Dwellings: A Spiritual History of the Living World
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Dwellings: A Spiritual History of the Living World

4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  281 ratings  ·  19 reviews
"We want to live as if there is no other place," Hogan tells us, "as if we will always be here. We want to live with devotion to the world of waters and the universe of life." In offering praise to sky, earth, water, and animals, she calls us to witness how each living thing is alive in a conscious world with its own integrity, grace, and dignity. In Dwellings, Hogan takes...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published July 1st 2007 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 1995)
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Deborah
What they call "deceptively simple" - Hogan's prose is like her poetry: every word counts, every line works off the lines around it, and she has a spiritual investment in each word and how her words create and communicate ... every single essay here is a prayer for wholeness and reparation.
Amber Foxx
Poet and novelist Hogan, a member of the Chickasaw tribe, writes of the spirituality inherent in the natural world. Her insights into the relationships between living creatures and our own souls is anchored in places and in specific experiences—with hot springs in a cave, or at work at a bird sanctuary. She doesn’t write about animals in general or earth in general, but this piece of earth, this particular sunflower, this colony of mud-building bees. When she cites other writers, often scientist...more
Barbara
I just finished reading this book, which is so beautifully and gracefully written. Linda Hogan's prose is indeed filled with poetic language, in which she reminds us of our connectedness to the natural world, of the natural world's connectedness to the spiritual and mythic world, and that every action, however small and insignificant to us, has the most profound effect on others. So here, not only are we humans and animals alive; the mountains, the trees, the water are also alive, and contain me...more
Rae
One of the best sets of essays I have ever read. Hogan uses tremendous imagery here, just like in her poetry. I especially loved the essay on bats.

...they live with the goddess of night in the lusty mouth of earth...

...bending over the stone, smelling the earth up close, we drank sky off the surface of water...
Laurence Holden
wonderful book of reminiscences from a native American writer. full of connecting with nature and being embedded in it.She writes:"Still wanting a place of our own, a place set aside from the rest of the creation, now it is being ventured that maybe our ability to make fire separates us, or perhaps the desire to seek revenge. But no matter what direction the quest for separation might take, there has been a narrowing down of the difference between species, and we are forced to ask ourselves once...more
Xylem
This is a book full of ancestors, waters, caves, and creatures. The earth speaks, sings, through this woman. Listen deeply. To be read aloud to children, lovers, and the sky.
Paige Lanham
What an amazing book. All about awareness and listening.
Sarah
The author of this book experiences an incredibly, and enviably, intimate relationship with the natural world. This is evidenced by the fact that everything around her--color, sound, smell, texture--comes alive. A tree is not simply a tree; it has a name, it has details, it has meaning. The writing is poetic and concise. The world she paints is detailed, it is immediate, but she also reaches out beyond it to make grand connections.
Rick
Dwellings is a beautiful and lyrical book of wonder. The prose resonates something inside you that might have laid dormant since you were a child. Hogan's style is sheer poetry that reminds us how interconnected we all are and makes us ask ourselves if we are walking on the right path.
Rachel
I love words that paint pictures. When those pictures play my heartstrings, I grow. This book did that, perfectly, and encouraged me to live my life with my eyes... And heart... More open.
Ashley
Probably one of the most painful books I've read in an AIS course - and not in a good way either. Certainly not Hogan's best work, considering some of her fantastic poetry and novels.
Sue Reetz
An elegant portrayal of Linda Hogan's philosophies and knowledge of the natural world, and our species' connection to and impact on all around us.
Carol
Lovely! Light and lyrical, yet deeply profound. Hogan shares personal heartfelt simple experiences with the wisdom of a deeper knowing.
Melissa
This is a beautiful book that grounded me in the daily miracles that surround us.
Jess
I will likely be reading more of Linda Hogan's work.
lisa_emily
beautiful writing, I need to read this book again.
Cathleen
This is another book I return to over and over.
Obisbooks
Essays, some more interesting than others.
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Linda K. Hogan (born 1947 Denver) is a Native American poet, storyteller, academic, playwright, novelist, environmentalist and writer of short stories. She is currently the Chickasaw Nation's Writer in Residence.

Linda Hogan is Chickasaw. Her father is a Chickasaw from a recognized historical family and Linda's uncle, Wesley Henderson, helped form the White Buffalo Council in Denver during the 1950...more
More about Linda Hogan...
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“Walking, I can almost hear the redwoods beating. And the oceans are above me here, rolling clouds, heavy and dark. It is winter and there is smoke from the fires. It is a world of elemental attention, of all things working together, listening to what speaks in the blood. Whichever road I follow, I walk in the land of many gods, and they love and eat one another. Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.” 55 likes
“John Hay, in The Immortal Wilderness, has written: 'There are occasions when you can hear the mysterious language of the Earth, in water, or coming through the trees, emanating from the mosses, seeping through the undercurrents of the soil, but you have to be willing to wait and receive.' Sometimes I hear it talking. The light of the sunflower was one language, but there are others more audible. Once, in the redwood forest, I heard a beat, something like a drum or a heart coming from the ground and trees and wind. That underground current stirred a kind of knowing inside me, a kinship and longing, a dream barely remembered that disappeared back to the body....

Tonight, I walk. I am watching the sky. I think of the people who came before me and how they knew the placement of the stars in the sky, watching the moving sun long and hard enough to witness how a certain angle of light touched a stone only once a year. Without written records, they knew the gods of every night, the small, fine details of the world around them and the immensity above them.

Walking, I can almost hear the redwoods beating....It is a world of elemental attention, of all things working together, listening to what speaks in the blood. Whichever road I follow, I walk in the land of many gods, and they love and eat one another. Walking, I am listening to a deeper way. Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.”
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