… yes and how much of it?  What you’re told and what is.  What is based on what’s told.  No I guess you don’t erase time.  It’s like a map redrawn.  The natural landmarks stay the same.  The lakes and rivers.  But boundaries.  Boundaries and names—these change.  Telling you if you live in one country or another.  And it’s just you and the GDP—what’s on TV—who owns what and what they want to tell you…  I used to love maps.  In my father’s pawn shop growing up there was an old Atlas.  Sometimes when I wasn’t strumming my guitar I looked at it.  In fact when I was nine years old when Jonathon Bonnor walked through my father’s door it was what I was looking at.  And Israel wasn’t on any map.  Sometimes even William would quiz me.  He’d ask me what’s the capital of so and so and it was like my school—my school with William who sometimes couldn’t pronounce the words he would just pick a country a color and point and like when I was boy something I have a hard time remembering now there was almost an inaudible count between his question and my answer… an inaudible count.  And twelve years.  Twelve years now since his death my father’s death.  What I have to get my head around now.  How the maps have changed.  What gets me to where I want to go, and when I came home that winter of 1955 I started some new songs, but I didn’t start where I left off because it was like I could see now I could see what was behind the curtain of why this was sung and why that wasn’t and I wanted to stay—I wanted to stay a sinner so I always needed saving.  And do you think?  Do you think you don’t pay for your sins?  It’s there in who begat who and the fool disgraced—the treasure of your name…  There are guns there now.  In my father’s pawn shop window.  My guitar no longer graces that place on red velvet.  No it’s guns, small hand guns, different calibers, and I saw that in ’51 when I returned after cutting my second album some three years since I took the Gibson out of the window some three years after Bethany and I divorced and what does it say?  What does the Bible say about adultery the proverbs on the adulteress?  And she loves Jesus now taking our kids to church to teach them in the way they should go while I’m left with guns, small handguns, in my father’s pawn shop window and when I asked him when I asked my father not knowing it would be one of our last conversations because after ’51 I didn’t come back I went down to New Orleans to be what I was because of what she was now seeing my children sure but now outside, outside their life without me, and I asked him—I asked my father who was right and who was wrong and maybe it took me twelve years to know why I asked that question and why my father’s answer was right out of the Bible the same Bible Bethany read to give her soul peace and he said—if I love you what is that to you?  Because you see he knew it came down to who got bested.  It was why there were guns in his pawn shop window.  Because you see even in what you follow you still ask who’s the greatest and that’s why who owns you and what they want to tell you is what you’re willing to hear and being number one is all that matters even if it means being a number one fan…  And so now I guess I’m a fan of my father—dead twelve years now.  It’s why I remember counting with William.  Why I remember an old Atlas with outdated maps.  I need to get where I need to go now—the past depressing the future anxiety.  But this moment in this moment is my past where I can’t dwell and the consequences of it I yet can’t see but I do as the future becomes the past.  There are only promises and commandments.  A long life.  Young men’s visions and an old man’s dream.  And somehow someway I guess my father was still proud of me even though I was a fool, and like a dog returning to his vomit I had my fate and not a hardened heart…

            –David Threnody, on repentance—from his journals 1966 to 1975

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