Love Her and Despair is percolating, and I have had the next bit in mind for months now, but unfortunately with dissertation research eating the day my Muse is flat. I'm usually flailing all day to get enough done that I feel like I've done something research-wise, and often as not the only creativity I have left when I'm not engaged in brain-work is to make icons (this partly because I'm combining my downtime with watching a baseball pennant race). Still, I've been writing...and rewriting, and rewriting... the Operation Mi'ihen sequence. Also I keep pecking at a Lulu/Yuna story which is not entirely satisfying me, but I want to write it.
muggy_mountain did the page 123 meme. Last time I did it, the result was odd -- I think it was something from Goethe's Faust — but this time, the bookshelf next to the bed is full of random mythology/religion books. So let's see what happens. Grabbing a book with eyes closed (and first finding the one empty spot on the shelf, which seems oddly poetic):
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next four to seven sentences on your LJ along with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest [unless it's too troublesome to reach and is really heavy. Then go back to step 1].
Well, phooey. It's really quite hard to find a prosaic paragraph in this book, so I'll go with seven sentences to get back to the good stuff:
"She must convene her société (or parish), delegate and supervise responsibilities, provide food and lodging for all her helpers and guests, arrange for a truck to transport everything and everybody, rent the sailboat which will carry them all out to sea, and remember a million other secular details. Apart from this, the actual organization of the ritual details of the service was itself an enormous responsibility. Because it was both costly and difficult, many houngans and mambos never undertook it at all. The others did so at increasingly rare intervals, during which the promises made to Agwé accumulated substantially. The ceremony thus became a very special occasion and in the end the real problem of the mambo was not how to inspire interest and devotion, but how, diplomatically, to keep the number of eager participants within manageable limits.
By twilight the major tasks had been accomplished and everyone had convened in the large peristyle for the preliminary service. The vevers were traced, the libations poured, and, in their proper order, the invocations followed: to Legba, that he should open the gates; to the Christian Trinity and saints, that they should bless the undertaking; to les Morts, les Mystères, and les Marassa; to the important deities and those which were guardians to the mambo, and finally, and above all, to Agwé and his consort, to "signalé" (inform) him that all this was to be for him, and to ask him to accept it."
-- from Maya Deren, Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti (describing preprations for a ceremony honoring the sea-god. Speaking of which, Agwé, go easy on your people for a while... please? They've been hit so hard with these hurricanes.)