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It’s a wondrous thing to arise in the Blue Ridge Mountains, have a grand cup of fine coffee from the Rappahannock roasters, and sit out on the deck and watch nature put on its never ending show. The simple blessings are indeed the best.
But then to open the Rappahannock News and read accusations that I have been spreading “myths” about our county seat. Oh, no! What a way to ruin a lovely country morning.
It seems that Caroline Anstey, the chair of the town of Washington Planning Commission, has an odd definition for the word “myth.” She apparently thinks it means “bad information” or possibly even “falsehoods.”
Well, I have an interest in mythology and I really got into the late Joseph Campbell’s writings and lectures. To Campbell, myths were the ancient key to the truth of life. He said things like:
“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”
“If you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be.”
“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.”
His best known book is “The Power of Myth,” which is also the title of the excellent television series he did with Bill Moyers.
Having a different opinion from the chair of the town planning commission does not rely on falsehoods, or exaggerations, or prevarication or the misuse of the word “myth.”
My entire point was that this major project in our county seat bypassed the more careful input of our county government, our county planning commission, and our county board of supervisors. Which is, as they say down South, “a true fact.”
I did not say that the town was not doing what towns should do. I was saying the whole deal would have been more thoroughly “vetted” by the county. And Ms. Anstey has said nothing to dissuade me from that opinion. And that is not the least bit “mythical.”
“Follow your bliss,” Ms. Anstey. I wish I had time to tell you how wonderful and full of family life the town of Washington was when I first visited back around 1950. And how much I have learned of the town and the county over the years.
There is an old piece of country wisdom that I have always wished to master: “Don’t assume anything.”