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Fiction books can be as full of revelations as any holy book. During a particularly long hospital wait (12 long, long, LONG hours sitting around doing nothing) I had the time and inclination to do some serious reading. While I adore re-reading favored books, I wanted some that I had never read before, to keep my mind off of the stuff going on behind the surgery door. I picked Ursula Le Guin’s Tehanu and Charles De Lint’s Greenmantle.

And my, how the lightbulbs rolled in.

I started with Greenmantle, considering as how I had picked it up because of the horned man on the cover and promised myself I would read it several months ago. (Charles De Lint is one of those authors that I highly recommend reading, because not only is he a wonderful story teller, he sees things differently.) Thereupon followed… illuminations, I suppose is a decent way to put it. About gods, and the reflections of gods, and the differences between Mysteries and Secrets. About the nature of this world and the Other World, and how a Mystery is as bound to our world as it is to the Other. How our reflection affects a god and how that god stays the same. About the power of names and the ties that bind. And how a god differs from a Mystery. Good plotline, too.

Tehanu was different. Lots of women’s power, of finding what sort of power bends best to your hand. Power in general, actually. It illuminated, but not quite as far “out there” as Greenmantle. I did like the true language (same world as Earthsea, if you’ve read others of her books), and that a grounding in life was so vital. Truth, and trust broken, mended, and given.

(You may have noticed that I don’t go overmuch into plot-ruining descriptions of books. Two reason for that. 1), I loathe absolutely and without reservation people who ruin the plot of yummy books for me. 2), you may not read the same passage I do and get the same message. Hell, you may read the whole book and wonder what the fuck I’m talking about.)

So, the next time someone tells you that spiritual truths can’t possibly be in fiction, throw a good book at their head and run. It should buy you some time for a headstart, at least.

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