Dancing above the abyss

I'm most of the way through re-reading the original Earthsea trilogy. This morning, came across a line I particularly liked:

"There is no safety, and there is no end. The word must be heard in silence; there must be darkness to see the stars. The dance is always danced above the hollow place, above the terrible abyss."

--Sparrowhawk, in Le Guin's The Farthest Shore, p. 121 of the 1980 Bantam paperback edition

Out of context, that may sound kind of grim, but in context it's hopeful and kind of inspiring. (It's also, of course, related to the epigraph at the beginning of the trilogy, the one that starts out "Only in silence the word.")

And it reminded me of the chorus of an anti-war song by Libby Roderick:

I'd rather be dancing, at the edge of my grave.

I'd rather be holding you close as we march forward loving and brave.

I'd rather be singing, in the face of my fear.

I'd rather be dancing in front of the guns as long as I'm here.

--Libby Roderick, "Dancing in Front of the Guns," 1991 (full lyrics)

As usual, the lyrics alone don't really give a sense of the song, but thanks to the iTunes Store, you can listen to a 30-second sample of "Dancing in Front of the Guns" and the other songs on that album.

While I'm here, I may as well put in a general plug for Libby Roderick's music. In my Father's Day 2005 entry, I mentioned her song "Holy Thing to Love," which is on the same album, Thinking Like a Mountain. My other favorite song from that album is "Song for Summer Solstice." Good album; I recommend it, if you like this sort of thing, and I'm pleased to see it available in the iTunes Store. I also like her other albums, which are also available from the iTunes Store.

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