“water of many turns”

Posted on October 9, 2010 by


Just the other day, I made reference to the Lenape/Delaware word “Conococheague, which means “water of many turns.” Funny, but that pretty much summarizes the way I write this blog… not to mention the fluid nature of many blogs. The content can turn, twist, and completely shift, without warning. It’s more a reflection of what strikes me… when it strikes me, and I find it more natural to write this way than dwell for so long on simply on one topic… and usually, I’ll find myself getting back to the original topic presented (which is also part of the reason why I love the power of hyperlinks… if connected with care and intent of purpose).

There are a few spots in the past few days where I’ve deviated from a specified path… my twists and turns. I knew that I wanted to do something different for October. Not only do I love the season for its natural qualities, I enjoy the spirit of the Halloween season. At the same time, however, I wanted to share some stories that I have become familiar with over the years, while pointing out that I find it odd how stories of the Civil War and Confederate veterans in the Valley have somehow been completely separated from tales of ghosts, witches, and the generally strange in the Valley. I seem to recall a time when one could tap a storyteller for one or the other, and they could tell stories of both in the same setting… and perhaps even a story about the ghost of a Confederate (sorry, but I can’t recall that one as clearly as the rest… wish I could…). Has this gradual sifting-out been performed by design, and if so, to what purpose? Hmmm, well… not something I want to go into at great length at this time.

Anyway, I had set a course for the reader (actually, beginning with my first post of September 25)… a defined path upon which you thought you might be traveling for a finite time. I’ll retain the idea of the finite (October), but I’m going to add a few additional bends and twists. For starters, look for some poetry from one of my favorite female poets from the mid-19th century. She was once a local gal… lived in Luray in the years leading-up to the Civil War. I assure you, the pieces that I have selected from her works are in the spirit of the season. Though I set the stage as if it were to be filled with more tales of ghosts and witches (and yes, those stories are coming as well), her poetry is a reflection of the manner in which people of the time, in this area, reflected on death. Or, well… or is it simply the manner that she reflected on death? At times, seemingly Poe-like. You be the judge… but if you make judgments, please share examples of how others at that time reflected on death, in other geographic regions of the South… or the North.

Her bio sketch is coming up in a couple of days… followed by a poem, here and there…