I’m in process of re-reading a novel that takes place in India and Afghanistan titled Shantaram. It’s an adventure sort of book, but for my uneducated apprehension it is “Litterchur” of a high order. I’m re-reading it because I finally got a copy of the author’s (Gregory David Roberts) 2nd book, which I was happy to see takes up the original story two years where the 1st book left off. The sequel is titled The Mountain Shadow.
Anyway, the story is of an escaped convict from an Australian prison who ends up in the underworld of Mumbai (Bombay), and becomes entangled in political issues during the time of Russian invasion of Afghanistan. Sort of a modern aspect of the Great Game in Kipling’s Kim, with U.S. in the role of England, but much more sympathetic to all the cultures that co-exist in that part of the world. (Although Kim was quite anomolous in Kipling’s body of work, it’s still a bit of an Empire artifact). I personally rank this with Kim, in terms of scope and depth of understanding and explicating the human conditions within the interstices of the meeting of the cultures of ‘East is East and and West is West’ (again, Kipling).
One of the many insights that suffuses the writing like flavor in the risotto, I found this little gem. I haven’t got permission from publisher for this quote, but I figure with over 2,000,000; or thereabouts (there may be 5 too many zeros), readers of this blog they won’t mind since world-wide sales will spike dramatically. Upward.
Oh, here’s the gem.
“Every door is a portal looking through time and space. The same doorway that leads us into and out of a room also leads us into the past of the room and its ceaselessly unfolding future (italics mine). People knew that once, deep within the ur-mind, the ur-imagination. You can still find those who decorate doorways, and reverently salute them, in every culture, from Ireland to Japan…”
A nice little aside; and here’s a couple of my own. Or are they inclusions?
That change in the photo above was in the compartment under the driver’s armrest in my truck and a tube of Chapstik melted. Change became stuck. Can’t be stuck in change. Coincidentally, I laid it out to dry on remnants of OfficeMax box used in moving once twelve years ago, and four times in the last two years. That box has now changed into a coin-dryer and will become fire-starter. Soon, weather is changing.
We are always coming and going.
Stepping through doors of Time.
Stepping through doors of Space.
Sometimes a room, a palace, a
Cave, a garden, a forest, ashore,
Afloat (in water or air), Yester
Day, Now, never, then, when, we
See the place, event or image a
Heaven or hovel. Two legged or
Four, feathers, fur or fins. Give
Me the courage to distinguish
Between the truth and reality,
It’s not a door. Its a curtain, one
Molecule thin, blowing and what?
Moving and susurating. What,
What is it saying? Come. Come.
Through this separation of you.