Heritage by James Still

I shall not leave these prisoning hills
Though they topple their barren heads to level earth
And the forests slide uprooted out of the sky.
Though the waters of Troublesome, of Trace Fork,
Of Sand Lick rise in a single body to glean the valleys,
To drown lush pennyroyal, to unravel rail fences; 
Though the sun-ball breaks the ridges into dust
And burns its strength into the blistered rock
I cannot leave. I cannot go away.
Being of these hills, being one with the fox
Stealing into the shadows, one with the new-born foal,
The lumbering ox drawing green beech logs to mill, 
One with the destined feet of man climbing and descending,
And one with death rising to bloom again, I cannot go.
Being of these hills I cannot pass beyond.


Creating a Symphony with the 911

Very cool.


Love Conquers All

Dom Tiberi, a sportscaster in Columbus, Ohio lost his daughter to a tragic car accident a few weeks ago.

In watching these videos, I am reminded of the words of Pastor Billy Graham:

“I have been asked on hundreds of times in my life why God allows tragedy and suffering. I have to confess that I really do not know the answer totally, even to my own satisfaction. I have to accept, by faith, that God is sovereign, and He is a God of love and mercy and compassion in the midst of suffering.”

And the words of Isaiah:

But they that hope in the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall take wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. 


Wise Blood

The old shirt he wore to sleep in was open down the front and showed three strands of barbed wire, wrapped around his chest. She retreated backwards to the door and then she dropped the tray. “Mr. Motes,” she said in a thick voice, “what do you do these things for? It’s not natural.” 

He pulled himself up.

 “What’s that wire around you for? It’s not natural,” she repeated. 

After a second he began to button the shirt. “It’s natural,” he said. 

“Well, it’s not normal. It’s like one of them gory stories, it’s something that people have quit doing— like boiling in oil or being a saint or walling up cats,” she said. “There’s no reason for it. People have quit doing it.” 

“They ain’t quit doing it as long as I’m doing it,” he said. 

“People have quit doing it,” she repeated. “What do you do it for?” 

“I’m not clean,” he said. 

She stood staring at him, unmindful of the broken dishes at her feet. “I know it,” she said after a minute, “you got blood on that night shirt and on the bed. You ought to get you a washwoman…” 

“That’s not the kind of clean,” he said. 

“There’s only one kind of clean, Mr. Motes,” she muttered. She looked down and observed the dishes he had made her break and the mess she would have to get up and she left for the hall closet and returned in a minute with the dust pan and broom. “It’s easier to bleed than sweat, Mr. Motes,” she said in the voice of High Sarcasm. “You must believe in Jesus or you wouldn’t do these foolish things. You must have been lying to me when you named your fine church. I wouldn’t be surprised if you weren’t some kind of a agent of the pope or got some connection with something funny.” 

“I ain’t treatin’ with you,” he said and lay back down, coughing.

-Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor


Other Lives - Dust Bowl III