Mountain Mists: Appalachian Folkways of West Virginia ~ Book Review

Mountain Mists: Appalachian Folkways of West Virginia by Dr. Carol Ann Gillespie

This slim volume contains a compendeum of stories describing the cultural heritage and oral customs of the early West Virginians. The majority of the original settlers to the Appalachian region were from England, Scotland, Ireland and Germany. Many modern mountaineers still carry on the old ways today, learned from their wise ancestors in the oral tradition.

Within you will learn of folk remedies and healing. Traditional foods, tokens, premonitions and superstitions. Stories of stories told and songs sung to capture the history and beliefs of the people of this beautiful and wild country. Death, dying and burial customs are a community event, everyone gets involved when one in the community dies. There is much respect, ritual and superstition surrounding the dead and the ghosts they leave behind.

With every page turn you will find useful tidbits of information and a chuckle here and there. Dr. Gillespie packs a whole lot of history in a small package while keeping alive the stories and traditions of the early Appalachian folks. That makes this book an important piece of the larger West Virginia story. The old ways and wisdom should not be allowed to die and this is one of the written works that will keep that from happening.

You can purchase this wonderful book here:

http://mountainmists.com/

or

http://www.amazon.com/Mountain-Mists-Appalachian-Folkways-Virginia/dp/087012790X

or where I got my copy…

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/mountain-mists-dr-carol-ann-gillespie/1018476620

The Attic

Dark and empty spaces,

forlorn and grimacing faces,

shadows in the attic,

in and out like static…

 

A treasured box over there,

cobwebs hanging everywhere,

wavering, pale flashlight beam,

something moves and I stifle a scream!

 

This attic a forgotten ancient place,

full of memories, full of grace…

my steadying hand reveals

what is hidden,

only to find this place…

mouse ridden.

 

I would like the attic room please.

 

A Mental Challenge – Behavior & Perception

I  watch several criminology shows and some of the paranormal shows and movies now and then. “Getting into” the criminology shows sparked an interest in behavioral science and I’ve begun to dig deeper into the research. I know, it’s a part of psychology…but then again I’ve been researching quantum mechanics in relation to the paranormal. All related or interelated concepts.

When a paranormal investigator asks questions of unseen presences, when he/she asks who, what, where, when and why it is because they want to know the psychology of that presence. And they are generally attempting this without the use of all their senses. You rarely see the entity or feel it’s touch or even hear it at the time of questioning, but you just know it is there. You are picking up on some part of the psychology of that presence. When you lose one or more of your five physical senses then the others become more sensitive, including your sixth sense, and these levels of inner senses and instinct work harder to fill in the missing pieces.

Back to the tv shows.

Most of the time when one of these shows is recording on the DVR, I will have the volume muted and may be off in a daze thinking about something. But occasionally I have found myself watching the show muted only to watch it later with the sound and find that my perceptions and ideas were very close regarding what I believed to be happening in the show and what did actually happen.

Take any show that you watch with regularity, where you know the characters and their personalities and body language then apply this to new characters. Turn the sound off and watch the body language carefully. (You will pick up words anyway if you can read lips). See if you can work out what is going on based on what you can see only.

A bigger challenge lies in just how real it is…try this with things like the news or the weather channel shows, history and documentaries, shows where you don’t know the ‘history’ of the people involved…it’s all fair game in the quest to know why we behave the way we do.

Now watch it again with the volume. How close did you come? How close were your perceptions to what happened in the script and plot of the show?

You will get better at perceiving human psychology and behavior the more you practice this. This then makes you more empathic and sensitive to the people and situations around you all the time. Really look and listen to what is going on in your world. Use all of your senses and open your awareness to the psychology and behavior of others.

You will discover we really are not all that different from one another.

“If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.” ~ William Blake