the People, in America, one that started the minute the old Cold War ended, one that is now in the process of dying horribly, in the most ugly of ways. America First could not co-exist with America Last, or America after Everyone Else, or America at the Bottom of the Heap, so that the Elites could profit piggishly from that set-up. For almost 30 years, too many citizens of America received incoming signals that they chose to ignore while they were fanatically hectored, and verbally bullied, by Professional Liars telling nothing but lies. The sixth senses of millions of Americans were fraudulently portrayed as lies, myths, fears, fraud, hysteria, even xenophobia, among countless other phobias.
Turns out those inner voices, the gut instinct that needs guts to follow through on the instinct — they were accurate, prescient, and true all along.
Living with incoming signals is not easy; but ignoring them is much more perilous for any human with a heart to even dare to attempt. As The Little Prince, that magical character created by the immortal Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, knows:
And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.
If you want to build a ship, don't summon people to buy wood, prepare tools, distribute jobs, and organize the work; teach people the yearning for the wide, boundless ocean.
It is always in the midst, in the epicenter, of your troubles that you find serenity.
Living with my incoming signals has not been easy for me, or for my loved ones. A rare friend, or two, has been in awe of it. Most of the time, I’ve been ridiculed or mocked, or laughed at, to the point where, as Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac once wrote:
I keep my visions to myself.
Obviously, I no longer keep “my” visions to myself. They are not “my” visions. Where they come from, I believe to be celestial. I have been asked:
“Where does all of that writing come from?”
“All of that creativity, where does it originate?”
It all comes from a desire to express the truth in ways that are poetic and profound. Why the time came for my writing talents to coalesce and express themselves exactly when they did: I cannot say. The moment came, and I went with it.
My life was forever after altered, in ways that I am still coming to terms with; perhaps that Moment was meant to lead to this Moment, and to so many future moments yet unseen and unknown by me. To create, from the heart, is to believe in faith.
The unexpected, the unforeseen, and the unknown: those three powerful intangibles guide my character, Arthur Boucher Carmichael through THE DAWN. They guided me through THE DAWN. They continue to guide me. I nevertheless try my best not to think about those things; to do so would only slow me down . . . from whatever vision is incoming to me.
The Moment of moments arrived for my Muse, and me, during 2008, to begin a journey that has led to today and continues forth from this day. Why did the moment arrive during the summer of 2008, when NOTTINGHAM began to transform itself into THE DAWN?
I can only state that during the years 2006-2007, I had been reading the written works of Pope John Paul II, specifically Memory and Identity, and Rise, Let Us Be On Our Way. During the summer of 2007, I was reading the Rise book one afternoon, laying on the carpeted floor of my Unfinished Bedroom in the Peach House, looking out of the opened window of a set of French doors.
I was taking a break from remodeling designs. Dear Husband and I had been struggling to decide what to do to complete construction of an added-on closet to that bedroom. Subprime construction materials were sky-high, inflated in part due to the construction of Three Gorges Dam in China. That 2006 structural addition would remain in unfinished-limbo until the autumn of 2017. Dear Husband and I would then, finally, be able to finish that job, and move on with our lives.
During that summer afternoon of 2007, as I read the very mystical, beautifully truthful and astoundingly moving words by this Pope, who would become canonized on 27 April 2014, I saw in my mind a bare floor of terra cotta tile. I also saw a very indistinct face of a woman, deeply in need of guidance, spiritual and otherwise. The identity of this person was unclear to me, and I did not try to figure it out. I thought it might be someone from my distant past.
I kept that nebulous “image” in my mind, and I finished reading the book. I thereafter moved on to engage in dozens of other projects in my life, personal and otherwise. The next summer, during 2008, the face of that woman became more real, more detailed, very distinct, and very known to me. I took swift action to protect a dear friend of Dear Husband, a woman who would become more than a very dear friend to me, and vice versa.
I later quipped to my hubby: “I was the gift with purchase.”
Rise, Let Us Be On our Way, published in 2004, is a call to action, inspired by a Greater Power. I guess you could say that my life and my talents were moved into action by a Greater Power during those years when I composed THE DAWN, along with these past years of translating this opus into L’AUBE.
I will not deny that there were many moments when I wanted to run away, as far away as possible, from events and truths that I was facing during the early part of those years. I remained steady and true, guided by what I call my Northstar. And I faced those moments, those eternal moments that formed art, and life, and which led to a convergence of all that I was, all that I am, and all that I will be. Some would call those moments destiny, and I would fully agree with that definition.
My artistic gifts met their moment to be realized because of that unexpected gift of friendship that remains unending. My dear friend is physically no longer with me, and that terra cotta tile never found a way into an actual house of mine. But Camille Richarde in that maison d’été not only walked on that terra cotta tile; she got to wash it too!
Love of county is something that does not always exist in the county where I live, but love of country does. Given the choice between granting my free allegiance to one of the two, I will pick country over county any day. I do nonetheless count on my county to protect me from whatever Looney Tune is “running” the country, or even the State of California. “Running” has never before involved so much inertia!
Being the Gift with Purchase also involves free allegiance, that little thing called love.