"I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the naked self merges with the nonhuman world and somehow survives...Paradox and bedrock."-Edward Abbey

21 May 2011

The Ghosts of Antiquity

"This place is ancient," the man with a Social Distortion tattoo on his forearm said one night before Sabina and I mounted another walkabout to the various ruins along the 730.

We were swapping stories of ghosts and demons. Gods and monsters. The myths, history, and legends in between of our little pocket of nowhere.

He was right, of course. It is something one can just feel in the air, even without seeing all the various ruins that pepper the mountainsides. An almost taste in the thinner air. It could be said one cannot take a step without following the footfalls of someone from another era altogether.

To be fair, I have lived in old places before. Down south, the township I lived outside of once housed a Confederate prison. Only one structure survived when the Union army marched through. In the greater metroplex, I lived in one of its oldest districts. An ancestor of mine designed one of the temples within the monoliths of downtown.

Still, the overall vibe is different here. The ruins remind me of all the books and documentaries I have read and seen about Egypt and India and China and Tibet and the Kingdom of Kush and the Near East. The remnants of structures that were ancient back during antiquity. I see that here; the remains from the Antiquity of the American Empire.

Although, I believe it goes deeper than that. There were tribes of the First Nations who wandered the passes of these mountains long before the mines. And those tribes had their ghosts and demons. Gods and monsters. They told stories of myth and history too. Some of those tales have roots in that nameless primordial time when the world was still encased in ice and the first hominids had taken a walkabout away from Africa. A time of dragons and titans.

The part of me that wanted to be an archaeologist if I ever grew up, whose sucker for the esoteric and exotic from bygone times, loves all this. The very fact we live somewhere that is designated as part of the National Registry of Historic Places is pretty fucking cool. Well, it least to me, but I am just about nerdy like that.

A few years ago, I heard tell of World Heritage Sites. This seems like a neat concept. A small seed of an idea  found purchase in that maggot's nest I call a mind and has slowly germinated into a full-blown scheme. I kick around doing more research and maybe, just maybe, actually work up the gumption to be will talk to those with a little more push and pull.

I've recently been placed in a position where speaking to those kind cats might happen with a little more frequency by virtue of obligation. Perhaps it comes down to whether or not I want to play politics and risk a little Machiavelli. As with a few other things I consider, it may just come down to a fuck it and a flip of a coin to decide my course of action.

Still, perhaps another title on this little pocket of nowhere. Further insurance that all those ghosts and demons. Gods and monsters. All those aspects of antiquity could continue to dance here upon earthly feet for those who are willing to look and listen.


  1. I adore your writing style. It's seriously unique. You deserve my followers.

  2. I guess the trick to it is being willing to look and listen. It seems hard sometimes to take the time to do so even though the rewards are so great. I love that sense of history that sits quiet in the air - Wales is rife with it, and I was lucky enough to visit Pompeii a few years back which was an experience.

    It'll be interesting to know what course of action you end up taking. Your posts about your home and locality led me to believe that any option to keep it as it stands would be ideal.

  3. Jennifer; You're entirely too kind, Mademoiselle.

    Light208; I've always wanted to see Pompeii. My daughter brought me an owl statue made from the ashes of Vesuvius. Although I dig the history I live around here, I do confess to envy that it does not really compare to what there is in Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America.