Thursday, August 20, 2009

Page 18, Paragraphs 2 - 5; Notes

Page 18, Paragraph 2:

He stands to look over here, but he doesn't look at me. He's the oldest man I've ever seen - his long hair and beard are white and oh! His face! His face is marked with charcoal - nothing except his eyes are white. A band is around his head, up from which come antlers. He has flowers in one hand and sticks in the other. Now he looks around some more, and farts, and sits down in front of his white skin hut.

Paragraph 3:

I can't see what he's doing, except that he keeps moving his hands quickly. Smoke. I smell smoke. He's making a fire, and now he's putting more sticks on it to make it bigger. He picks up little stones that sit nearby and puts them around the fire to make a barrier.

Paragraph 4:

He sits with his back against the hut and picks up something made of stone, not any longer than my hand, that's all flat and sharp. This hand-axe he puts to another nearby stone and scratches it back and forth, as if to sharpen it. Now I lie back and hear the noise of this; the sun is getting lower in the sky.

Paragraph 5:

In with the smell of smoke I can now smell flowers, and I lift my head to look toward the river. The girl is coming back here over the reedy rise; the skins she's wrapped in move all around her knees. Between her hands there's still a little grey shape, and as she walks I see where a little bit of liquid comes out and falls on her arm. I think she's holding a making* like a little valley** that she filled up with water in the river. Slowly, she walks up the dirt rise, where the antler-headed man takes her water to set it above the fire.

* The noun form of making meaning "something made" is actually in the dictionary (well, my dictionary, anyway), although I don't recall hearing it used that way before.

** Presumably some sort of bowl

From the British Museum (


Speaking of axes - I chopped some wood today. It was kinda fun.

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