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Occasionally I wandered in where I was not wanted and gave truthful answers.
Sometimes I even did it deliberately. A little disruption now can prevent disaster later.

Before the Wheel Turns

This is a page from the third version of Technopagan Yearnings. There are some formatting differences. Originally published at www.neowayland.com/C878670472/E20081025135636

Bone, Heart, Thought, Deed, and Spirit, I choose to honor those who touched my life

I am going to jump the gun a bit on my Befores this year.

This year, my Before of Bone is not related to me, strictly speaking. My Uncle L. was my stepfather's older brother This Side. I think his greatest gift to me was his desire to know anything and everything under the sun. It was at his house that I first saw (and devoured) The Whole Earth Catalog, something that you would not expect to find in a conservative Democrat's house in Arkansas. There were also books from Popular Mechanics on how to build and repair almost everything. My stepfather had the (pre-transistor) electronics covered, but my uncle knew a little about a lot. Yes he was a major inspiration.

I think I have mentioned before that I hold to the Greek ideals of love, that's why it was easy to choose my Before of Heart this year. When my grandparents moved to Arizona from Louisiana, culture shock doesn't begin to describe it. Mr. J.W. and his wife were my grandparent's first landlords and no couple showed greater charity. Mrs. J.W. helped make sure the kids (Mom and her sibs) were fed and Mr. J.W. took my grandfather in hand and helped him get a good job to support his family. Their kids were a little older, but all of them grew up together. Mr. J.W. cosigned when my grandparents bought their first house in Arizona, and Mr. J.W. was the counselor and assistant principal at the high school where Mom and her sibs graduated. There was a deep, abiding friendship between the two families. The men and boys went hunting and fishing together. Mr. J.W. sometimes took my grandfather to take care of other families. All in all a remarkable man and worth being honored. I never heard my grandfather refer to Mr. J.W. except by his full name or as Mr. (last name), a sign of profound respect from him. No other man got that consideration.

Except there is another bit of the story.

Much later, there was this just-divorced guy from Arkansas by way of New Mexico who was pretty lonely. Mr. J.W. pestered my mother into giving permission for Mr. J.W. to give this man her telephone number. And that's how just a few months later and about a month after my second birthday, I got a new stepfather and three older stepsibs.

Isaac Asimov is my Before of Thought this year. I know of no other modern author who wrote on so many subjects. I know of no other author who drove me nuts as I tried to read every book he wrote. The Good Doctor inspired me in ways I do not understand, but I will be forever grateful.

John Chapman or Johnny Appleseed is my Before of Deeds this year. The tree motif is very central to my path and every year I choose a special place to plant one. I'm probably remembering the Disney version too, but it was a great film. I think what amazed me the most was all the things that could be made from apples.

My choice for a Before of Spirit this year is John Denver. He was probably one of the most Pagan non-Pagans that the 20th Century produced. Any man who could write Rocky Mountain High, Calypso, and Windsong had to be touched by this planet of ours in a pretty profound way. And that seems an appropriate way to end this post.

The wind is the whisper of our mother the earth
The wind is the hand of our father the sky

The wind watches over our struggles and pleasures
The wind is the goddess who first learned to fly
The wind is the bearer of bad and good tidings
The weaver of darkness, the bringer of dawn

The wind brings the rain then builds us a rainbow
The wind is the singer who sang the first song.
The wind is the twister of anger and warning
The wind brings the fragrance of freshly mown hay
The wind is the racer and wild stallion running
and the sweet taste of love on a slow summer's day.

The wind knows the songs of our cities and canyons
The thunder of mountain, the roar of the sea

The wind is the taker and giver of mornings.
The wind is the symbol of all that is free.
So welcome the wind and the wisdom she offers
Follow her summons when she calls again.

In your heart and your spirit let the breezes surround you
Lift up your voice then and sing with the wind:
La la la la la la la la la la la la la
dee dee dee dee dee dee dee oooooooo

Windsong by John Denver
Posted: Sat - October 25, 2008 at 01:56 PM

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