‘…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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