The last few days have me walking on air within. I feel happy inside all day every day, a heart swelling with love, often tears dripping from joyous feeling, a time when mountain music chokes me up. And it chokes me up to talk with my friend Carole about my hillbilly friends and neighbors. I drove down the mountain to Whitehead to see some of my hillbilly friends and spend some time with people during my process of reviewing my love for them. I know this rush of overwhelming love for the people I think of as my neighbors is not permanent. It's like being a surfer and setting out on a wave. It won't last forever. It's a temporary run. That's what it's about. A review. I want to be with my hillbilly friends right now while I'm in full appreciation. It's like celebration time. In this time I want to see my hillbilly friends and spend some time appreciating them, who they are, as souls having an Earth experience, like me. We're in it together type thing. One thing I can tell you unequivocally, you need help of any kind, a hillbilly will help you out. In this county, if something happens to your car, you're stopped at the side of the road, the first pickup that passes will stop and ask if you need help. If you need to go into town for a can of gas, get in, you're on your way. If it's a mechanical problem, pull the hood latch.
I heard it told how (we'll call him) A went to a kindergarten graduation for one of his kids and saw sitting not far away a guy he has a bead on, has been looking for him, aiming to give him a wallerin (tr: wollowing) about the head with fists or whatever it took. He means for B to hit the ground and not get up. "I'll grab his throat with my left hand and beat his brains out!" His mission is to nail the guy first time he sees him, no matter the circumstances, no hesitation. He sat among his peers, neighbors, relatives, and a lot of people he didn't know, attempting to convince himself he really did not want to mess up his baby's big day, but he almost wanted to. He sat through the performance with one thing in mind: stomping a mud-hole in the emeff's ass and walking it dry, seeing the video in his mind's eye. In the same circumstances, I would be ashamed of myself if I failed to execute the karmic return myself, first moment on sight. A is somebody who would crawl a mile on hot Georgia asphalt to help somebody in real need. He's stout as a tree too, and firm on his feet. He has truly brilliant kids who do well in school. They're good natured and they love their daddy in such a big way it has no name. The kids know they're safe with daddy. His wife lives with the confidence that she is protected by a man who cannot be dominated, and especially that she is loved by her man she's proud of. She looks around the room of parents, looks at her man and says to herself, I got the best one in here. I'm happy for them both and their kids, because I see the love between them is alive in action.
I like the company of the people I know who truly and openly love each other. I'd rather be around people I have a relationship of trust and respect with. Not respect for driving a more expensive car than mine or living in a bigger house on a bigger spot of land. Everybody's car is more expensive than mine. Everybody's house has more value than mine. Keeps me out of the competition. Nobody is going to steal my car. Nobody is going to break into my house for guns, liquor or money. Nobody is going to suck up to me for status or the illusion of money. I have nothing for anyone to envy and nothing for anyone to be jealous of, unless it would be my indifference to money and influence. But I can't imagine who that might be in America. Besides, it's easy to acquire. It keeps me clear on who my real friends are. When social climbing is not a part of the picture, nothing fake is going on. It's only when climbing is the prime consideration or seeking something for self gain. I believe this is what puts the middle class in a state of denial, climbing. The climb is the norm, it's expected, wanting to look like on tv, make a good first impression, talk like on tv, be careful about who you know, because somebody might not have enough status to deserve to be seen with you.
Hillbillies are especially funny when they come into too much money too fast. That's when the Beverly Hillbillies within get shut in the basement by denial. Oh, do they become haughty. Nose in the air. Cadillac pickups. Gold, gold and lotsa gold. The problem is they didn't grow up learning how to be fake. Denial is new to them, so haughty behavior is acting natural. And hillbillies love the hillbilly slapstick shows like Andy Griffith, Beverly Hillbillies, Hee Haw, Dukes of Hazard. It is true hillbilly humor. Early on I thought these shows disrespectful of mountain people, until I found that mountain people like them more than anybody else. It's comedy of their own culture, of what they know, their world. A true hillbilly is not ashamed of it. The ones who shrink from being identified hillbilly, I shrink from. The climb, wanting to be seen owning a Cadillac, sets one to learning how to act out a fake lifestyle. As my only real interest is art, I don't have many people in the working class to talk with about art. It is the very same in the middle class. Except for every once in awhile one meets somebody who majored or minored in art at school, but haven't paid any attention to it since, no money in it. And that's not the kind of art that interests me. I learned when in childhood to keep my art interests to myself. In college, I was drawn to people I could talk art matters with, then after college we all go different directions like birds leaving a nest. Two went to New York, one to Atlanta, one stayed in place and I came to the mountains.
I learned some years later that people I knew before the mountains resented me for not staying in touch with them, never seeing them again. It was a chopping block experience for me, moving to the mountains. I went native right away. I discovered the mountain people and loved them as true human beings. In city life I stayed in search of people who were true (in my subjective way of seeing), not on the climb, not regarding college as job training, not worshipping money and tv. Found several and they became my circle of friends. We left in different directions. I fell so deeply into the mountains after the first years of getting acquainted with people and culture through the people I knew, the world off the mountain became another country. It might have the same name, but it's a different world. Mountain culture became the focus of my study and gradually it flowed into and through me. By now it is my culture, the culture I'm comfortable in. I'm not giving up my mountain friends for fake acquaintances with people who don't want anything to do with hillbillies. That already tells me all I need to know of them. I know I'm not expected to give up my hillbilly friends, but time spent with people I care nothing about, who care nothing about me, keeps me from my hillbilly friends. The last few days I've felt so full of light in my heart for the people of my world I'm grateful for the meddler's advice telling me I'm wasting my time with the wrong people.