Blog Archive

Thursday, October 31, 2013


On September 15th,(I think),2013, I was down in the Library, from around 5am, till almost 1pm. It was a Pain Day, and I was avoiding the Bed, and TV, and engaged in a Wiki Wander.
About 1pm, I heard the drumsticks clatter, around the other side of the central shelf of Books...I assumed it was the cat, Bob, who had been down there all day with me.
I got up, buck-nekkid, and looked around the corner to admonish Bob, and saw instead a 4 foot rattlesnake, hanging from the top of the back shelf.... attempting to get up and over, apparently.
By the time I retrieved the 12 gauge from the front of the house(loaded with Bird-Shot), said Snake was gone....presumably behind those shelves.
There was so much stuff in the Library, that it was impossible to tell just where she went; books, stacks of paper, photographs, all manner of heirlooms and objets d'art, and lots of cool rocks and bones, and even a 30 year old squirrel skin.
In my shock and despair, I called the Dog I called the Dispatcher, and she sent a Deputy(my least favorite one, at that.)
He came, he looked, he said,"welp...I don't see no snake"....then seeing the shotgun, said,"it's a fine for discharging a firearm in city limits".
I told him that I'm sure the judge and jury would understand...and away he went.
I procured six boxes of mothballs, and spread them liberally in all three rooms in that part of the house(Library, Pantry and Cubbyhole)...all completely separate from the Front of the House.
I opened windows, and spread corn starch on the sills...even though my Visitor more likely came from underneath, due to my poor carpentry skills.(there's a six inch gap around half the perimeter of the floor.)
Due to my Brokenness, made worse by the repeated cold fronts and Rain Events, it's taken me this long to box about 2/3 of the Stuff up, and haul it out to the Hunting Trailer at Mom's.
(Books are Heavy)
I was down there, yesterday, boxing a bunch of fragile stuff, when I heard something move behind one of those shelves.
It was a Long Sound, as something rough sliding across the corner of one of the wall braces behind that shelf.(there's no panelling, due to money and pain).

So the Plan is to put the oldest boy on the couch, behind my position, with the spotlight, the younger behind him with the camera, the wife beside me to lean the shelf, and me out front with the .22  with Ratshot, and the ancient Frog Gig.

I'll probably end up excusing the boys, as I only have 2 sets of safety glasses, in case of ricochet.
I sure would like a picture, though.
I intend to eat said Serpent, if I can catch and kill her.


It's instructive that, in under two months, we've gone from a resignation to being stuck here, in town, to actively preparing for our eventual return to the Hills.
I knew immediately that a massive effort would be needed to make damn sure that the Snake was GONE!...that this effort would be necessarily protracted(Cripple)...and that led to the thinking: Well, do I move back in after I fix the holes? or do I keep it in storage until I can build a proper Library?
Since such activity is Painful, for me, we have been leaning towards the latter.
Serpents as Transformative Messengers of the Divine are well represented in all but the 3 Judaic Religions.
I admit to some affinity for the figure of Cassandra, to whom Apollo sent Python...who then licked her ears, giving her the gift of foresight.
Later, when Cassandra rejected Apollo's amorous advances, he cursed her with never being believed.
When I cry, "Serpents licked my eyes!", this is what I'm referring to.
The proverbial Battle against the Cthonic Serpent, on the other hand...referenced in the first two images...probably points to the Patriarchic Sky Gods(or their Agents) triumphing over the Matriarchic Earth/Water Goddesses that came before.
From Saints Patrick and George, to Marduk and Tiamat, to Perseus and the Gorgon and Heracles and the Hydra, this tale is widespread....and very old.
From Campbell's 'Masks of God',vol.3,"Occidental Mythology"....

"The legend of Perseus beheading Medusa means, specifically, that 'the Hellenes overran the goddess's chief shrines' and 'stripped her priestesses of their Gorgon masks,' the latter being apotropaic faces worn to frighten away the profane.
That is to say, there occurred in the early thirteenth century B.C. an actual historic rupture, a sort of sociological trauma, which has been registered in this myth, much as what Freud terms the latent content of a neurosis is registered in the manifest content of a dream: registered yet hidden, registered in the unconscious yet unknown or misconstrued by the conscious mind.""

The "Mainstream" of Anthropology/Archaeology, of course, pooh-pooh's all over this idea...but I've seen enough to be pretty convinced.
I have, from my earliest memories, always had a visceral and automatic Fear of snakes.
It is the only animal that I kill indiscriminately.
To find such a large specimen in my Sanctum Sanctorum,and to be unable to remove her, or to even determine if she's still in Horrible.
It has had a profound effect on my Psychology, to say the least....and in spite of any Mythological/Symbolic Associations.
Wisdom, Regeneration, Creation, Temptation,Prescience....none of this matters.
All that matters is that this episode has driven home what I've been denying since we moved to town: It Ain't Safe, Here.

Agoraphobic, Autodidactic Polymaths should live in the Wilderness.

(the pics are from one of these sites, save for the frog gig, which is from a random shopping site)

No comments: