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DT: come reap

maybe you're tired and broken; your tongue is twisted with words half spoken and thoughts unclear

Posted on 2005.20.08 at 16:13
How I feel about it all: pensivepensive
Soundtrack: The Grateful Dead - Box of Rain
Yesterday I finished reading Ursula Le Guin's 1969 novel The Left Hand of Darkness. I thought I'd read it as a teenager, but apparently I'd just skimmed it because I remembered almost nothing of the story. To say I was blown away is an understatement.

So, I'm wondering: Are there any of you who have read it? There's lots of stuff on the web--essays, study guides (yes, it's on the level of The Catcher in the Rye of being Required School Reading, which tells you how respected it is), but I'd love to actually talk to people about it. Great, great book. Jungian, Taoist-y, it's a love story without sex (although it would have SO worked with sex. :)). If you haven't read it, do it. If for no other reason but to give poor little me someone to gush with.


Anyway, I'd been planning on downloading a copy (through COMPLETELY LEGAL CHANNELS, MR. FBI GUY) this Grateful Dead song ever since Al Franken mentioned it on his show (he had the writer as a guest), and probably because I'd just, just finished TLHoD, the two resonated. The lyrics (and the tune, of course, they DO go hand in hand) resonated with the story for me. Read the book and listen for yourself. Or just listen, because it's a wonderful song.

The Grateful Dead - Box of Rain

Look out of any window, any morning, any evening, any day.
Maybe the sun is shining, birds are winging,
No rain is falling from a heavy sky.
What do you want me to do, to do for you to see you through?
For this is all a dream we dreamed one afternoon, long ago.

Walk out of any doorway, feel your way, feel your way like the day before.
Maybe you’ll find direction,
Around some corner where it’s been waiting to meet you.
What do you want me to do, to watch for you while you are sleeping?
Then please don’t be surprised when you find me dreaming too.

Look into any eyes you find by you, you can see clear to another day,
Maybe been seen before, through other eyes on other days while going home.
What do you want me to do, to do for you to see you through?
It’s all a dream we dreamed one afternoon, long ago.

Walk into splintered sunlight,
Inch your way through dead dreams to another land.
Maybe you’re tired and broken,
Your tongue is twisted with words half-spoken and thoughts unclear

What do you want me to do, to do for you to see you through?
A box of rain will ease the pain, and love will see you through.

Just a box of rain, wind and water,
Sun and shower, wind and rain,
In and out the window like a moth before a flame.

And it’s just a box of rain, I don’t know who put it there,
Believe it if you need it, or leave it if you dare.

And it’s just a box of rain, or a ribbon for your hair;
Such a long long time to be gone, and a short time to be there.

There are even Annotated Lyrics!

In other news, I'm finally seeing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory tonight. I'm a little apathetic, mostly because I don't like Roald Dahl's books much, and even the stills from the original film give me the creeps.


robinhoo at 2005-08-20 21:19 (UTC) ()
I actually started The Left Hand of Darkness earlier this summer, and then put it aside because I started reading Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca, and then I had to read Jamaica Inn, and... well, anyway, I got distracted. I need to pick it up again. I madly love Le Guin's short story "The Ones Who Walk Out of Olmos" (I think that's the title), so I'm sure the novel will be good once I get myself back into it. I'll let you know when I've finished!

I thought Charlie was just about flawless, but then the book was my favorite of Dahl's, who was easily one of my top 2 favorite authors as a kid (the other was C. S. Lewis). If you didn't love the book, you're probably not gonna like the movie, because the movie follows the book closely. And if you thought the stills from Gene Wilder's version were creepy, Johnny's gonna freak your ass out; you know Tim Burton can't do a film without a big ol' streak of creepy. I hope very much that I'm wrong, though, because I just thought Burton's adaptation of the book was brilliant, and I would be happy if everybody enjoyed it as much as I did!! Have fun!
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2005-08-20 21:49 (UTC) ()
There's creepy and then there's creepy. Gene Wilder's version is creepy in the Here, Little Girl, Have Some Candy creepy.


Read TLHoD. And you? Should read The Lathe of Heaven. It's a short book. You will love it. Or throw things at it. But you will be affected, dear.
robinhoo at 2005-08-20 23:24 (UTC) ()
Hmmm, The Lathe of Heaven sounds really, really interesting. I do love a good foray into the utterly existential. May have to pick this one up on my next trip to Barnes & Noble.

I couldn't agree more with your description of Gene Wilder in the original CatCF. I've only seen it twice for just that reason -- I keep expecting him to give the bad kids candy with razor blades, or lure one of them into a room called the "Find the Chocolate on Mr. Wonka" room. Fortunately, Johnny is not creepy in the pedophile/child-murderer kind of creepy. In fact, you sort of want to be sure there are no pedophiles around him....
naadi at 2005-08-21 04:40 (UTC) ()
I read The Left Hand of Darkness years ago - I remember I was impressed by it but at the same time don't remember too much of it very well. But now that you've mentioned it, I may hunt down my copy and reread. I suspect it would mean a lot more to me now. I'm a huge fan of LeGuin's Wizard of Earthsea series.
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