Thursday, August 8, 2019

Jesery Pine Barrens

Pine Barren Aquifer

Not to get away from the feeling that this is all about water, for water has a memory, it is called cedar water with the properties of tea and the color, literally from the cedar in it, but it is as much pine.  Red maple and black gum trees are often found in the canopy along with Atlantic white cedar which grows on the hummocks and in the depressions surrounding.  The pooling brown hue of the water, cedar as much as from the pine, and the naturally occurring iron in the soil, plus the tannic acids from the trees, make the wetlands acidic from their submergence in the Atlantic Coastal Plains, once under the Atlantic Ocean. These sandy soils of potable water the color of tea brew up storms on the lakes in the in a short space and turn to large waves. I would go out in a canoe in the beginning of these to test the elements, get back just before the brunt lightning and lunger large sheets of sleeting rain, people huddled under awnings in adoration of light in a summer storm. Half a million acres bigger than Rhode Island, pygmy forests, 17.7 trillion gallons of the cleanest and most abundant source of water in the world,  the Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer, has enough water to cover all of New Jersey 10 feet deep, and equal to nearly half the water consumed each year in the U.S. The Cohansey Formation of sand above, the Kirkwood silt and clay beneath form a water-confining layer below the aquifer that connects the top water-bearing sands with surface water at 360 feet in active wells, the largest seaboard open space between Maine and Florida of sandy, acidic, and nutrient-poor soils. In the late 1800s there was a plan to build reservoirs in South Jersey and sell water to Philadelphia.  Fortunately, the New Jersey State Legislature failed to pass that legislation and prohibited the exportation of water outside state boundaries.  Today this area is known as Wharton State Forest.

Metheglin Mead. Water and Herbs

Atlantic White Cedar/Cypress
Cold iron and Sulphur springs,  sailboat regattas on mirror lake,  1920 – James B. Reilly erected a new dam on Mirror Lake. Suffering from tuberculosis (?)  – Dr. Newcomb opened the first licensed sanatorium in New Jersey in 1913. Europeans could not cultivate their familiars there, their corn, they were anyway afraid of  the carnivorous plants and orchids, the pitch pines in sugar sand, like Hansel and Gretel should have been, not to speak of fleeing the U.N. label, International Biosphere Reserve. No heavy or extractive mining cheered them on from there. There was nothing to mine except the natural reservoir of bacterially sterile, chemically pure H2o the U.S. Geological Survey compared to “uncontaminated rain-water or melted glacial ice.” Eugenists today contaminate the way the waters and  land affected charcoalers,  paper millers, sawmillers, and gristmills. A case study of the old town  Kallikaks, a pseudonym, was presented as a model for AI by Craig Venter who seeks to preserve himself in sphagnum moss like a CA bog man. Scholars today understand from the genetic inferiority of dwarf pine that the facts  were misrepresented. Photographs were altered to make them appear more backward than they really are.The trees themselves were good for siding, paneling, boat building and shingles and when they fell were good for turtles on logs. The Indians used them as a laxative without a doubt. Wharton also owned the Nickel Mines and its subsequent massacre. With all this putative glory why did the NJ legislate not allow the water to leave the state? That's another conundrum for glory. The wonders of the healing spring water were tisane among the sassafras. This is what makes the body the very advent of consciousness (Levinas. Existence, 69).

 I say I inherited this from my grandfather, but with the gift of the external social world a poet has another path. As Levinas we must all be weaned from the internal world of our fixation: Commenting on Psalm 139 and Jonah: "In other words man's humanity would be the end of interiority, the end of the subject. Everything is open. I am everywhere looked through, touched by the hand" (Nine, 167).

The Hogwallow Hearts of Wharton Water Perps

 The Wharton Bottle Water Company wanted to bottle up a hundred thousand acres of this cedar water to sell to Philadelphia. Shipped beneath the Delaware from a  reservoir piped to Camden, these putative reservoirs failed from some pine ball politicat. Wharton then turned his water farm into a preserve,  baptized himself a conservationist, turned loss to profit, Noblesse oblige, and named business schools and forests after him. Pigge-hog, wilt thou be mine! No lie.

The hogwallow hearts of the Wharton water perps are a higher form of the fugitive pine robbers only surpassed by the azaleas that Armstrong and Aldrin planted on the moon, near the laurel, holly, indigo and the cherry, that so inspired later hunter gatherers to extract the moon waters from their natural resource. Also somewhat acidic, by his own reckoning Neil Armstrong  learned the moon an aquifer from the branches taken from moon bogs. He took a thermos to the moon to drink in those lunar ceremonies common to the studio of that day and brought it back filled with moon water. This was drunk at conclaves the White House convened also on the seventh level of the Vatican. One dropper or droplet was enough. Much of this was fabled at all costs as apocryphal on the news where they said that if a cranberry won't bounce it is a bad cranberry.   

Esau made a comeback among those gents in this penchant in turning white people red. The cedar water dyed the skin  so you could see the cilia hairs on the skin, from which repute the iron oxide film made bog iron or metheglin for pineys, when they were not busy, and water mead and herbs among blue berries, cranberries, holly, laurel, wild indigo, cherry ilex and huckleberries, all putative moon crops. These were further used to attract lapsed and lost Quakers from Philadelphia in that catch basin in reverse Amish pietists, by contrast,  go all the way to Tampa to escape. Sea captains stored cedar water in bulk on their voyages because it would stay sweet and clean on ship for a long time, as Armstrong learned on the moon. Rain runs through the pine needles and leaches tannic acid out and takes iron out of the sand producing rust blue oil slicks on the water among the orchids. Cedar water marketed for suburban escape and vacation destination boasted hopes of a therapeutic cure.

 Let us say of the cedar water of the acid pine barrens that whenever two people look into each other's faces the eyes of others are present. There is a trace of a third person present in every face we encounter.  Let us therefore compare these waters with the limestone alkaline water of the Edwards Plateau, or the ecstasy of light of the southwestern deserts. We exist for each other as the start of breath that begins speech in our throats and must know that we are either in the process of protecting the world or not.  The power to open or close thousands of myriads of forces and worlds makes us responsible for its maintenance. This is the intimate trace of consciousness we wake in the public nature of our words and of language itself, turning every meeting between one person and another into a meeting that must include the whole of humanity, living and dead.  It goes without saying that not one detail from any moment is lost of our deeds, words and thoughts. Each one goes back to its root to carry on in the height, in the worlds and among the pure superior lights (160). Unknowing, beyond the said, I am responsible with my grandfather for the event. What powers this concludes is the inalterable conviction that what I am worth the other is worth, which recreation evidences, none better, in the substitution of Messiah for my death, therefore life. It is not conviction but revelation that I am original and unique, hence the other is myself. He gave to man dominion of his hands

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

A Red Portfolio

The Red Portfolio of Anna Elizabeth Reiff Young

Old dogs can tell you by the time they're gone that the body is imperfect. My neighbor Hank, a curmudgeon of the Indian bureau took care so when his mind wanted to travel he sent his body a slalom bounce from car to post to house, landing akimbo across the street.

But my dog is worse, who can’t see, hear, can barely walk, but he eats. Put him down, put the body under, they say. But his mind is alive as ever. The Dutch torturers in the Martyr’s Book thought they could kill the Anabaptist body and then that the mind would die. But you can’t kill the mind by ordinary means, it lives, communicates its passions when the body is gone. In memory of neighbor Hank and his desert tortoises, the youths who now own his house stand in the street and stare at cars going 30. Right now they are mowing the lawn of a deserted house.

Nothing is lost, even the unmade will out. Do you want to explain it as a collective Orange County, where cousin is a watercolorist, or in the eternal library all lost works of merit and all works done by people of merit exist? Eternal, does that bother? Want to get on Google and find it? Not even in the extinct Alexandrian Library, but the last work of Traherene, Poems of Felicity, found in the British Museum manuscripts 200 years after his death, published in 1910, Tolkien’s essay on Beowulf (1936) published in 2003 in its unrevised forms and versions of 400 pages prove reputations waiting to be made or lost in the afterlife. Consider if one copy of Jerusalem had been lost.

Families have made comebacks too when reduced to one. Howard was the only son of the only son, keep that up long and it leads to extinction. But what about those who never were, but supposed to be, chosen to be aborted, fifty million lost coins? Promises. The world where the lion lies down with the lamb has these fetuses. Childless Abraham stands on the sand. The difference between the works of man and the works of God? The first is possible the second is certain, after the fact. After they are dead they live. But if they are works of nature they can be done by nature. If a man made it a man can fix it. Fraktur, diaries, records, letters? That old oak Browns Mills table? Once lost they can be found. But if they cease to exist? The torn up art? Outworn love? The resurrection of the body leads to the heavenly. Do you mean the Father has kept all those letters? Yes. That’s why they call it redemption. It brings back the lost. Anabaptists believe it. In rejecting the body, the book, the oeuvre, they actually help it along, like living in sin that grace may abound. Such a lot of questions just to understand that nothing is lost.
Say it together now, nothing is lost. I know my redeemer lives. After the restoration when the mammoth lies down under the terebinth you will wish you had known' it would have helped. What does Isaiah say, Lord open his eyes that he may see, and again, the earth will give birth to her dead. Nothing is lost. And David, from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. Saved to the uttermost. He will not see decay. Regrets are lost. No species, not one baby, no attempt to embody form that all creation groans toward.

So as the lost are restored to a magnitude above expectation get over the notion of physical existence as a curse. It has been turned to a blessing.

Revelation is the pretext to this reconciliation among ourselves, turning offense to blessing. You can explain this process to the natural mind endlessly. The natural mind transfers its assumptions to all it perceives. People transfer all that they assume about anything that conflicts with it and believe it is wrong. The issue is not, do I agree with revelation, but do I like salvation.

Here’s the problem with the Way of Jesus. After you’ve made your best case and rehearsed it again and again, brooded over it, cursed the deed and darkness, gelassenheit. Bless those who curse you, bless and curse not. Pray for them that persecute you. That probably does not mean break their teeth. It probably means unloose love and peace on them, blessing.

Afterlife isn’t necessarily life eternal if it comprises your attorney’s behests set in motion before, but carried out now, even if some are gratuitous, like a black windowed limo taking 6 people across town for a half hour to a grave and then bringing them back to the memorial and lunch. Anything after death is after life, so the dead say. Their factotums want to know what size black limo, their bereaved want to know how big a basket of flowers? Since the coffin is closed it makes you wonder who after all is checking these things. Sure the attorney needs the SS #, but he is only liquidating the estate not the family. Attorneys don’t judge so the fact you’re not going to be there is not well understood.

My dead bodies shall live. You will not suffer your holy one to see corruption. She calls me in the AM, 6 April 2005 four days after death to tell me she has a “Washington Jefferson,” 1766, one of twenty. Back in her house, she looks a younger, pulls the b/w print from its envelop, the tissue paper slides off. Do you like the symbolism, says she was never able to get a price on it. Yes it is a dream. And I had another last night. Her skin is fair, she is in her kitchen, about forty years old. My dog is hanging out too, head down, humpbacked, like in his last months, curled head to tail. But there are dreams and there are visions. In the vision I had of him Easter Sunday at communion that dog was running flat out in those tight circles he loved, barking and barking and barking, carousing around the throne of God.


There are some notes on pieces of paper left over from the end of the process of us all. Her house in order to be sold had to be cleaned. There was difficulty with the use and occupancy permits, termites, plumbing waste pipes cracked, the kitchen floor taken up. So the house as a metaphor of the self was renovated, repaired, renewed. She told me that in her dreams she had used neither walker nor cane. Nor in her mind. Of her surviving beyond expectation she says that “they look at me suspiciously.” We know who they are, the functionaries of death, aids, clerks, pastors, friends, relatives.

Her mother Anna’s first language was English at home. Of the Berks Co. bureau, Annie had that from before, it was hers left to her by her grandmother before the turn of 20th century.

One week before she died she was angry because she couldn’t move her right
hand from a TIA. Later paralysis spread to her arm and she had to be fed, but only for less than a week and they she was gone.

Rimbaud’s Attic

Rimbaud was called a saint for struggling with his own savage nature. Up close the savage is heightened in the old survivor. They are not at all what you first thought or lived with all in life. That Rimbaud walked out on the false world of culture and civilization, he denuded his spirit of artificial trappings. That was his notion of Christmas on earth.

There’s a lot of nonsense written about Rimbaud. That he was an angel, fallen or otherwise. That he had a destiny other than his own. Nobody has a destiny until after the fact of making it. Not that he hyped himself for the ages to be greater than he was, lived a grand lie in competition with all the other liars of politics and literature. Let him rest, even if in going he contradicted all that the free thinkers and licensees want, because in his end all he wants is peace with God. What else is there anyway?

In the interim fame, achievement, fortune predestined and is destiny greater than honesty? She doesn’t answer any of this, turns her back on the lesser by default and chooses the greater is her thinking. A better question might be, does it matter at all?

Put fame and fortune in a scale and weigh it against self sacrifice, honesty and the life of the mind. The mind as an end in itself. And add that no one would know of it. There’s your Rimbaud. None of these delights shared with the world. Is it a crime, a shame, a sin, a loss? You have to answer unless you see fame as arbitrary, an obstacle to truth’s realization and beauty. Does it matter at all? Is the thing an end in itself and not the means to some end? Can’t anybody shut Socrates up? Is beauty beauty if it is a means to fame? Vice versa. That could be an implicit life. It doesn’t matter. What matters is truth, honesty, being. It’s not about product development. How are you going to sell that to publishers and audience? Let them get their own. It is a rigorous individuality she holds, living alone at 94, spreading her past and future out upon the dryer to see what else she can do without. In the end it is pure survival.

Daniel restored Nebuchadnezzar’s dream when he remembered it for him which he couldn’t do himself, so this “portfolio,” paper, paint and ink illustrates her best and worst work, herself. Denial and repression are interesting things. Push it down here, doesn’t it come up there? In the hands of the majority truth can be counted. But you can’t annihilate talent, genius, destiny. It will out like an eclipse where the sun still shines on the wheat, and the effects, if they are known, are more terrible. Here on the ground, if a corn of wheat falls, what happens to the gift? It goes down recycled like the envelope she keeps her memoir of her mother in, sent originally to her in 1982 from Bennett Publishing Company with the proof revisions of her sister’s book. We wait to learn not metempsychosis, but the hands held by twelve generations.Will it show in the attorney’s inventory of the estate? No. She and my old dog are still standing, but not side by side yet. Six mourners at the private gravesite. I guess you’re allowed to visit later. Died the same day as the Pope, no other epitaph. Well, one more, buried the same day as the Pope.

Were they able to process her right away or did she have to wait for the crush to recede, after all, it’s not every day the Pope arrives and anyway he died first. These and many other questions we wait to consider when communications are restored. And suddenly there is a rash of deaths. Saul Bellow. Prince Rainier, so good conversation up above.

Today the last Pennsylvania Dutchman in our family, Anna Elizabeth Reiff Young, was buried, 1910-2005.
[Here end 20,000 words to celebrate Andrew’s 20th birthday today, 4 August]

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Two traditions

There are two traditions among the folk, one farcical, profane, humorous, idolatrous, Balaamistic, or Baalistic, celebrated as hexes on barns and hexical signs on barns, and sex magic of abstention and orgy, spiritual virgins and tantric sex, and the other high minded, peaceful, struggling against war, much persecuted, agonists of contradiction of Moses or David or Adam for that, standing against the principalities and powers. These two strains appear in the Pa Dutch the angel and the artist in the Germanic sects that practice such ludicrous lawless perversions of their brother’s faith, mocking it in many forms while both practicing it and denying it. All of it together is entertaining to the minds we have left in the wilderness that remains. So the history of the settlement of Penna by these folk is full of absurdity and sincerity and its understanding will require identifying the names and biographs of these from 1683 to 1760 thereabouts, which can be further delimited to from 1709 to 1760, about 50 years. So here is list of names that will appear in these findings, but it is obviously incomplete, hence imagine volumes 2 and 3 and one with different selections and names. So be it.

There is a rabbinical side to their religion and a cabbalistic, or put another way an attempt at true understanding of the scriptures and a perversion of them into Baal work so that on any given day we might have pages open from Second Temple understandings of Psalm 8 to Ovid’s metamorphoses, the slender archives of old Mennonites of the Skippack and Franconia Conferences of the 18th cent to the electronic text corpus of Inanna and Enki and multiplicity of German sects, such as Moravians, Mennonites and Dunkards,

When I first realized and discovered the existence of this community and its families and wanted to reconstruct it by showing the relations in as great detail as possible the identity of names places and biographies followed.
Michael Ziegler
Hans Reiff
Peter Miller  his intervention with Geo Wash for  Michael Widman
Conrad Beissel
Gottlieb Mitteberger
Matthius Baumann, Oley
Philip Kulhwein
Conrad Reiff
John Philip Boehm
Jacob Reiff
Rev. George Michael Weiss (1697-1762) The titular head of a colony that arrived en masse in 1727 whose real powers were the Hillegasses, who immediately on landing deposed John Philip Boehm from his pastorates bcause he was “unliscensd”, but whose desire for advancement made him  embark in 1730 on  a fundraising tour to Holland etc on a year and half trip,  chaperoned by Jacob Reiff, then unattached, with a history of public ventures that already by then made him universally respected. This trip compromised both. Weiss abandoned the effort, returned to PA but refused to carry the funds with him and disappeared to New York, not to return for many years. He was author of the second publication in the colony in 1729, Der In der Americanischen Wildnusz (Bradford) on the New born (Tr in see Penn Germania I, 338-361)and of a work, both lost and Account of the Indians (1743) on the indians, both first of their kind, an example of the intellectual acumen common among many of these immigrants.
Frederick Hillegas, Skippack
Peter and Michael Hillegas, Phila
Dr. Jacob Diemer
 Rev. Michael Schlatter
New providence, Trappe
Henry S. Dotterer, James Heckler, Alderfer-librarian,
Methacton,  Strassburger (Ralph Beaver Strassburger, The Strassburger Family,
John Joseph Stoudt
Christopher Saur (Sower, Sauer) 1693-1758 In 1738 Sauer began to publish almanacs, calendars, books and newspapers in 1739 using a type face that his German readers could more easily read. In 1743, Sauer published the first German-language Bible to be printed in North America (Trinity Lutheran Church now stands on the site of Christopher Sower's printing establishment. 5300 Germantown Avenue).

German American origins in PA are least subject to  internet search. Much is still in German, or not digitally available. Any search of a figure like Peter Miller or Christopher Saur omits more than it reveals. These fingernail sketches are meant to hit the high spots of the figures actions.

Official depositories of documents were almost unknown among the Mennonites of America until the first half of the 20th century. The descendants of  Mennonite  immigrants 1683-1873 from Switzerland, South Germany, and France kept few if any records in their aftermath. Even membership lists could be considered evidence of pride. Written minutes of conference meetings were not kept until about 1905. Few records or  correspondence letters before 1870 were preserved. One early exception is the Alms books of the Skippack (1738- ) congregation  of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. The important records of the first Mennonite congregation in North America,  the Germantown congregation (1708 ff.),  still extant in 1835, have since disappeared.
Archives. Harold Bender

It is extraordinary that a family not Mennonite should be mentioned in its earliest documents of 1700-1750  as is the case of Hans George Reiff (1659-1726) and his wife Anna, daughter of a Dutch Church minion. First they were associated by proximity with Mennonites. Reiff’s land bordered his Mennonite cousin, Hans Reiff, from Wadenzwil,  Most Mennonite Reiffs came from this canton outside Zurich, but Hans George was German Reformed in faith. His land is used as a legal boundary to establish Michael Ziegler’s property in 1717, which proximity but more his good character are the likely cause that Mennonite Pastor Ziegler asked Hans George to sign as a witness of the Mennonite Trust of 1725, where his name appears.

The name of his wife Anna appears on the first page of the Skippack Alms Book in 1738.  Few or no membership lists, letters or minutes of meetings were kept by Mennonites before 1870, so the Skippack Alms Book is among the first of such.  Anna’s (1662-1753) name appears in 1738 for a gift of ten shillings, which it seems likely to have been given for a new building and cemetery for the Salford Mennonite congregation which had become separate from the Skippack Church by then. A deed of trust was issued to trustees of the Salford and Franconia congregations 25 Jan 1738 (Wenger, 16 and James Y. Heckler in the History of Lower Salford Township (1888) p 105. Heckler says that the deed given by Henry Ruth for ten acres of land was made by lease and release, October the 4th and 5th 1738 for a meetinghouse and also to be used as “a burial place for the burying of all such persons they shall allow.” Anna Marie Reiff’s gift was prophetic since she was herself interred in that cemetery in 1753.

This funeral has become a magnet for several different atrocities and in different ways, for it was the most widely celebrated event, involving a funeral oration and extensive notes by the Lutheran pastor Henry Muhlenberg, a profane epicede by the unhappy organist of Muhlenbergs’ church, Gottlieb Mittelberger, who wrote afterward of the proceedings in his disgruntled Journey to Pennsylvania, and of Mennonite historian John Ruth’s use of it as a pretext of the modern reconciliation of Lutheran and Mennonite.

Henry Muhlenberg arrived in New Providence or Trappe in 1742, about 8 miles in his reckoning from Salford. His belief in the all sufficiency of faith enabled other positive aspects of his character, which were many. He was able both to befriend beliefs while at the same time discriminate his own, hence he preached in churches among the English and the Germans, Baptists, Mennonites, Reformed. Muhlenberg’s Journals, extant and translated, kept assiduously, describe many of difficulties he encounters in his relations with people and other faiths in that lawless environ.

 The 350 pages of these Journals, with the Correspondence from Jan 1742 when he begins to Jan 1753 when he writes of this funeral are first primary sources of those years. Sometimes what they omit is as important as what they develop. For instance he at no time mentions the organist who worked at his Augustus Lutheran Church in Trappe for 3 years, Gottlieb Mittelberger, the same who published after returning to Europe the Journey to Pennsylvania (1756) who seems to describe the details of this funeral. In those years Muhlenberg gives much account of Zinzendorf’s Herrhutters,  Baumann’s Newborns, Mennonites, Baptists, Lawless and not. He writes with integrity and authenticity of himself and others who of course being a pastor he sees often in extremity.
In the rough decade before this funeral of which we speak he had conducted a great many  Since he singlehandedly built the Lutheran presence in that area
Music in New Jersey, 1655-1860: A Study of Musical Activity and Musicians in ...
By Charles H. Kaufman, 32 takes mittelbeger at face value and believes he delivered organs when he did not , but is puzzled that Muhlenberg never mentions him at all! It is likely he is omitted out of courtesy since he is such a bore.

This family was known and respected by their Mennonite neighbors even while they were embroiled in difficulties with the religionists of the German Reformed church whose first  building was on their land and whose elders sent the Reiff son, Jacob, to Holland on a fund raising tour along with their pastor Weiss. this voyage of a year and a half ended badly when Weiss abandoned the mission and refused to take the collected funds with him on his return. As soon as he returned to Philadelphia he moved to New York.

their sons and daughter’s names occur variously in lawsuits, as with Jacob (1698-1782) , a disputed scion of the German Reformed Reiff Church, first such in that area, of 1732 and 33, and Conrad (1696-1777) of the Newborn of Oley in Mittelberger’s Journey to Pennsylvania, who in the end returns to a faith more less in the Moravian fashion, but also both mother, sons and daughter appear in Muhlenberg’s episode of Anna’s funeral and burial in the Mennonite cemetery at Salford (1753) which funeral is also celebrated by Mittleberger’s Journey (1756) for its own sake and because he was employed by Pastor Muhlenberg as organist at that time, and this is not all for the first German Reformed church