The Shaman

A shaman and a writer each serve as their communities’ seers by engaging in extraordinary acts of conscientious study of the past and the present and predicting the future. An inner voice calls to the shaman and an essayistic writer to answer the call that vexes the pernicious spirit of their times. Shamanistic writers induce a trance state of mind where they lose contact with physical reality through a rational disordering of the senses, in an effort to encounter for the umpteenth time the great unknown and the unutterable truths that structure existence. An afflicted person seeking clarification of existence cannot ignore the shamanistic calling of narrative exposition. Thus, I shall continue this longwinded howl – making a personal immortality vessel – into the darkness of night forevermore.

Kilroy J. Oldster


I have spent most of my life (like most people)
avoiding transcendence at all costs, mainly
because the shit hurts. Merely defining transcen-
dence can sometimes be painful. I once heard that
“Transcendence is the act of going through some-
thing”. Ouch. I see plate glass windows and
divorces. Someone else told me that it was “rising
above whatever one encountered in one’s path” but
at this point in my life that smacks of avoidance as
well as elitism of some sort. I am compelled to look
back on years of going through, above, as well as
around my life looking for loopholes to redefine
everything including any and all of the ideas that
I have held close to my heart along the way – Art –
Freedom – Justice – Revolution – Love (a big one) –
Growth – Passion – Parenting (a really big one) –
and I find that for me, for now, transcendence is
about being still enough long enough to know
when it’s time to move on. Fuck me.

Steve Earle
January 2000