An American Mystagogue

The Beginning

Aug
28

 

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“This is the only country in the world,” said Wednesday, into the stillness, “that worries about what it is.”

“What?”

“The rest of them know what they are. No one ever needs to go searching for the heart of Norway. Or looks for the soul of Mozambique. They know what they are.”

~ Neil Gaiman,  American Gods 

                                 Greetings! This is the first blog I’ve ever tried to actually put together, so we will see how it goes. So relax, sit back and let me take you on a little bit of a journey. Who am I? What is this blog all about? Odds are if you’ve found it that you are familiar with The Infinity Network, and might be acquaintances of the Network, or some other such connection.

                                 But for those of you reading this who don’t know much about any ole’ Infinity Network, let me introduce myself. My name, for all intents and purposes, is Seth Moris. I’ve been a part of the Network from day one, and I guess this blog was bound to happen sooner or later. But we aren’t here to talk about The Infinity Network, are we? I didn’t think so, hold on just a moment.

*Shuffles off and returns with a cup of coffee, hot and steaming*

                                Forgive my potentially strange way of writing. I enjoy the immersion of stories, and even the most normal things have the quality to transport you away from there you are, to get you lost in someplace you aren’t.

*Sips coffee, vacant look in his eyes as though he forgot something important*

                                I suppose that an explanation of the title would be a hunky- dory place to start. Everything needs a beginning. But before I can explain the title, I should introduce myself a little bit further. I am from the north-lands of this place that we tend to call America these days, or the States. Specifically from the cluster of states known as New England, the very northeast of a land generally pilfered by humans more like me than the First People; that is, Europeans who slaughtered and warred the indigenous inhabitants until “we” (Europeans) came to claim it as our own, and in a very cynical way it is our own, in the same way a stolen trinket becomes the thieves own possession when he is never forced to give it back.

                                 Not trying to play the guilt game, just trying to set the scene. My own family came to the continent in the mid 1600’s, and lived relatively peacefully with the local Mi’qmak tribe. My blood was on this continent before the United States were a twinkle in the eye of anyone, and they generally lived simple lives until their homes were burnt down and they were forced in the hundreds onto prison schooners that would deport most of them to areas as far as Louisiana, the Carolinas and other places far and wide. They were known as the Acadians (a linguistic corruption of Arcadians) and they formed the colony of Acadia starting in Port Royal, what is now known as Nova Scotia. These descendants would later to be referred to in the southern states as the Cajuns. Some didn’t get deported, however, as was the case with my family. But that is a story for another day. The colony was abolished, and Acadia ceased to exist, though its children remained. I am a descendant of these original settlers.

                               Most of us know to some greater or lesser extent what followed. Hordes of settlers from various European countries, Manifest Destiny, and a few hundred years later and what was originally a completely different land had been transmogrified. Not only had did the “White Man” spread and conquer, but so didn’t everything European to begin with. Flora, fauna, and even more important, ideas. We didn’t just bring our people over, we brought our Reality. And it devoured the one that had been here before, for the most part. Assimilated and mutated.

                           Now we are left with an oddity, an existential curio on the face of the biosphere/noosphere. An aberration both wondrous and awful. A world that is new, not because it was uninhabited before European settlers first showed up, but because it became a roiling, ever changing place the likes of which no one had seen before. The blood sacrifice of millions upon millions of Indigenous peoples was the price of the magic of  transmutation on the scale of a continent. I won’t pretend I didn’t benefit, as a European descendant, from this tragedy. I won’t pretend it was noble, or justified either. For the record, I detest violence. I do not abide genocide or think that one type of person is better than another through merit of birth. But I was born into this phantasmagoric land, and it is what I had to learn to live inside. It had its own rules, its own myths, its own belief structures, previously unknown. There is no ancient tradition here for my people. There are no familial pre-historic sacred grounds for me. But that doesn’t mean the sacred is absent, or that tradition is nil.

*Throws back the last dregs of the coffee into his gullet and sets down mug*

                          So now you understand the American part. As far as what a Mystagogue is, the easiest way to explain it is ‘a person who initiates into the mysteries”. What mysteries?

*Grins and shrugs, leaning back in his chair*

                   That is to be seen. If I could explain it in a sentence, what need would there be for a blog?

~ Seth Moris