Thursday, October 22, 2009

Soul of the World

For a bit now, I have been slow-reading a book called Soul of the World: Unlocking Secrets of Time by Christopher Dewdney. It is both a philosophical and practical look at the many ways we think about, interact with and function within the boundaries of time. Dewdney is a highly acclaimed Canadian poet, and his work is infused with the kind of mesmerizing language you would expect from just such a writer.

Initially I was drawn to this book (while roaming around Chapters in an altered state of bliss) by the title. Just prior I had finished reading The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (for the second time cause it's that good) in which the main character, Santiago, a young Spanish shepherd pursues his deepest imaginings. While doing so, he comes to understand the soul of the world and is guided somewhat supernaturally through his journey by reading the omens that he encounters and opening to the possibilities in life. To stumble upon a book titled Soul of the World on the heels of The Alchemist seemed itself permeated by fate.

Here is an excerpt...

Later, when darkness was firmly established, I went out into the yard again to take a look at the night sky. I was shocked. The night was stuffed with stars. I felt like the only person in an enchanted planetarium, bewitched by the demiurge of night. It was as if another order of darkness had been revealed, as if a layer had been peeled away to reveal a truer darkness, a deeper night, that fill me with dizzy awe. I wondered if the owl I'd seen in March was nearby, sitting on a branch in the secret reaches of night, its eyes sparkling with mystery. The sky was so clear and transparent it seemed that space was somehow closer to the surface of the earth. And everywhere stars. Clusters of stars, necklaces of stars. They sang like destiny in silver notes, and I could see them for what they were - distant, atomic fires of unthinkable immensity, inconceivably remote in time.

Starlight is pure history. Perhaps all time - past, present and future - exist at once, everywhere. But the stars take the prize. The night sky contains starlight that started its journey to earth during the Roman era, during the age of dinosaurs, and even from before the earth existed. In the vastness of space, light seems to slow to a crawl, and the vacuum becomes a crystal jelly.

Above all else, words have always been my heart's seducer. This one is a keeper.

1 comment:

joanne said...

oh my... i am seduced as well... as i speak i am feeling the pull to run over to make an addition to my Amazon wish list...

funny because i did things backwards when it came to Coelho... "The Alchemist" wasn't the first book I read by him as is the case for most people ... I fell in love with his feminine side first in titles such as "The Valkyries", "The Witch of Portobello", "Brida" "11 Minutes" and "Veronika Decides to Die", all of which i highly recommend too if you haven't read any of those...