November 02, 2007


Today is the last day of Haint Week at Goat Rope. If this is your first visit, please click on earlier entries.

Haint, by the way, is Appalachian for that which haunts. In addition to comments on current events, posts this week have deal with the belief in ghosts, the allure of "haunted" or sacred places, the feeling of weirdness, and the Day of the Dead. It seemed a fitting theme for Halloween.

El Cabrero has refrained from taking a position on the existence or non-existence of such things but I will tell about something that happened to me.

A dear friend and co-worker of mine died a little over two years ago. We fought a lot of battles together and did pretty good for a while there. But what I most miss were our conversations. When not in predatory mode, we talked about all kinds of things: life, literature, philosophy, religion, science, you name it.

One thing we disagreed about was death and everything after. She tended to think it was the end and I was never able to convince myself that was the case. Not that I was particularly happy about that; at times, total extinction sounds pretty good to me.

A while after her death from a debilitating and cruel disease, I had a strange experience. I was not asleep but not completely awake, in a kind of liminal state between the two. I had the clear and unmistakable experience of her passing right through my core. It was like a very warm greeting. There was nothing visual or auditory about it, but as far as I'm concerned it was her and it was good.

Was it a sleeping or waking dream or an example of wish fulfillment? My official statement is the same as Hamlet's:

"O good Horatio, I'll take the ghost's word for a thousand pound."

DOING SOMETHING ABOUT THE WEATHER. A powerful coalition of religious groups, including evangelicals, is pressing congress to take action on climate change.

HEALTH CARE. Here's a NY Times editorial stating the obvious: we need universal health care. Note: stating the obvious is a virtue these days.

MEGAN WILLIAMS MARCH UPDATE. The Student Government Association at WV State University plans an anti-hate rally for Nov. 17. The student group joined the NAACP, Black Ministerial Alliance, West Virginians United for Social and Economic Justice, the Logan County Improvement League and others in not endorsing a Nov. 3 march organized by out of state groups. Here's more.

Meanwhile, the Logan County prosecutor has urged Williams to refrain from making public statements as it may damage the case, as the AP reports.

Here's the latest on the march. And here's background on hate crimes law from the AP.


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