Lise was asleep somewhere between 9 and 10, and Miah around 11, tonight, and Jim and I were left with the luxury of an earlier night…time together, when we could both manage to stay awake.
So, we watched a little TV, I showered,and we set my Kindle up to play Paul Simon’s The Rhythm of the Saints while we spent some time in connection – something like a date night in our own bedroom, listening to the music…
And then, I heard “Spirit Voices”, and had a flash of revelation…
This song is the inspiration for Osiiraan, which is a central setting in my Trueborn Weft Series books.
I hadn’t realized it before, but this place – the hollowed space within a tree that would dwarf a sequoia, where Untribed and Tribed first learn to live together and create a society with room for all, in what had once been Huntlands, but which now are freely occupied by whomever chooses to live there… – this place is my interpretation of the brujo described in the song.
There is the greatroom, born of this snippet of lyric:
“Women with their nursing children sleeping on the floor,
We join the fevers and the broken bones.”
The huge inner chamber of Osiiraan is where most of its life happens. Many of the Untribed sleep there, else in the area just above. There are areas that serve for cooking, gathering, weaving, and other arts and needs. It’s as communal a life as any of them choose, and yet, their is room for privacy there, as well… Osiiraan is a bustling, alive place, centered, integrated, and usually peaceful without the need for lawkeepers…
And yet, it has also been the one shelter remaining in a time of destructive warring, a place where the broken and dying are taken, a place deeply threatened…
I think Osiiraan is so much more real to me than the other places – the three Keeps, the Merchant’s Road, and the Untribed settlements (I’ve never even given these names, they are so unreal to me, as yet…), because those were created to fill a need.
But Osiiraan – Osiiraan sprang from a song that first spoke to my soul over two decades ago. A song by my favorite songwriter – maybe my favorite writer, ever.
Osiiraan was once a tiny seed, dropped lovingly into the fertile soil of my soul, watered by experiences, sustained by the glow of imagination, and thriving with time.
From this one song came so much…not just the place, but an evoked mood, a state of being, expressed with skittering, lively drums, spare yet intensely poetic language, Paul’s obvious fascination with other cultures, his keen ability to observe and pack worlds of knowing into only a few words:
The falcon calls,
Lime green lizard
Scuttles down the cabin wall.
And all of these spirit voices
Rule the night…”
For all this time, through maybe a thousand hearings, and maybe ten thousand times the lyric has flitted up to awareness, and all the innumerable times it’s been a hidden part of dream or fantasy, this song, like a subterranean river, has been feeding my world, tending to Osiiraan’s roots and trunk and branches and leaves. Tending, too, to the beings that inhabit her, be they Tacivaarii, Canivaarii, Untribed, or wild creatures…tending to their spiritual and physical lives…
Feeding me, and healing me. Thank you, Paul Simon. You may never know what you did, but I do.
You offered the seed that became a place not just in a story, but also a mood I try to evoke in my own life, in this (much smaller than a sequoia) little home I share with my beloveds…human and otherwise.
There is a sweetness and beauty to that, a sense of rightness, that makes me smile, now that I know – because it suggests that the most precious gifts we can every receive are the honest offerings of another’s soul, when we are willing to accept them as they are, and allow them the space to grow and move within us….
- Sima Garo Provides – Chapter Eleven, Scene One (shanjeniahstruebornjottings.wordpress.com)
- Favorite Song “The Sound of Silence” By Paul Simon. (dshenai.wordpress.com)
- Paul Simon Honors Sandy Hook Teacher Victoria Soto at Her Funeral (spinner.com)
- 30 Days, 30 Albums – Paul Simon – Paul Simon (outtheother.typepad.com)
- NPR’s First Listen: Paul Simon, ‘So Beautiful Or So What’ (ritholtz.com)
- My DSP: Rewrite (suitejen.wordpress.com)