through: Clearly a reflection on Dante's, Midway
through our life's
journey... "The lines from Dante's Inferno quoted above
offer an image for the state of mind that comes over persons at midlife
as they enter
a terrain that seems dark, unmarked, and lonely....Midlife befalls us;
we don't ask for it." M Stein, In MidLife. Dallas, TX., 1983.
Gospels:E.H. Pagels, The Gnostic Gospels. New
York, 1979. "Pagels made it clear that early Christianity was far more complicated
than anyone had ever imagined. A wildly diverse compendium of poems, chants,
myths, gospels, pagan documents, and spiritual instructions, the (Nag Hammadi
texts) are distinct evidence of fierce theological debate and of an alternative
tradition within early
Christianity..." D. Reminck, "The Devil Problem." The New Yorker.
snake/serpent: "The distinction between
the words 'snake' and 'serpent' is a dim one in popular parlance, but
involves more than a linguistic subtlety. The former is the native
English word and far more commonly used; the latter is considered alien
and...opens up vast metaphorical possibilities." B.
Mundkur, The Cult of the Serpent. Albany, NY., 1983.
They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing,
not hurt them; they shall lay hand on the sick, and they shall recover. (Mark
XVI:18). "These words, spoken by Jesus after the Resurrection and immediately
before the Ascension, were a command, (G.W.) Hensley felt, which he was bound
to obey and to test out. The more he thought about it, the more he felt he must
put his faith in the test. So he climbed White Oak Mountain (Tennessee), which
rims Grasshopper Valley on the east, after some hunting found a large rattlesnake
in a rocky gap. A few days later he began his evangelical work: in a religious
meeting at Dale Creek he cited (the Bible text) and thrust the rattlesnake at
the people for them to take up and thereby prove their
faith." W. La Barre, The Peyote Cult. New York, 1969.
small brow: Strabo, speaking of the region
of Denizli, Turkey, where, next to the Temple of Apollo, there was
a gap in the earth believed to have been an entrance to Hades. H.L.
Jones, The Geography of Strabo.
New York, 1929.
and wooden:"The motif is the journey
of the poet who must find his way out of the dark wood. The motivation
is the need to recover. Recover from what? What is the meaning of
the dark wood and what has caused Dante's fear? No precise answer
is ever given to these questions. Today, some 680 years after the
date of the poem's action, we would call the poet's condition that
of alienation." W. Fowlie, A Reading of Dante's Inferno. Chicago.
samsara: "The world of flux, change
and ceaseless becoming in which we live. Daily life. In (Buddhism),
the field of deliverance from its bondage and limitation; there is
none other. The purpose of the Noble Eightfold Path is to enable one
to step off the Wheel, into the state of Nirvana. But in the (Mahayana)
School it is taught that no such escape is truly possible, for Sams~ra
Nirv~na are two aspects of one Reality..." C. Humphreys, Zen--A Way of
New York, 1965.
A.B. Cook, Zeus: A Study in Ancient Religion. New York, 1964.
Paul: Born in Bethlehem, PA., Paul
Harryn is a
painter, musician, and performance artist.
reindeer: "Reindeer are very rare
in Cantabrian art, the only...indisputable examples (aside from Alterri,
near Aya in Guipuzcoa) being those from Monedas, near Santander,
and Tito Bustillo in Asturias, both of which on stylistic grounds
are considered to be late in the Cantabrian sequence." A. Sieveking, The
Cave Artists. London, 1979.