There’s a whole world out there.  But it’s veiled.  It’s veiled by you and what you believe.  What you believe as a deception.  So let’s talk it.  Let’s talk religion.  Just one veil that clothes your identity.  But for some it makes up their whole world and how they see it.  Just like the color of your skin makes your world.  And I’m white trying to talk about a black musician, trying to make a story about his life, the woman he married.  What I find in common with him just exposing the differences in what I’m seeking to find.  The words I’ve used revealing the words I haven’t.   And what started as a song I heard on KDHX community radio waiting for a train at a crossroads in the American Bottom has become this—all that I lack, the failures of my methods.  And all my research, what I’ve conveyed from transcripts and journals, interviews of friends and family that knew David Threnody, that knew Bethany Labeau, her imagined musings, and the story I’m trying to create of her before she came to New Orleans and met David over pancakes at the Bluebird Café after a night of questionable judgment sitting in with him for a few songs in the Quarter—that world, their world, I’ve tried to make mine, but I can’t.  The differences I’ve tried to destroy existing because I’ve tried to destroy them.  There’s a whole world out there, but the truth is no further than three feet from your face, what comes into focus for you only what you bring it into focus with your faith.

So let’s talk it.  Let’s talk faith—the Christian faith.  How it’s unlimited in its limitations.  Just one way of looking at your world, but in Hemphill, Texas, in the American South of the 1940’s, in the church songs David Threnody grew up with that inspired his take on The Blues, what I learned about him in his journals and the journals of his mother, the journals of Bethany, in the conflicts Jeremy Bloodwood had in his love for Bethany Labeau and the Bloodwood past that creeped into Bethany’s life because of her grandmother, in her associations with Sissy Walker and her business arrangement with Denny—that’s it, that’s what you have—Christianity and how their lives were defined by it.  For they were believers and non-believers.  The practicing and the un-practiced.  There were no Buddhists of Moslems, Hindus or Taoists, and the atheists and agnostics living in that time and place were defined on their stance to Christianity.  And the world of you and their whole world was permeated with this.  The deceptions of people that could be termed as bad by these standards, but still knew of honor, integrity and love—like Denny.  The dishonesty of people termed as good that professed a faith, but their hearts uncharitable, judging, in fear of everything different to them—like Jeremy’s mother’s dislike of Bethany and the love she and her son were trying to learn about.  And what is this world?  Is it a world unseen with a battle being waged—all of us veterans?  All of us suffering from the disorder of it?  For the preacher Jeremy’s mother listened to spoke of a deceptive spirit, a spirit of a man of sin denying the flesh of the son of man.  How those that didn’t believe were deceiving themselves and the tools of a deception, the world and the atrocities Pete Southhouse was witnessing at that time the work of a Devil whose trick was to make you believe he didn’t exist.  That those trying to live good lives but that didn’t believe in this still had hell to look forward to.  That a story was unfolding as told in the bible, and not the bible Sissy Walker had and what was hidden in it.  And what was true?  Who do you judge as a friend?  As an enemy?  Maybe I’ll let Valerie tell it—Bethany’s mother.  You already know how she had Bethany baptized, which perhaps is a bias to her point of view, but point of views is all we have in this story—this story I’m trying to tell.  And all you can do is whittle it down.  Focus on the immediate facts.  So here’s a conversation they had—Valerie and Bethany—this after Bethany got into that car with Denny, which maybe parallels that ride David Threnody took in Mississippi a few years earlier in 1937.  Maybe they both had to take that ride in order to meet…

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