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Blog 185 Greenwood to Starkville

11th April



It must have rained hard overnight because the car park is a lake and the fields small seas with copses of trees as islands. The storm has passed, I was only in it for a day. I wanted to feel the rain down to my skin. It’s the tail end of the wet weather for this week but if I am to be led by the wind and the rain I need to know where it is. I’m very happy in a motel room. It’s my own world. I close the door and I am locked in with memories just created and thoughts about to form, maybe. ADD


The business loop to Winona was pretty. Everything was cleaned by the rain, pressure washed by the power of the storm. Half timbered houses, an old gas station next to the church across the way from the old railway station stock, a dirty unloved passenger carriage. As a small town Winona had potential. It needs to be purchased and repurposed, the whole town. In 50 such marginal towns I've seen as I've crossed America perhaps two or three have a main street worth walking down.


Down the road at around 43 miles from where I started I stopped at an old fashioned all American cafe. Tables and seating were wooden with a varnish hardened by three generations of eating and cleaning. The owner was a man called Winston and he stood at his paying counter by the door, as he had for 30 years. “Ah have been to West Point for 3 years,” he said “but the rest of my life and I’m 60 years of age and I been nowhere else.” It had the air of a family run eatery and the ribeye sandwich and 50 cent coffee were their most popular items.


I propositioned Winston with a question which he accepted with a smile and yes he said we are in the Bible Belt. Yes Donald Trump is an instrument from God, and yes beware the mark of the beast because it’s coming. Winston said all of this with smiling eyes, “I’m not a bad man,” and when I asked if he could be married to a non-Christian he was ambivalent. But an inevitable discussion arose; “the two things that defies my understanding of me being a Christian is abortion and gay marriage.” I mentioned how even the Pope was now accepting gay relationships has an official show of progress of Catholic ideology on a difficult subject it seems.

"Absolutely not my religion, not my God," and that applied to every other religion in the world.. What is it about evangelical religion that believes there is only one God and that this God belongs only to them?

“America is the greatest country in the world and when you see the crosses that’s a sign the Lord thinks so too.”


He kept walking back to me to add his views to the conversation. “And the Big Bang is not the way?'

"How can an explosion make everything fall into place.” Stephen Pinker’s views are simply this,

“It's natural to think that living things must be the handiwork of a designer. But it was also natural to think that the sun went around the earth. Overcoming naive impressions to figure out how things really work is one of humanity's highest callings."

Can You Believe in God and Evolution? Time Magazine, August 7, 2005

Steven Pinker


Implacable. Entrenched. To him to be right is called righteousness. How people in the rest of the world might have their own belief system. "I don't care," he said straightaway, "once you feel Jesus enter your body and soul you become a changed person." He looked at me, said my sandwich was on the house and gave me a book called "23 minutes in Hell" by Bill Wiese who spent 23 minutes in what we are told to think of as an opposite to a heaven.


I pedalled I rode, the highway is occasionally quiet and then a blustering belching bolus of traffic, then quiet again. I am in Starkville. I am in a motel room. Goodnight.



Map of the Day


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Roger
Roger
14. Apr.

Another great story 👍

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