David James is one of the true Asatru elders in America. The fact that he was a special guest at Althing 1, in 1980, gives you an idea of his experience! David hasn't stopped thinking or writing about our faith in the decades since then. His spirit has remained true to the Aesir, the Vanir, and our Folk.
The Asatru Folk Assembly has had the pleasure of his company at the last three "Midsummers in the Sierras." Last year he was taken ill and missed most of the event, but this time he was back with two important presentations.
On Friday, in a talk titled "Old Worth and New," David spoke of our ancient values. Referring to The Germanization of Early Medieval Christianity by Dr. James Russell, he contrasted the ways of our ancestors with the Christian worldview. He noted that "The Christians have paved over our ground, but we keep poking through...The rubble still litters our lives in ways of which we are unaware." David distinguished between good intentions and right action: "It's not Will unless it ends in Deed!".
Later, on Sunday, David stimulated us with thoughts on "Composing Liturgy and Poetry." He began by urging us to drop Latin-based words in favor of those of Teutonic origin, and to be sparing with adjectives. Too many adjectives, he said, weaken the power of the language. David then gave several suggestions on poetic techniques. The study of Old English, he suggested, provided excellent practice in composing sentences that deliver a punch.
Inspired by his talk, I mentioned a poem by Jorge Luis Borges titled "Hengist Wants Men," which I found relevant to the topic. We googled it immediately, and Folkbuilder Coordinator Brad Taylor-Hicks read it aloud for us on the spot! You can find it here: http://tinyurl.com/3z2vkrg .
David James is one more reminder of the excellent minds - and spirits! - within the AFA.
Asatru Folk Assembly