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This is the next excerpt of my grandmother’s unpublished manuscript, Landscape with Figures:

“I’ve used the word ‘awareness’ over and over in this journal but with a growing dissatisfaction, partly beccause it has been overused and partly because more and more it seems to me too rational for what I mean. I’ve been trying to think of some analagous word that would pertain not only to the quickening of the mind and feelings but to the senses, the muscles, the whole body; a word that would cover everything from the most sensitive intuitiveness to the ‘knowingness’ that draws the salmon back to its natal waters to spawn, or causes a plant to turn toward the light. A word that would have its head in the stars and its feet on the ground. I wish I could find it.

Speaking of words, I’ve suddenly had a new insight into that word ‘obedience.’ I have always thought of it in terms of obeying the orders of some arbitrary authority, but we also speak of obeying certain principles. To state it in reverse, if you disobey the laws of harmony, you get discord. If you try to disobey the law of gravity by jumping off a high tower with the intention of remaining in mid-air, you fall and get killed. To think of obedience as bringing oneself into accord with natural, or supernatural, forces gives me a quite different feeling about it.”

 

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