Sleep Fell Upon Me
“The gods know what comes out of your mouth so don't bad-mouth anyone intentionally."
- My free version of lines from a dream report from a Hittite queen (probably Puduhepa) more than 3,000 years ago, cataloged as KUB 31.71 iii. The speaker appears to be a deity, perhaps the Sun Goddess of Arinna. I am playing with the French translations of 133 Hittite dream texts in Alice Mouton's Rêves hittites. Mouton writes that "the dream represented one of only two ways in which the gods could address all humans, without exception. The only other divine medium that did not require any 'professional' go-between was visual or oral prophecy."
Nous nous créons continuellement nous-mêmes...Pour un être
conscient, exister consiste à changer, changer à se mûrir, se mûrir à se créer
"We create ourselves continuously. For a conscious being, to exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly."
- Henri-Louis Bergson, L'Evolution créatrice
Illustration: "Henri Bergson" drawing by RM
Following a Word Magician
Re-reading Ian McDonald's novel The Dervish House. This amazingly gifted novelist who far transcends the scifi genre in which he has won awards. If you had told me that it is possible to include the fine-fine details of nanotechnology, cultural geography, hedge fund trading, the social behavior of crows, Bosporus navigation and the history and practice of Sufi lodges in a single novel without losing the reader's rapt attention on a single page, I would have been incredulous -before McDonald.
How does he manage to sprinkle Turkish words and names everywhere, with the correct diacritical marks, but no translation - so you are on your own when it comes to figuring out what is a çayhane or a tekke - and get that through the copy editors and make you stay with him all the way? This is a word magician of the highest order.
Forgetting and Remembering
It's a rare day when I fail to notice I have forgotten far more than I know. I see the wisdom of the invisible companion of my boyhood who taught me that all really important knowledge comes to us through anamnesis, "remembering".
I just rediscovered this (in my own Secret History of Dreaming): A Mesopotamian term for an obscure or mysterious dream is “a closed archive basket of the gods” A great image.