This website is a collection of writings celebrating Appalachian history, tradition, and values. More broadly, it is meant as an exploration and restoration of the Permanent Things, those old truths that cannot be broken, but on which we break ourselves should we attempt to overthrow them.
Restoration is key. It stands against the constant revolt and deconstruction on which the ugliness of modernism has been built. Beauty and timeless truth lost out to utilitarian novelty. The myth of progress reigns. The tyranny of the living rules the earth as they pull up the anchors that spared their ancestors from the wicked waters of our fallen nature. They chop thoughtlessly through their life-giving and life-saving roots imagining they are shackles.
"There is no revolution," wrote G.K. Chesterton, "that is not a restoration. Among the many things that leave me doubtful about the modern habit of fixing eyes on the future, none is stronger than this: that all the men in history who have really done anything with the future have had their eyes fixed upon the past."
And this is exactly the same idea Russell Kirk was getting at when he wrote:
"Men cannot improve a society by setting fire to it: they must seek out its old virtues, and bring them back into the light."
In humility, this is what I hope to accomplish.
Theophanis the Monk wrote, "Do not think that I speak as one who teaches: I speak as one whose words condemn himself." And so the same is true for me.
I don’t wish to convey the idea that I have figured anything out or enacted any significant changes or that I know anything at all. In an effort to uncover old virtues, it should become apparent (to me at least) how virtueless I am, how far I have yet to go. It shouldn’t be assumed by you, the reader, that I, having written about something important, am now an expert practitioner.
I am compelled to write, not in order to teach, but to remember, and I am compelled to publish so that we might remember together. As such, I view Blood & Bourbon as a catechism of memory. Discovering, revisiting, and reflecting on the Permanent Things long enough and frequently enough, perhaps those deposits of Truth will sprout in the soul and not merely stand as external abstractions.
Instead of talking about fire, we can glow with all its heat and light as blades from a furnace.
The purpose is not to think and then know, but to do and then be.