Archives for the month of: April, 2016

‘…Many of the convict songs were of a low sentiment, impure and ribald; but some, slower ballads or laments, had a kind of base beauty. I have heard a choir of convicts, in a lumber camp in the Central Chun sector, singing in the evening: there was such a terrible sorrow about the song, and the voices, I was unable to listen for long.

When human voices are raised in song sometimes, the word bursts, and the world seems to melt into a state one cannot understand. But even now, gifted by the ancestors with my return to walk again under pure skies, sometimes, in dreams, I hear those deep voices singing, out in the forest as the sun went down. I am unable to encompass with my narrow mind the mix of emotions the sound of those voices stirs in me. What is one to do with the singing of murderers? It is distressing. And when I hear that song, I wake in tears.’

Excerpt from Flowing House, Volume 7 of Dustless

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… ‘But the horrible thing was, we didn’t play like children: it wasn’t a game like that. There was something horribly dead about it. I mean, please don’t misunderstand me, I know children play very seriously; and I’m not trying to say they’re just innocents, and can’t be cruel, or whatever: but when they play, Suli, they play. And we weren’t playing like that: we were playing at playing – do you understand? We were just pretending to play – but we couldn’t, anymore: we had no joy, Suli, not even a cruel joy. We were serious – honestly! Holding our little printed rectangles of card! And it was all random, you see: the rules, I mean. Why a King higher than a Queen? Or a four a three? It was all made up: we all just agreed that a King was higher than a Queen. There was nothing in it, Suli: nothing behind it, nothing real. It was just water floating on water. We all agree to play by the rules. Ridiculous!’

Excerpt from Flowing House, Volume 7 of Dustless

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