Sunday, October 23, 2011


 Mickey Mahaffey sent the words below  as a comment on my last post, but I must give them their own post  because they are drawn from his memoir Whispers Of My Blood, which I'm now reading. What a journey, what a transformation this book gives us, written in what comes closer to poetry than prose.  Mickey is from Hendersonville, a former student of my husband's many years ago.  He now lives in Mexico, where he conducts guided tours into Copper Canyon in Chihuahua. Go to his web site to read much more about him, watch a video, and learn about the Sierra Madre where he now lives.  

"The rising flames of my campfire cast an ethereal glow across the meadow of green nettle and mayflowers and illuminate the trunks of the massive trees. Silhouettes of dead tress lean against the living ones, life and death interpenetrated, and the ones half rotted on the ground supply sustenance to untold species of burgeoning life. The electric buzz a million cicadas and crickets suffuse the wilderness. I sense the proximity of black bears and coyotes and rattlesnakes.
     The presences of the living woods expose my egotisms. The clear light of the vital fire pierces my illusions of self-deception and consumes the false gods that bedim my vision.My blood whispers to me from the ancient of days.Now, nothing stands between my heart and the heart of the palpable earth. I sing quietly with the voice of my soul in the temple of the living and dying.

     I imagine my death, my body rotting beneath the dirt like the trees in their holy cemetery. I see the worms and maggots, flies and gnats, vultures and four-legged beasts feasting upon my body. What was once a nightmare of horrors upon horrors is a sober reality. Rot and new birth interwoven. No more fantasies of angels and streets paved with gold; only the loamy dirt and life at the root of existence."

Mickey Mahaffey is a singular American explorer, a fearless saunterer across our modern-day dilemmas of faith and faithlessness, who has written a deeply personal and poetic memoir of his extraordinary life. Once a legendary Appalachian kid preacher and star athlete, Mahaffey's fall from grace led to him to an agonizing period on the streets, insane asylums, among shattered families and the dark woods of outcasts, until he began a journey of healing, literally walking himself back to a state of redemption. From the Blue Ridge of North Carolina, the hip streets of Asheville, to the remote canyons of the Sierra Madre in Mexico, Whispers of My Blood unfolds a spellbinding chronicle of a quest for forgiveness, love and renewal.
------- Jeff Biggers, American writer, editor, journalist, and critic

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad our paths have crossed in blogger land. I look forward to reading the archives and your future posts.