14 May 2012

The Witch of Portabello

IOnce upon a time, I met a guy.  I told him I was a princess, then he told me he was a prince.  Discovering we are ambassadors from our own far-away land, we agreed that each of us could ask the other only one question.  I asked him if he believed in monsters.  I don't think he even knew what monsters were, and we continued talking casually about other things.  Eventually I had said something that struck a note, and he asked me if I was a witch.

The question had arose because he was reading a book, and something I said about myself reminded him exactly of the character in this novel, he was right.  This happened a long time ago and since I have naturally always though it would be a good read.  Having now read the book, I think it's a very good read indeed!

Here are some of my favorite quotes from characters in the book:

Pavel Podbielski
"Dance to the moment of exhaustion, as if you were a mountaineer climbing a hill, a sacred mountain.  Dance until you are so out of breath that your organism is forced to obtain oxygen some other way, and it is that, in the end, that will cause you to lose your identity and your relationship with space and time.  Dance only to the sound of percussion; repeat the process every day; know that, at a certain moment, your eyes will, quite naturally, close, and you will begin to see a light that comes from within, a light that answers your questions and develops your hidden powers."
"Do you know what I have learned?  That although ecstasy is the ability to stand outside yourself, dance is a way of rising up into space, of discovering new dimensions while still remaining in touch with your body.  When you dance, the spiritual world and the real world manage to co-exist quite happily.  I think classical ballet dancers dance on point because they're simultaneously touching the earth and reaching up to the skies."

Nabil Alaihi
"You have understood what all the great painters understand:  in order to forget the rules, you must know them and respect them."

Vosho Bushalo
"If i speak in the present tense, it's because for those who travel, time does not exist, only space."

"I can see the storm approaching.  Like all storms, it brings destruction, but at the same time, it soaks the fields, and the wisdom of the heavens falls with the rain.  Like all storms, it will pass.  The more violent it is, the more quickly it will pass."
"We don't posses the earth, the earth possesses us.  We used to travel constantly, and everything around us was ours:  the plants, the water, the landscape through which our caravans passed.  Our laws were nature's laws: the strong survived, an we, the weak, the eternal exiles, learned to hide our strength and use it only when necessary.  We don't believe that God made the universe.  We believe that God is the universe and that we are contained in him, and he in us."

Deidre "Edda" O'Neill
"Reprogram yourself every min of every day with thoughts that make you grow.  When you're feeling irritated or confused, try to laugh at yourself.  Laugh out loud at this woman tormented by doubts and anxieties, convinced that her problems are the most importantly thing in the world.  Laugh at the sheer absurdity or the situation, at the fact that despite being a manifestation of the mother, you still believe God is a man who lays down the rules.  Most  of our problems stem from just that-from following rules."

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