Monday, June 20, 2005
It's not even that huge or radical a belief for me...I believe in this land beyond like we all believe that concrete is hard or water is something we would rather not spill on our laps.
Maybe those analogies don't work so well. That realm is a place beyond places, but may be right here. It could well be that a cosmic superhighway runs right through your shower and there's a cosmic truck stop in your nostrils every time you turn over to turn the hot water up. I'm not sure.
My understanding of the land beyond actually comes less from repeated experience like hard concrete or a cold and soaking lap, and more from several extended glimpses, when I drove straight through a tunnel into that other realm. Many of you people may be skeptical, thinking and/or blogging "That's it, Jeff has succumbed to the pressure," but really, it's not that hard to believe. Wipe that sneer off your face with this little napkin:
Do you belive in manta rays? In tiny aquatic creatures whose entire societies thrive and crumble in that space surrounding the mouthparts of certain lobsters? Do you think that stromatolites are real?
Stromatolites are ancient communities of bacteria that secrete a hard, rocky coating around themselves. They were on earth long before fish sprouted legs and decided to have a look at land, quietly gobbling up the earh's methane-rich atmosphere and farting out oxygen in prodigious quantities. I have seen stromatolites in person, and you will have seen a photo once you scroll down a bit:
Do you believe in them now?
Here is some further evidence of the land beyond:
This is not a snap of that land, but rather of the earthly evidence that comes from that world protruding into our own. The membrane between the land beyond and our planet seems to be much thinner and more permeable in rural communities in America's deep South. That same membrane is thickest in the areas surrounding shopping malls outside of American cities. Ceiling fan wholesalers are soul-proof, and pawn shops doubly so.
Many years ago, a tiny hole opened up in the thin membrane that seperates the land beyond from the earth we all occupy. This tiny hole poured the contents of that land and all its mystical, egalitarian glory into the Reverend Dennis' fertile brain as it grew up in Vicksburg, Mississippi. The invisible contents of that realm sloshed through his brain, filling the soft crevasses in his brain, dribbling down his spine and tingling their way through to his able fingers. And when the time was right, that invisible sauce from the world beyond our own shook hands with the Reverend's personality and drove him to make a palace. You can learn more about the history of his art here, and see detailed photos of the property here.
This link will take you to an enlarged version of the panorama above...