Demon and Dog-man

Sheepskin Bog

We began watching a documentary from The History Channel about the origins of Halloween in which demon worship, with liminal Celtic Samhain origins, is called to mind. Below is fiction, an imaginative account of what may happen to demons and the men who worship them.

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The image here the autumnal version we took the other night while riding bikes along the intermittently shoreline road.

“Home territory is well known to the author which makes the story . . . a little easier to tackle. At least something looks familiar. It’s a little like traveling to some faraway place where they turn out to speak English after all. It’s still an exotic journey, but you feel comfortable nonetheless.”

So writes Maine author Monica Wood, author of Ernie’s Ark, via e-mail.

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Creative connections

The images in this post contrast with, yet undergird, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s creative thoughts. A neighboring graveyard is hidden, old, its stones broken, some knocked over by vandals traversing a wooded lane decades ago. Yet those buried here were upright in an older sense, contributing mightily to the making of a small community.

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collecting cemeteries

Thoreau wrote in his journal, “I farm the dust of my ancestors, though a chemist’s analysis may not detect it. I go forth to redeem the meadows they have become. I compel them to take refuge in turnips.”

Scattered and hidden in our Maine woodlands are cemeteries with ancestors redeemed and compelled to become oaks and ferns.

One headstone among sprouting trees and blueberry thickets reads on Bird Hill reads: "Eli H. Cushman... died... 1876. Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright; for the end of that man is peace."

This old inscription is not too weathered to read, but it would have been better preserved in slate. Slate beats granite all to pieces for grave markers. Being originally clay, and having endured the stages of compaction and metamorphism, slate weathers far better than granite. And it's evident in these old grave markers where words in slate are legible long after those in granite have crumbled away.

The image was taken today at Whitman Cemetery up an old lane into woods off The Old County Road.

Loosing Fathom Pond

Our Patch Mountain Sunday becomes quiet once more . . . but its atmosphere has changed and our sense of the other, older, time has deserted us. Vanished like vapor. We sit in the shade of this century, a bit lost. 

The snarl and whine of a chainsaw drifts down. It’s not hard to imagine the enduring but prone white ash being sawn asunder; cut to blocks; its essence slipping down past us here where we sit. The life of the ash drifts down off the mountain, heading toward town. 

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New use for a skillet leg

Billings Hill Meadow Brook

“When John Billings lived in a log house, […] and had but a small clearing, one morning his dog began to run and bark through the neighboring woods, and soon be coming stationary, Mr. Billings knew that he had treed his game, whatever it might be. So taking down his old “queen’s arm,” he loaded it heavily with powder and buck shot, and to make it doubly sure, he dropped a skillet leg into the barrel. 

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