(notes on waking up in Kingsport Tennessee November 14, 2017)

A miraculous family convergence last night. right here. beloved two living sisters brother-in-law. beloved nieces and great-niece. the necessary laments and ritual shakings of heads. thanks be with redeeming laughter. the self-perpetuating rhythms of West Sullivan Street. and dark paths of the ever-present ancient ancestors

A photograph was unearthed just a little musty. oval-frame with convex glass in the style. as it hung over Grampaw’s bed down in the country. almost forever. it is the image of my great-grandfather. John Calvin Dotson. after whom I am named.

with his first or probably second wife. I know where their graves are. all three of them side by side. at Bradshaw’s Chapel in the valley. I have further business with this photograph

I slept well enough with some wrangling. material tasks required in the dreamwork. naturally enough as you can imagine

Then came the morning light. and familiar sound of the CSX locomotive. 

whistle in the primordial industrial distance. those tracks. and now the geese flying throughthe traffic sounds of Kingsport. fully activating. on Fort Patrick Henry Drive. while I am slowly coming to. the full reality of my birthplace and blood-soaked. native soil as it was and is beginning again. at my ripe old age of 67. a peculiar figure. in Arabic numbers such as I first learned them. in the classroom at Andrew Jackson Elementary School

My awakening mind as always. appears torn to pieces left and right. ripping apart here as much or maybe more. and no less than any other place in this world. relentless polarities of This and That. in our times of terrifying overwhelming. incomprehensible deluge

I am taken again to the advanced psychology. of Marie-Louise von Franz. 
and CG Jung Answer to Job
God is a coincidentia oppositorum… 
The inner instability of Yahweh…
is the prime cause not only of the creation of the world but also 
of the drama for which humankind serves as a tragic chorus.
and I take some solace that these instabilities. of my early consciousness are not. merely the result. of a solitary lifetime of disjointed efforts no. not only my own personal doing and undoing. lordy mercy. as if I could ultimately save my own soul 

But rather this is the reality of my predicament. so very deeply rooted here in. historic far. northeastern Tennessee. the hurts and fears of all the years.
and horrors and hopes that are met. in the gathering planetary flood

This prime cause and Mysterium. is the piercing calling of a bird.  a screech I have known all my life.and Mother would have known which one. in the oaks that will outlive me. I must get out soon and walk among. I must actually do something. oh Johnny-boy. oh Johnny be good

And return in pilgrimage to the Depot. Main Street. to Broad and Center.
and onward to the streets radiating. from Church Circle. just as it is. just as I am. a plan for the day

John Dotson
November 2017