Saturday, December 19, 2009

Re-cyclical Abyss

The world is a spinning die, and everything turns and changes:
man is turned to an angel and an angel to man; and the head to
the foot, and the foot to the head. Thus all things turn and spin and
change, this into that, and that into this, the topmost to the under-
most, and the undermost to the topmost. For at the root all is one,
and salvation inheres in the change and return of things.

Nahman of Bratzlav

Way up north, in the land of the northern lights, where the sun never sets
in the summer and winter nights last for months, there once lived a man
named Ebar, who hunted seals and walrus to feed his family.

One day while he was off hunting, Ebar's kayak overturned in the icy waters.
Down, down he went to the bottom of the sea. Then slowly he rose up to the surface
again. When he climbed out of the water, Ebar found himself in a strange land. He
began to walk, not knowing where he was going. He walked and walked until he was
so tired he could walk no more. Ebar sat down under a large tree with spreading
branches, some distance from a strong flowing river.

At first light of dawn Ebar could see that a piece of the river bank had broken off
and been swept away with the current. The next night his sleep was interrupted again
by the same sound. Sure enough, in the morning he could see another piece of river
bank had vanished. Every night for nine nights a portion of the river bank fell
into the current with a crash. By now the edge of the river was so close,
it was almost at his feet.

Ebar felt he could neither run away nor move. He was stuck there under that tree.
On the tenth night the river current was stronger than usual. Ebar could see down
into the swirling waters. Suddenly there was a great rumbling sound, the river bank
broke away right under him, and he fell into the water. Ebar tried to cry out for help
but when he opened his mouth the sound of a newborn baby emerged. He looked up
into familiar shining eyes. He was being gently held and rocked. A man no more,
he had been reborn as a baby among his own people.

Some Folk Say: Stories of Life, Death, and Beyond,
by Janes Hughes Gignoux
Southern Alaska Tlingit
Data via Parabola/Programming by DPC

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