Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Borderlands

Obsession with Medieval Saints and the Names of God is probably not the stuff of pulp. Yet how better to explore the nature of a borderland where Nation, Race, Ethnicity, Religion and Power meet. It's always a visceral moment to say "This is Home," discover the emotion of Home, sometimes called a Sense of Place, embrace it warmly. Then when Home is impinged upon, it hurts. In one way it's an understanding of property, mine. In another way it's an understanding of community, us. Songs are written about it, usually sappy songs until communities clash, then some other God takes over. In your writer of pulp's imagination this area has a name, it's called Offa's Dyke, a ditch that runs the distance between the Welsh Clans, their princes, their saints, and the Kings and clans of Mercia, newcomers to the Island, immigrants if you'd prefer, non-Christians of the sort that worshiped Thuner, Tiw, Wade and Wayland. Wayland was the metal guy. Tiw was all about war. Wade was the sea, which is rather nice. Thuner, thunder.

I will hold that Saint Chad was from that part of the Christian Church that survived amongst the Britons following the departure of the Roman Legions. It was a church that had learned new lessons. With the Legions gone, Saxon, Angle or Mercian, and Jute clans, who first arrived on the Island as mercenaries, then as settlers, soon dominated the more fertile central areas of the Island and characteristically they wanted more. Saint Chad, one of whose brother's also became a Medieval Saint, was the evangelist who finally managed to peacefully convince the Mercian Clans to enter what I suppose would have been considered the cutting edge of the Seventh Century and adopt the multi-tasking God of Christianity as their overall Religion. Now the thing is this, the Chroniclers of this period in history, Bede in particular, had a big thing for The Roman Church head-quartered in far away Europe and led by the Popes. They knew where their butter was spread. So naturally Chad was considered of the Unified Roman Church, the fact that he'd spent time with the brothers of Ireland and Wales was in my view glossed over in the interest of simple narrative. Yes indeed, it's a lesson to all of us.

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