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Lions Roar : September 2005
SHAMBHALA SUN SEPTEMBER 2005 91 considering their import for the first time. Drawing images from her close communing with nature, Oliver is a modern Thoreau but for her economy of words. Because she sees morality and divinity in the cause-and-effect workings of nature, and she plainly adores the present moment, Oliver seems a good fit for those who subscribe to a Buddhist world- view: “And then the wind, not thinking of you, just passes by, / touching the ant, the mosquito, the leaf, / and you know what else! / How blue is the sea, how blue is the sky, / how blue and tiny and redeemable everything is, even you.” SOUNDS OF FREEDOM Musicians on Spirituality and Social Change Edited by John Malkin Parallax Press, 2005; 200 pp. + CD, $18 (paper) The sixties was the decade when musicians were most closely identified with social change. But there has always existed a cadre of politically- and socially-minded performers who get tapped (or win fame) for their commitment to various caus- es. In Sounds of Freedom, journalist John Malkin has assem- bled a collection of broad-ranging conversations with today’s socially conscious musicians. Malkin is the host of a weekly independent West Coast radio show and a longtime activist. His interviews expose the social and creative agendas of some of today’s musical change agents, including Ani DiFranco, Michael Franti, Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, Utah Phillips, and Holly Near. KINGDOM OF TEN THOUSAND THINGS An Impossible Journey from Kabul to Chiapas By Gary Geddes HarperCollins Canada, 2005; 330 pp., $34.95 CDN (cloth) Kingdom of Ten Thousand Things is a blend of travel memoir, history, and speculation. Huishin was a Buddhist monk who fled to China in the fifth century to escape persecution in Afghanistan. By some accounts, Huishin then sailed to the Americas—long before Columbus—and returned to China to report on the American natives and their customs. Poet, editor, and critic Gary Geddes embraced his long fascination with Huishin and set out in 2001 to retrace the monk’s jour- neys. The record on Huishin is unreliable, and Geddes is wry about his historiographical method: “Was I writing history or was history writing me?” In fact the appeal of Kingdom of Ten Thousand Things is Geddes’ piecing together of Huishin’s routes and means from document shards and hearsay, and in juxtaposing a journey from the distant past with a present-day one. ©