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Dwellings: A Spiritual History of the Living World

4.29  ·  Rating Details ·  413 Ratings  ·  34 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 17th 2007 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 1995)
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Deborah
Sep 09, 2007 Deborah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Barbara
May 29, 2008 Barbara rated it it was amazing
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...
Jan Priddy
Apr 22, 2017 Jan Priddy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some of these essays touched me, prodded me, lifted and soothed and strengthened me more than others. They are all good. "The Kill Hole" is my favorite. I shared "A Different Yield" with my students.

A brief passage from a chapter about working in a raptor rehabilitation center: "The most difficult task the birds demand is that we learn to be equal to them, t feel our way into an intelligence that i different from our own. A fiend, awed at the thought of working with eagles, said, 'Imagine knowin
...more
Amber Foxx
Mar 13, 2014 Amber Foxx rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
missy jean
Feb 06, 2017 missy jean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
As far as I'm concerned, this book is perfect.

"Drinking the water, I thought how earth and sky are generous with their gifts, and how good it is to receive them. Most of us are taught, somehow, about giving and accepting human gifts, but not about opening ourselves and our bodies to welcome the sun, the land, the visions of sky and dreaming, not about standing in the rain ecastatic with what is offered."
Monique Stevens
Jul 25, 2016 Monique Stevens rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful, simply beautiful! Hogan's reflections on nature are part prose, part poetry. I will be re-visiting this book again.
Natalie
Feb 23, 2017 Natalie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quiet, beautiful, and hopeful. If I had my own copy, I would have dog-eared so many pages.

Other random thoughts:

-It takes a very special person (and the best kind of nature-lover) to write as beautifully and lovingly about a trail of maggots leaving a dead porcupine as of an eagle soaring through the air.

-I want to read everything Linda Hogan has ever written now.

-I was so excited by the story she told about Naomi Shihab Nye, because I also love Naomi Shihab Nye's work, and OF COURSE THEY ARE F
...more
Bonnie Randall
Nov 14, 2015 Bonnie Randall rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirituality
Dwellings is a deep piece of wisdom literature I’ll return to again and again for its reflections will widen and shift the lens upon every new life stage and major transition I experience. Hogan conveys a reverent appreciation for the Earth and all the Earth has given birth to, has nourished, and has reclaimed. Her prose illustrates, with great beauty, the deep, spiritual tie all living creatures have with the Earth, and what results is a reading experience that is both meditative and emotive. D ...more
Laurence Holden
Jan 03, 2014 Laurence Holden rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nature, culture
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
Sara
Jan 24, 2016 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed-books
I really loved the poetic language that Hogan used in Dwellings. It is different from a lot of novels I have read and I appreciated this uniqueness! One of my favorite things about this novel was learning the random bits of fact that were woven into Hogan's essays. I learned about the Voyager, research with chimps, and various Indian histories that I would never have known about if I hadn't read this book.

One issue I had, but this is totally a personal issue, was that the novel bit too out ther
...more
Sarah
Jul 25, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Abby
Not much here that is new to me, but I think that is due at least in part to Linda Hogan herself and the artists and writers of similar inspiration who have been hard at work to change our (my) thinking about the world. There is a complexity to the connectedness within these pieces that earns their spot in the philosophy section, which is where the library shelved them. There are some strange and lasting images.
Saba
May 04, 2016 Saba rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A poetic book. Reminded me why nature is important to me. I take classes about the economic, political, and social goods that a healthy environment provides, but it's refreshing to meditate on the spiritual good it brings as well. A nice reminder and a welcome break from analytical environmental studies.
Eli
I feel like I've been waiting for many years for this book to come into my life. Or maybe I just needed to be ready. Its beauty, at once both sparse and detail-laden, became apparent immediately, but its deeper environmental, cultural, and personal impacts crept on slowly, like changing seasons. So much to think on, act on, and come back to time and again.
Nilsson Yazzie
Nov 28, 2016 Nilsson Yazzie rated it it was amazing
Beautiful, Poetic, and Lyrical. I thought this was going to be quick read, but this books had essays riddled with sobering thoughts and offered different ways of being in the world, so I took my time. Definitely on my to be re-read list.
Bill Blocksom
Aug 21, 2014 Bill Blocksom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have not read anything so poetic before. So many of the images she conveys stir me on a very deep level: heart, soul, and deeper . Perhaps ancestral memory. I feel changed by it in ways that are still unfolding. Thank you, Linda Hogan.
Federico Perelmuter
This collection of essays was profoundly transformative for me. It moved me to reflect upon the vagaries of several aspects of life that I did not expect. It is poetry in its most honest and unpretentious expression.
Rick
Dec 03, 2010 Rick rated it really liked it
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.
Erica
Oct 02, 2016 Erica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: environmental
Poets write good prose.
Lisa
Nov 21, 2014 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirituality
I'm deeply moved.
Ashley
Apr 27, 2011 Ashley rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: academic
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
Mar 23, 2013 Sue Reetz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Rachel
May 01, 2012 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Paige Lanham
Mar 02, 2014 Paige Lanham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an amazing book. All about awareness and listening.
Gail Kennon
beautiful meditation on life on this planet.
Jess
I will likely be reading more of Linda Hogan's work.
Carol
Oct 11, 2012 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lovely! Light and lyrical, yet deeply profound. Hogan shares personal heartfelt simple experiences with the wisdom of a deeper knowing.
Cathleen
Jan 02, 2008 Cathleen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is another book I return to over and over.
Melissa
Nov 11, 2012 Melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautiful book that grounded me in the daily miracles that surround us.
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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
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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.” 113 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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