Monday, August 04, 2008

The Kin of Ata

Several months ago I read The Kin of Ata Are Waiting For Youby Dorothy Bryant. It's a beautiful book and it launched me reading much more of her excellent work.

I collected a series of quotes from the book and decided to post them here.

You Always Come Down

"... you always come down, no matter how high you've been; ... it's a law of gravity of the soul."

-- p. 25


The day came when a piece of the sun fell to the ocean. It fell and floated on the ocean. It separated itself into earth and water and plants and animals. It was no longer sun, but each of its parts was a part of the sun and a sign of the sun. And all parts, earth and water and plants and animals, were content in their division, content in their expression of the sun, content to be a single part multiplying itself under the light of the sun, striving and being, as a sign of the sun but never true sun, lost to the form of the true sun.

Until the single multiple signs formed the human part. And the human part of the sun was not content. The human part suffered because within it was the knowledge of the fall from the sun and the yearning to return.

It knew and it did not know. It suffered and yearned. It suffered and yearned for what it did not know. And out of its suffering and yearning grew the cry of the people, yearning to know the way back to the sun.

-- p. 64


Donagdeo: not productive of good, valuable, or enlightening dreams. Opposite of nagdeo.

"Each person find for himself what is donagdeo. To force anyone to do or not to do something is also donagdeo. Nothing is forbidden. Nothing is taboo. But I listen to Salvatore because he is usually right."

-- p 67, 68

"We made love again..."

We made love again, more slowly this time. I had meant to give her great pleasure, but I began to fumble nervously like a boy, to feel foolish and stupid. It was her steady eyes on me, her total and open acceptance of me, her quiet pleasuring in my touch of her ...

-- p. 110

"We must dance the dance"

"Of course, the movements have meanings behind them. If we were sure of the meanings, we would not need the dance. There is a great danger in trying to interpret the dance in words. Words get between us and the dance and the meaning behind the dance -- just one more thing between us and the meaning. One must dance the dance and go through it to the meaning."

-- pp 117-118.

Song for the Ceremony of Light

Already far from Home
Far from the source of life
We have strayed further
To the deepest dark.

Now turn, turn, turn
We now turn back
Turn, turn, turn
Back to the light of life.

Rejoice in the darkest night
Dark night brings deep dreams
The farther we go
The closer to our Home

So turn, turn, turn
We now turn back
Turn, turn, turn
Back to the light of life.

-- p. 126

"All are correct"

"How many versions of that story are there?" I asked Salvatore.
"Many," he answered. "Every dream has many, many versions. ... There is no correct version. All are correct, all are changing."
"If one of them is true, then another cannot be."
"They are all true. And they are all untrue, as words are always untrue. Words are not dreams. Dreams are not reality. They are only dreams."
"Then what is the reality?"

-- pp.164, 168

The Noblest Effort

Wasn't all art impossible? Art was an attempt to capture the real, to pin it down, to keep it still, so that we can understand. It is impossible. But it is the noblest effort.

-- p.164

Words - Laughter - Silence

We stopped talking and laughed again. Laughter was better than words; silence better than both.

-- p.202

"And then there was light"

There was an instant of silence ...

And then there was light. Indescribably warm, glowing light. Light was everywhere. It shone on everything, through and into everything; it came out of everything, out of everyone. It was like a fire that does not consume, but not like a fire, like . . . like nothing else, nothing else was like it. But all things were full of it. The faces around the table, the table itself, the walls, the windows, everything was alive, everything lived in and through the light.

And I too. I too. From the center of my being the light broke in waves, in orgasmic waves, outward to the extremities of my body, every cell of my body melting together in the waves of light that flowed outward from my center, and over me from the very air around me, from everything. I breathed it into me and it poured out of me, sweeping through me like a million orgasms. I was full and whole. I was part of the light and of all the other things that shone in and with the light. All were one. And whole.

I have not spoken since then.

-- pp.217-18

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