Maynard James Keenan: Villagers


First, a story of purpose. They say it takes a village to raise a child. In some cases, it's simply an extended family. In the case of my friend, it was her great aunt. Mom and Dad had to work to support their large family, so it was the aunt who held down the daily responsibilities of effectively raising several strong-willed children, one of whom went on to graduate from West Point. When I met the aunt, the children were long grown and graduated, and she had slipped into a form of dementia. It was almost impossible to communicate with her, although she was spry enough to slip into my room undetected to swipe my socks. It wasn't until the children had children of their own that something changed. Almost overnight she was her old self again. The dementia had all but vanished and she was back to raising the grandchildren as if she had dreamt the interim. It appeared to me that purpose had provided a reason for her to return.
I think a similar formula can be applied to the self-destructive behavior perpetrated by our wayward citizens. For most of us growing up in the past several decades, there seems to be a lack of villages responsible for the raising of our youth. We see Mom or Dad going to this thing they refer to as "work." We're not certain what work they do. All we know is that they hate it. And this is what we have to look forward to. So given these bleak circumstances, why wouldn't one check out? Of course, meth is a problem these days; With no past by which to be inspired, and no future toward which to drive, we simply self-medicate and mark time.

As I've visited unique grape-growing regions around the world, I've witnessed a spider web of interconnected community support and sustainable small family businesses. They all seem to have as their foundation a craft perfected over generations. There's the family raising goats and producing cheese, the wheat farmer providing flour to the local mill that in turn provides flour to the chefs, who then make pastas and breads for the local farmers markets, tasting rooms, and local restaurants. There's the backyard family garden that grows herbs for pesto, fruit for preserves. They all seem to have a healthy lifestyle and a healthy sense of where they're going. They also seem to have their senses tuned to the subtle changes all around us and are able to adjust to the climatic chaos. They seem to know how small they are compared with Mother Nature, but are aware of her tricks and work together to weather her storms. Their connection and commitment to community and quality of life and their sense of direction based on where they've come from seems to instill a solid sense of self, hope, and purpose.
If that's not a firm start for keeping the dreaded "C word" at bay, then I don't know what is.

Chicken Little out.

P.S. Just a few of the lifesaving items our brothers and sisters on the East Coast are in dire need of: flashlights, batteries, warm blankets, warm socks. If you have family on the East Coast who can hand-deliver these items to the right locations, it would be much appreciated. Postal services are still operating in most of these areas. Thank you.


Follow Maynard James Keenan on Twitter: @caduceuscellars, @mjkeenan, @puscifer. Read more of Maynard James Keenan's columns at Up on the Sun.

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43 comments
figuringitout
figuringitout

wine makes everyone hopeful that they will have the opportunity to meet you in the tasting room.. therefore they continue to wait.. and drink.. and hope.. hee hee..

xBuffix
xBuffix

Inspiration is key to success. Still waiting to come out of my dream state.

captainamerica4u
captainamerica4u

I don't know why your writing for this crappy magazine :)

alyxkerr
alyxkerr

I'd like to tell you that raw 0% THC dietary Cannabis prevents and cures Cancer, Epileptic seizures, brain damage from Alcohol and Amphetamines, and Obesity. www.hempcurescancer.blogspot.com

MotherRosetta
MotherRosetta

Once again a very good point of view. However, it is unfortunate that expecting a large group of people, such as the United States, to work together as a whole will never happen. The "Me Generation" have been taught to become offended at anything they may even slightly dislike. They have been taught to be disrespectful to everyone regardless of the person's age or sex. Instead of being taught to be thankful they have been taught greed. Good deeds are so rare they make the news when once they were a given. It is difficult to have a sense of belonging when you're being taught the importance of your own individual rights.

 

Looking forward to your next blog and hoping you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Leentoon
Leentoon

@puscifer Like most grads, I'm expected to find a job. It's painful to join that world when I see my parent's unhappiness. Fav post so far.

Ronnie_Dobbs
Ronnie_Dobbs

Hey Blood Eagle.  

Love the wine, love stopping off in Jerome for some community when visiting my parents in Mesa, and love that your contributing to the local rag.  Nut when can I expect some new music?

-Some Canadian

NOTaHippie
NOTaHippie

The interconnected fiber of Belonging........to a community, a family, an organization is what humans are all about. Belonging gives every one purpose. You don't have to grow grapes or live on a farm to live a life full of meaning and interconnection to those around you. That example is illustrative however don't let the example limit where you can create your own sense of community in the life you live today. I understand the thrust is all about sustainability. By not living an isolated uninspired life, you will create sustainability through your relationships. It's a wonderful bonus to 'checking in' and Belonging to something that nurtures you and gives you the opportunity to contribute.

groovenus
groovenus

i like considering the difference between attention and recognition.

 

danehodgson
danehodgson

One of your better articles as of late. That's my bumbling attempt at paying a compliment. I'll look forward to next week's piece. Thanks.

creativecustomsweb
creativecustomsweb

"With no past by which to be inspired, and no future toward which to drive, we simply self-medicate and mark time."

 

The statement contains the solution.

dickmerkin
dickmerkin

Our post office is under water till February but the Salvation  Army on rt 37 in Toms River, NJ can use all the warm socks & canned green beans we can get  & small 1oz toothpaste tubes ..   " We've Never seen The Ocean , not like this one "  !   

BloodEagle
BloodEagle

there is nothing that gets on my tits more than rich people asking poor people to donate to charity.

xBuffix
xBuffix

@captainamerica4u ...seriously? Read this again...used the rest of the mag to wipe your ass or whatever, but this story closely relates to your statement here.

ryanpd32
ryanpd32

@MotherRosetta This is what OLD generations always say about the newer ones. For example the hippie movement and how they were called Satan worshipers and lazy and crazy. With a pessimistic outlook towards us you only reflect negativity on yourself. Maynards giving hope and that sense of belonging.

BloodEagle
BloodEagle

 @Ronnie_Dobbs you're not the first person to think i'm maynard, for some reason. presumably, it's because i come across as a quite a spiteful person who revels in treating people like idiots.

BloodEagle
BloodEagle

 @dickmerkin everyone also send toothpaste to Haiti. their teeth are nowhere near clean enough.

pOOpyTHEclowN
pOOpyTHEclowN

@BloodEagle ,Im sure he donates plenty.Obviously you don't live on the east coast .If you have 4 batteries donate 2,you cheap bastard.Have a good holiday.

dickmerkin
dickmerkin

 @BloodEagle  asking a large dedicated fan base to help us  ( yes I was born & raised in Seaside Park NJ !! )   is a huge gesture from a guy who self funds his own indie music & tour !   We need ALL the help we can get .  MJK's music & insights keep us going and is much appreciated.     like Oprah, The D'Marco Brothers,  The Scissor Sisters , thevinnys  ;)     Cheers   Dick Merkin ;)

 

vhrilster
vhrilster

@BloodEagle I think the point is that we're all supposed to work together.

captainamerica4u
captainamerica4u

@xBuffix That's is such an adorable comment . Thanks sweet heart . I can afford toilet paper

MotherRosetta
MotherRosetta

@ryanpd32 I would not say that I have a pessimistic outlook on life but more of a realistic one. All you have to do is pay attention to the world around you and if you need an example then take a look at the Obama Administration. By the way, aren't you a bit behind on this particular thread? It's almost 2 years old.

BloodEagle
BloodEagle

 @pOOpyTHEclowN  @BloodEagle no i won't. people need to stop thinking in terms of 'entitlement'. the east coast needs to get of its arse and get a fucking job. seriously sick of this financial crisis.

BloodEagle
BloodEagle

 @puddy6 every 200 dollar bottle of wine maynard drinks = 10 more dead african babies. the man is an animal.

ryanpd32
ryanpd32

@MotherRosetta I said you have a pessimistic outlook on us, The "Me Generation" as you put it. And yes, lots of young people voted for Obama. We bought his hope and change BS just like your baby boomer generation voted for eight years of GW Bush. Don't blame us for everything wrong in the world. This conversation has been going on for generations and you are being naaive if you think this is all on us. I'm not saying were perfect, but just like in the article, "It takes a village" we need you guys on board with us working together. Not calling us out and blaming us and pointing your fingers.

Sydneysider
Sydneysider

@BloodEagle is here for every article and I SO look forward to seeing what an anonymous, bitter, aimless, anti-American has to say about MJK's articles. NOT.

BloodEagle
BloodEagle

 @Futant  @pOOpyTHEclowN don't be sad. i'm a medium sized man. and i wouldn't get into a debate with anyone about what is 'right' and 'wrong': very murky waters. and you won't have anyone sending you batteries for your ipad.

Futant
Futant

 @pOOpyTHEclowN  Don't even waste the energy required to get angry. @BloodEagle is a troll.Plain & simple. If you are just trying to "have a laugh" there are a dozen brilliant comedians I could recommend or maybe a million other CONSTRUCTIVE  things to do other than to try & get a rise out of another person, especially in a time of crisis. It's sad. Like a small child trying to get negative attention because no1 is paying attention to them. At least most children know the difference between right & wrong.

pOOpyTHEclowN
pOOpyTHEclowN

@BloodEagle . I bet If your trailer , that you live In ,was destroyed , people from the east coast would help .If you dont like the fact that your poor then get out of your dirty sweat pants put down your smelly cat and get a job.or a better job.Have a good holiday.Some people wont.

Futant
Futant

 @BloodEagle of course. maybe it's cuz the "queers" or the "lazy brown" people?? Why are you here other than to troll & try and piss people off? Sad pathetic angry existence. Pretty much the antithesis of every thing that MJK tried to convey in this article or anything else he's written. I'm not gonna waste my time but neither should you. Either carry on with yer batshit negativity nonsense or become a decent human being, either way do it some where else with fellow like (narrow) minded jerk offs.

Futant
Futant

 @BloodEagle Financial crisis?? WTF are you talking about? A large portion of our country was just wiped out by a huge natural disaster. It has nothing to do with "entitlements" or "lazy poor" people. Maybe read the article instead of just trolling , POS. 

pOOpyTHEclowN
pOOpyTHEclowN

@bloodeagl, stop being poor then.Then things wont bother your TiTs.

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