Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Returning To Earth: The Down-Home Wisdom of Mountain William

As I am returning to West Virginia shortly, I am mindful that this blog has taken us into strange waters and even Out Proctor occasionally. Perhaps it is time to come back to the sod and strengthen the powers of our natural crap detectors. To do so, I am going to mention the wisdom that I have received from West Virginia's most famous philosopher, Mountain William. From his high roost atop a tree-clad hill, William sees more and clearer than the rest of us. It is indeed fortunate that he has been willing to pass along these insights at all. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
On something new: "you can't tell much about a Possum by his grin". --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On gettin' smart: "Enlightenment--that's when you dump a bunch of stuff you've been carryin' around". ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On behavior: "Bread cast upon the waters comes back a hundred-fold; same thing with crap."------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On kiddin' yourself about what you do: "You tend to smell like what you roll in."------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On modern life: "Folks round here keep a close eye; then race around bein' exceptionally normal."--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Common sense: "It ain't polite to spit, but the least you can do is check the wind."------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On success: "Some folks have always known that there are three sure-fire means of finding success. But I have never been able to find those people". ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
On criticism: "You wet down a big dog, it'll soon wet down you".------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On politics: "In arithmetic, it's two plus two equals four. In biology, it's nearer to eight. In politics it's whatever's sellin'."---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On investing: "I've heard that every time you talk to your broker it costs you $80. My advice is: stop talkin' to him."---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On eatin' out: " Never stop at a restaurant with an ambulance pulled up outside".------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On thinkin': "A friend of mine got lost in thought; it was unfamiliar territory."----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On obstacles: "The hardest thing for most folks is to get out of their own way."-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On normalcy: " If everything's goin' to Hell; go the other way."----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On that new face: "Maybe he likes you, but some dogs'll lift their leg on anything". -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------On anomalies: "A good part of livin' is knowin' which itch to scratch and which to leave alone."
The depth of Mountain William is fathomless, but the surface is even better. When I tell him "things ain't goin' too good", he just says "you can turn a corner anytime". When I complain about the work that I'm doing, he reminds me that "hoein' turnips in the spring is a big effort to no good end". Who knows what he's talking about, but it somehow makes me feel better. Hopefully the deeper sense of the mountain man will remind you and I that there's a real world out there and it demands our attention, even if we're exploring uncharted waters.
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2 comments:

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  2. thank you--these "sillinesses" of Mountain William actually have a lot of application if one wants to reflect on what one's doing and thinking--most surely about the pursuit of anomalies [I find, anyway}.

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