Friday, July 23, 2010

The Connectedness

The Hmong have a phrase, hais cuaj txub kaum txub, which means ‘to speak of all kinds of things.’ It is often used at the beginning of an oral narrative as a way of reminding the listeners that the world is full of things that may not seem to be connected but actually are; that no event occurs in isolation; that you can miss a lot by sticking to the point; and that the storyteller is likely to be rather long-winded.

Anne Fadiman
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down
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