Wednesday, January 12, 2011

As I search for words...

... I would like to share with you some thoughts-in-words from Ben Okri's Starbook: A Magical Tale of Love and Regeneration (2007), page 73

"Many are the ways of seeing the future, glimpsing the past. Some stare into crystal balls, into clear waters of prophecy; some read the fall and placement of kola nut lobes in enamel bowls; some read the shapes and direction of the footprint of herons or chickens or rare birds; some read the past in momentary visions had outside time; some use the Bible or other sacred texts; some resort to sorceries and consult wizards that may or may not know the mystery of the stars; some travel in the minds of tortoises to the beginning of the race; some fly to the moon on the back of beams of light; some wander deaf amongst angels; some consult the ancient oracles and ponder the incomprehensible messages from the gods, delivered in verse to the sibyls. Some listen to the prophecies that fall from the mouths of babbling children, or the language of crows, or the accidental words that reach them in marketplaces, or pay too much attention to words said to them by strangers or the insane. Such are the perplexities of the ways of man and woman in a world where the past and future do not speak, and where the present has not fully revealed itself to our partial-seeing eyes. And thus we live our days between knowing and unknowing, blind and deaf in a vast panorama of revelations, a perpetual theatre of timeless events where history is as much the future as the past, an infinite living book in which all things are present. We live in these wonders and do not see." 

If you ask, what these words mean to me, well, it is like seeing the self in the mirror. It is like looking at the self that thinks stupidly of time as a tripartite structure with thick black lines demarcating one from the other. It is like an inner voice that talks about the limitations we create for ourselves to adhere to. It is like a call for living life being awake to our senses. 

front cover of Starbook

I had to severely curtail the temptation of highlighting certain phrases or expressions, since I wanted you to have your own understanding of the words...There are several phrases that stun my mind ... one of them is: "some travel in the minds of tortoises to the beginning of the race". 

Does this extract create any meaning to you? Does a phrase/expression in the extract 'stun' you? Would love to hear your thoughts...