Monday, November 5, 2007

Disturbing the peace at Pasaquan

The highlight of our weekend was a trip to Pasaquan – a little world of colorful temples, totems and folk art not far from Buena Vista. The place itself – all the work and inspiration of a farm boy turned artist who came back to Georgia after living in New York for three decades – is astonishing, especially planted as it is in the midst of a swath of rural Georgia forest. Eddie Owens Martin returned to Marion County after having a series of visions in the late 1930s in which he encountered giant visitors from a futuristic world called Pasaquan , “where the past, the present, the future, and everything else all come together.” They enlisted him to go back home, under his new name St. EOM, and create an artistic representation of their world. Go here for the full Pasaquan story, including lots of photos of the site.

Pasaquan would be well worth a visit on any of the select Saturdays when it’s open for tours, but this weekend the place was alive with art and music as part of an “Artists for Pasaquan Day,” which marked the end of this year’s Pasaquan season. Rob and friends played some music for the event and Will had a fun-filled afternoon exploring Pasaquan and playing for hours in this mammoth circular sandbox beside the musicians’ grassy stage.

But Will was not quite so enraptured with the art of St. EOM as he was with a boy, twice his age, who befriended him, showed Will his marshmallow-spitting gun and then taught him to play “army.” While the boy shot mini-marshmallows from his weapon, Will slung a little rubber chicken around, a weapon on loan from older boy. Will has just recently begun turning all long stick-like objects into guns so he can shoot things down and hunt things down (while I groan silently to myself and let him play out his testosterone-filled fantasies), but this rubber-chicken-and-marshmallow-gun battle brought things to a whole new level of sophistication.

I’m not sure St. EOM -- whose visionary purpose included delineating “an understanding of the peace and beauty that the future might hold for mankind,” according to the Pasaquan website – would have approved of the army game. But we do hope to raise Will in such a way that his weapons remain chicken-like and marshmallow soft,
so maybe the Saint would understand.

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