Shamans, Black Sheep, Seers, Outliers, Weirdos, Outcasts, Sensitives, Ps…

Very, very interesting about shamanism, because I had also noticed the link between blindness and shamanism, implying the need to develop other senses to see with apart from the obvious sense for sight.  But I hadn’t directly linked the trauma to the blinding, since I had a sense that the shamanic trauma could be more diffused.  In any case, you have inspired me to dig up a long passage by Dambudzo Marechera, linking war trauma with a character who symbolises rationality or an exit out of the insanity of war, because her normality is related to her inability to see what is going on around her.  In an indirect sense, then, she is a healer or a marker for a superlatively innocent spiritual normality that is not available otherwise, to the rest of the characters in Black Sunlight.  

I finished my homework and sought out Marie.  She was alone in the sitting-room playing the ukelele.  I stook in the doorway.  Listening.  She has on an ankle-length rough cotton dress that looked like a poncho.  Now and then she sang or rather whispered snatches of a song I had once heard her sing.  I could never quite catch the words; but on her lips whatever those words were had been transformed into an inner torment that trembled softly against the long curtains and made me want to withdraw.  But I did not.  I stayed and listened and she was singing suddenly of a world which was not there but of which I had the wildest intimations.  I realized that I was listening to the inside of my own madness.  It made me step into the room.  At once she stopped singing, but her fingers still tinkled out the restless notes from the ukelele.  At last she stopped even that.  Her head was angled as if she expected a blow…

So we have the ability to make music that reveals people’s madness to themselves and the blindedness and the suspectibility to trauma, all in this character of Marie.  I think she performs the role of representing a shamanic archetype in the novel.

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