(The Second Ring of Power by Carlos Castaneda)
She casually added that before I headed for Mexico City we had to go to a specific place in the mountains where don Juan and I used to go, and that there she would reveal all the information the Nagual had never disclosed to me.
I had a moment of indecision, and then something in me which was not my reason made me head for the mountains. We drove in complete silence. I attempted at various opportune moments to start up a conversation, but she turned me down every time with a strong shake of her head.
Finally she seemed to have gotten tired of my trying and said forcefully that what she had to say required a place of power and until we were in one we had to abstain from draining ourselves with useless talk.
After a long drive and an exhausting hike away from the road, we finally reached our destination. It was late afternoon. We were in a deep canyon. The bottom of it was already dark, while the sun was still shining on the top of the mountains above it. We walked until we came to a small cave a few feet up the north side of the canyon, which ran from east to west. I used to spend a great deal of time there with don Juan.
Before we entered the cave, la Gorda carefully swept the floor with branches, the way don Juan used to, in order to clear the ticks and parasites from the rocks. Then she cut a large heap of small branches with soft leaves from the surrounding bushes and placed them on the rock floor like a mat.
She motioned me to enter. I had always let don Juan enter first as a sign of respect. I wanted to do the same with her, but she declined. She said I was the Nagual. I crawled into the cave the same way she had crawled into my car. I laughed at my inconsistency. I had never been able to treat my car as a cave. She coaxed me to relax and make myself comfortable.
“The reason the Nagual could not reveal all his designs to you was because you’re incomplete,” la Gorda said all of a sudden. “You still are, but now after your bouts with Soledad and the sisters, you are stronger than before.”
“What’s the meaning of being incomplete? Everyone has told me that you’re the only one who can explain that,” I said.
“It’s a very simple matter,” she said. “A complete person is one who has never had children.”
She paused as if she were allowing me time to write down what she had said. I looked up from my notes. She was staring at me, judging the effect of her words.
“I know that the Nagual told you exactly what I’ve just said,” she continued. “You didn’t pay any attention to him and you probably haven’t paid any attention to me, either.”
I read my notes out loud and repeated what she had said. She giggled.
“The Nagual said that an incomplete person is one who has had children,” she said as if dictating to me.
She scrutinized me, apparently waiting for a question or a comment. I had none.
“Now I’ve told you everything about being complete and incomplete,” she said. “And I’ve told you just like the Nagual told me. It didn’t mean anything to me at that time, and it doesn’t mean anything to you now.”
I had to laugh at the way she patterned herself after don Juan.
“An incomplete person has a hole in the stomach,” she went on. “A sorcerer can see it as plainly as you can see my head. When the hole is on the left side of one’s stomach, the child who created that hole is of the same sex. If it is on the right side, the child is of the opposite sex. The hole on the left side is black, the one on the right is dark brown.”
“Can you see that hole in anyone who has had children?”
“Sure. There are two ways of seeing it. A sorcerer may see it in dreaming or by looking directly at a person. A sorcerer who sees has no problems in viewing the luminous being to find out if there is a hole in the luminosity of the body. But even if the sorcerer doesn’t know how to see, he can look and actually distinguish the darkness of the hole through the clothing.”
She stopped talking. I urged her to go on.
“The Nagual told me that you write and then you don’t remember what you wrote,” she said with a tone of accusation.
I became entangled in words trying to defend myself. Nonetheless, what she had said was the truth. Don Juan’s words always had had a double effect on me: once when I heard for the first time whatever he had said, and then when I read at home whatever I had written down and had forgotten about.
Talking to la Gorda, however, was intrinsically different. Don Juan’s apprentices were not in any way as engulfing as he was. Their revelations, although extraordinary, were only missing pieces to a jigsaw puzzle. The unusual character of those pieces was that with them the picture did not become clearer but that it became more and more complex.
“You had a brown hole in the right side of your stomach,” she continued. “That means that a woman emptied you. You made a female child.”
“The Nagual said that I had a huge black hole myself, because I made two women. I never saw the hole, but I’ve seen other people with holes like mine.”
“You said that I had a hole; don’t I have it anymore?”
“No. It’s been patched. The Nagual helped you to patch it. Without his help you would be more empty than you are now.”
“What kind of patch is it?”
“A patch in your luminosity. There is no other way of saying it. The Nagual said that a sorcerer like himself can fill up the hole anytime. But that that filling is only a patch without luminosity. Anyone who sees or does dreaming can tell that it looks like a lead patch on the yellow luminosity of the rest of the body.”
“The Nagual patched you and me and Soledad. But then he left it up to us to put back the shine, the luminosity.”
“How did he patch us?”
“He’s a sorcerer, he put things in our bodies. He replaced us. We are no longer the same. The patch is what he put there himself.”
“But how did he put those things there and what were they?”
“What he put in our bodies was his own luminosity and he used his hand to do that. He simply reached into our bodies and left his fibers there. He did the same with all of his six children and also with Soledad. All of them are the same. Except Soledad; she’s something else.”
La Gorda seemed unwilling to go on. She vacillated and almost began to stutter.
“What is dona Soledad?” I insisted.
“It’s very hard to tell,” she said after considerable coaxing. “She is the same as you and me, and yet she’s different. She has the same luminosity, but she’s not together with us. She goes in the opposite direction. Right now she’s more like you. Both of you have patches that look like lead. Mine is gone and I’m again a complete, luminous egg. That is the reason I said that you and I will be exactly the same someday when you become complete again. Right now what makes us almost the same is the Nagual’s luminosity and the fact that both of us are going in the same direction and that we both were empty.”
“What does a complete person look like to a sorcerer?” I asked.
“Like a luminous egg made out of fibers,” she said. “All the fibers are complete; they look like strings, taut strings. It looks as if the strings have been tightened like a drum is tightened.”
“On an empty person, on the other hand, the fibers are crumpled up at the edges of the hole. When they have had many children, the fibers don’t look like fibers anymore. Those people look like two chunks of luminosity, separated by blackness. It is an awesome sight. The Nagual made me see them one day when we were in a park in the city.”
“Why do you think the Nagual never told me about all this?”
“He told you everything, but you never understood him correctly. As soon as he realized that you were not understanding what he was saying, he was compelled to change the subject. Your emptiness prevented you from understanding. The Nagual said that it was perfectly natural for you not to understand. Once a person becomes incomplete he’s actually empty like a gourd that has been hollowed out. It didn’t matter to you how many times he told you that you were empty; it didn’t matter that he even explained it to you. You never knew what he meant, or worse yet, you didn’t want to know.”
La Gorda was treading on dangerous ground. I tried to head her off with another question, but she rebuffed me.
“You love a little boy and you don’t want to understand what the Nagual meant,” she said accusingly. “The Nagual told me that you have a daughter you’ve never seen, and that you love that little boy. One took your edge, the other pinned you down. You have welded them together.”
I had to stop writing. I crawled out of the cave and stood up. I began to walk down the steep incline to the floor of the gully. La Gorda followed me. She asked me if I was upset by her directness. I did not want to lie.
“What do you think?” I asked.
“You’re fuming!” she exclaimed and giggled with an abandon that I had witnessed only in don Juan and don Genaro.
She seemed about to lose her balance and grabbed my left arm. In order to help her get down to the floor of the gully, I lifted her up by her waist. I thought that she could not have weighed more than a hundred pounds. She puckered her lips the way don Genaro used to and said that her weight was a hundred and fifteen. We both laughed at once. It was a moment of direct, instant communication.
“Why does it bother you so much to talk about these things?” she asked.
I told her that once I had had a little boy whom I had loved immensely. I felt the imperative to tell her about him. Some extravagant need beyond my comprehension made me open up with that woman who was a total stranger to me.
As I began to talk about that little boy, a wave of nostalgia enveloped me; perhaps it was the place or the situation or the time of the day. Somehow I had merged the memory of that little boy with the memory of don Juan, and for the first time in all the time I had not seen him I missed don Juan. Lidia had said that they never missed him because he was always with them; he was their bodies and their spirits. I had known instantly what she meant. I felt the same way myself. In that gully, however, an unknown feeling had overtaken me. I told la Gorda that I had never missed don Juan until that moment. She did not answer. She looked away.
Possibly my feeling of longing for those two people had to do with the fact that both of them had produced catharses in my life. And both of them were gone. I had not realized until that moment how final that separation was. I said to la Gorda that that little boy had been, more than anything else, my friend, and that one day he was whisked away by forces I could not control.
That was perhaps one of the greatest blows I had ever received. I even went to see don Juan to ask his assistance. It was the only time I had ever asked him for help. He listened to my plea and then he broke into uproarious laughter. His reaction was so unexpected that I could not even get angry. I could only comment on what I thought was his insensitivity.
“What do you want me to do?” he asked.
I said that since he was a sorcerer perhaps he could help me to regain my little friend for my solace.
“You’re wrong. A warrior doesn’t seek anything for his solace,” he said in a tone that did not admit reproach.
Then he proceeded to smash my arguments. He said that a warrior could not possibly leave anything to chance, that a warrior actually affected the outcome of events by the force of his awareness and his unbending intent. He said that if I would have had the unbending intent to keep and help that child, I would have taken measures to assure his stay with me. But as it was, my love was merely a word, a useless outburst of an empty man. He then told me something about emptiness and completeness, but I did not want to hear it. All I felt was a sense of loss, and the emptiness that he had mentioned, I was sure, referred to the feeling of having lost someone irreplaceable.
“You loved him, you honored his spirit, you wished him well, now you must forget him,” he said.
But I had not been able to do so. There was something terribly alive in my emotions even though time had mellowed them. At one point I thought I had forgotten, but then one night an incident produced the deepest emotional upheaval in me. I was walking to my office when a young Mexican woman approached me. She had been sitting on a bench, waiting for a bus. She wanted to know if that particular bus went to a children’s hospital. I did not know. She explained that her little boy had had a high temperature for a long time and she was worried because she did not have any money. I moved toward the bench and saw a little boy standing on the seat with his head against the back of the bench. He was wearing a jacket and short pants and a cap. He could not have been more than two years old. He must have seen me, for he walked to the edge of the bench and put his head against my leg.
“My little head hurts,” he said to me in Spanish.
His voice was so tiny and his dark eyes so sad that a wave of irrepressible anguish welled up in me. I picked him up and drove him and his mother to the nearest hospital. I left them there and gave the mother enough money to pay the bill. But I did not want to stay or to know any more about him. I wanted to believe that I had helped him, and that by doing so I had paid back to the spirit of man.
I had learned the magical act of “paying back to the spirit of man” from don Juan. I had asked him once, overwhelmed by the realization that I could never pay him back for all he had done for me, if there was anything in the world I could do to even the score. We were leaving a bank, after exchanging some Mexican currency.
“I don’t need you to pay me back,” he said, “but if you still want to pay back, make your deposit to the spirit of man. That’s always a very small account, and whatever one puts in it is more than enough.”
By helping that sick child I had merely paid back to the spirit of man for any help that my little boy may receive from strangers along his path.
I told la Gorda that my love for him would remain alive for the rest of my life even though I would never see him again. I wanted to tell her that the memory I had of him was buried so deep that nothing could touch it, but I desisted. I felt it would have been superfluous to talk about it.
Besides, it was getting dark and I wanted to get out of that gully.
“We better go,” I said. “I’ll take you home. Maybe some other time we can talk about these things again.”
She laughed the way don Juan used to laugh at me. I had apparently said something utterly funny.
“Why do you laugh, Gorda?” I asked.
“Because you know yourself that we can’t leave this place just like that,” she said. “You have an appointment with power here. And so do I.”
She walked back to the cave and crawled in.
“Come on in,” she yelled from inside. “There is no way to leave.”
I reacted most incongruously. I crawled in and sat next to her again. It was evident that she too had tricked me. I had not come there to have any confrontations. I should have been furious. I was indifferent instead. I could not lie to myself that I had only stopped there on my way to Mexico City. I had gone there compelled by something beyond my comprehension.
She handed me my notebook and motioned me to write. She said that if I wrote I would not only relax myself but I would also relax her.
“What is this appointment with power?” I asked.
“The Nagual told me that you and I have an appointment here with something out there. You first had an appointment with Soledad and then one with the little sisters. They were supposed to destroy you. The Nagual said that if you survived their assaults I had to bring you here so that we together could keep the third appointment.”
“What kind of appointment is it?”
“I really don’t know. Like everything else, it depends on us. Right now there are some things out there that have been waiting for you. I say that they have been waiting for you because I come here by myself all the time and nothing ever happens. But tonight is different. You are here and those things will come.”
“Why is the Nagual trying to destroy me?” I asked.
“He’s not trying to destroy anybody!” la Gorda exclaimed in protest. “You are his child. Now he wants you to be himself. More himself than any of us. But to be a true Nagual you have to claim your power. Otherwise he wouldn’t have been so careful in setting up Soledad and the little sisters to stalk you. He taught Soledad how to change her shape and rejuvenate herself. He made her construct a devilish floor in her room. A floor no one can oppose. You see, Soledad is empty, so the Nagual set her up to do something gigantic. He gave her a task, a most difficult and dangerous task, but the only one which was suited for her, and that was to finish you off. He told her that nothing could be more difficult than for one sorcerer to kill another. It’s easier for an average man to kill a sorcerer or for a sorcerer to kill an average man, but two sorcerers don’t fit well at all. The Nagual told Soledad that her best bet was to surprise you and scare you. And that’s what she did. The Nagual set her up to be a desirable woman so she could lure you into her room, and there her floor would have bewitched you, because as I’ve said, no one, but no one, can stand up to that floor. That floor was the Nagual’s masterpiece for Soledad. But you did something to her floor and Soledad had to change her tactics in accordance with the Nagual’s instructions. He told her that if her floor failed and she could not frighten and surprise you, she had to talk to you and tell you everything you wanted to know. The Nagual trained her to talk very well as her last resource. But Soledad could not overpower you even with that.”
“Why was it so important to overpower me? “
She paused and peered at me. She cleared her throat and sat up straight. She looked up at the low roof of the cave and exhaled noisily through her nose.
“Soledad is a woman like myself,” she said. “I’ll tell you something about my own life and maybe you’ll understand her.”
“I had a man once. He got me pregnant when I was very young and I had two daughters with him. One after the other. My life was hell. That man was a drunkard and beat me day and night. And I hated him and he hated me. And I got fat like a pig. One day another man came along and told me that he liked me and wanted me to go with him to work in the city as a paid servant. He knew I was a hardworking woman and only wanted to exploit me. But my life was so miserable that I fell for it and went with him. He was worse than the first man, mean and fearsome. He couldn’t stand me after a week or so. And he used to give me the worst beatings you can imagine. I thought he was going to kill me and he wasn’t even drunk, and all because I hadn’t found work. Then he sent me to beg on the streets with a sick baby. He would pay the child’s mother something from the money I got. And then he would beat me because I hadn’t made enough. The child got sicker and sicker and I knew that if it died while I was begging, the man would kill me.”
“So one day when I knew that he was not there I went to the child’s mother and gave her her baby and some of the money I had made that day. That was a lucky day for me; a kind foreign lady had given me fifty pesos to buy medicine for the baby.”
“I had been with that horrible man for three months and I thought it had been twenty years. I used the money to go back to my home. I was pregnant again. The man had wanted me to have a child of my own, so that he would not have to pay for one. When I got to my hometown I tried to go back to see my children, but they had been taken away by their father’s family. All the family got together under the pretense that they wanted to talk to me, but instead they took me to a deserted place and beat me with sticks and rocks and left me for dead.”
La Gorda showed me the many scars on her scalp.
“To this day I don’t know how I made it back to town. I even lost the child I had in my womb. I went to an aunt I still had; my parents were dead. She gave me a place to rest and she tended to me. She fed me, the poor soul, for two months before I could get up.”
“Then one day my aunt told me that that man was in town looking for me. He had talked to the police and had said that he had given me money in advance to work and that I had run away, stealing the money after I had killed a woman’s baby. I knew that the end had come for me. But my luck turned right again and I caught a ride in the truck of an American. I saw the truck coming on the road and I lifted my hand in desperation and the man stopped and let me get on. He drove me all the way to this part of Mexico. He dropped me in the city. I didn’t know a soul. I roamed all over the place for days like a crazy dog, eating garbage from the street. That was when my luck turned for the last time.”
“I met Pablito, with whom I have a debt that I can’t pay back. Pablito took me to his carpentry shop and gave me a corner there to put my bed. He did that because he felt sorry for me. He found me in the market after he stumbled and fell on top of me. I was sitting there begging. A moth or a bee, I don’t know which, flew to him and hit him in the eye. He turned around on his heels and stumbled and fell right on top of me. I thought he would be so mad that he would hit me, but he gave me some money instead. I asked him if he could give me work. That was when he took me to his shop and set me up with an iron and an ironing board to do laundry.”
“I did very well. Except that I got fatter, because most of the people I washed for fed me with their leftovers. Sometimes I ate sixteen times a day. I did nothing else but eat. Kids in the street used to taunt me and sneak behind me and step on my heels and then someone would push me and I would fall. Those kids made me cry with their cruel jokes, especially when they used to spoil my wash on purpose.”
“One day, very late in the afternoon, a weird old man came over to see Pablito. I had never seen that man before. I had never known that Pablito was in cahoots with such a scary, awesome man. I turned my back to him and kept on working. I was alone there. Suddenly I felt the hands of that man on my neck. My heart stopped. I could not scream, I couldn’t even breathe. I fell down and that awful man held my head, maybe for an hour. Then he left. I was so frightened that I stayed where I had fallen until the next morning. Pablito found me there; he laughed and said that I should be very proud and happy because that old man was a powerful sorcerer and was one of his teachers. I was dumbfounded; I couldn’t believe Pablito was a sorcerer. He said that his teacher had seen a perfect circle of moths flying over my head. He had also seen my death circling around me. And that was why he had acted like lightning and had changed the direction of my eyes. Pablito also said that the Nagual had laid his hands on me and had reached into my body and that soon I would be different. I had no idea what he was talking about. I had no idea what that crazy old man had done, either. But it didn’t matter to me. I was like a dog that everyone kicked around. Pablito had been the only person who had been kind to me. At first I had thought he wanted me for his woman. But I was too ugly and fat and smelly. He just wanted to be kind to me.”
“The crazy old man came back another night and grabbed me again by the neck from behind. He hurt me terribly. I cried and screamed. I didn’t know what he was doing. He never said a word to me. I was deathly afraid of him. Then, later on he began to talk to me and told me what to do with my life. I liked what he said. He took me everywhere with him. But my emptiness was my worst enemy. I couldn’t accept his ways, so one day he got sick and tired of pampering me and sent the wind after me. I was in the back of Soledad’s house by myself that day, and I felt the wind getting very strong. It was blowing through the fence. It got into my eyes. I wanted to get inside the house, but my body was frightened and instead of walking through the door I walked through the gate in the fence. The wind pushed me and made me twirl. I tried to go back to the house, but it was useless. I couldn’t break the force of the wind. It pushed me over the hills and off the road and I ended up in a deep hole, a hole like a tomb. The wind kept me there for days and days, until I had decided to change and accept my fate without recrimination. Then the wind stopped and the Nagual found me and took me back to the house. He told me that my task was to give what I didn’t have, love and affection, and that I had to take care of the sisters, Lidia and Josefina, better than if they were myself. I understood then what the Nagual had been saying to me for years. My life had been over a long time ago. He had offered me a new life and that life had to be completely new. I couldn’t bring to that new life my ugly old ways. That first night he found me, the moths had pointed me out to him; I had no business rebelling against my fate.”
“I began my change by taking care of Lidia and Josefina better than I took care of myself. I did everything the Nagual told me, and one night in this very gully in this very cave I found my completeness. I had fallen asleep right here where I am now and then a noise woke me up. I looked up and saw myself as I had once been, thin, young, fresh. It was my spirit that was coming back to me. At first it didn’t want to come closer because I still looked pretty awful. But then it couldn’t help itself and came to me. I knew right then, and all at once, what the Nagual had struggled for years to tell me. He had said that when one has a child that child takes the edge of our spirit. For a woman to have a girl means the end of that edge. To have had two as I did meant the end of me. The best of my strength and my illusions went to those girls. They stole my edge, the Nagual said, in the same way I had stolen it from my parents. That’s our fate. A boy steals the biggest part of his edge from his father, a girl from her mother. The Nagual said that people who have had children could tell, if they aren’t as stubborn as you, that something is missing in them.”
“Some craziness, some nervousness, some power that they had before is gone. They used to have it, but where is it now? The Nagual said that it is in the little child running around the house, full of energy, full of illusions. In other words, complete. He said that if we watch children we can tell that they are daring, they move in leaps. If we watch their parents we can see that they are cautious and timid. They don’t leap anymore. The Nagual told me we explain that by saying that the parents are grown-ups and have responsibilities. But that’s not true. The truth of the matter is that they have lost their edge.”
I asked la Gorda what the Nagual would have said if I had told him that I knew parents with much more spirit and edge than their children.
She laughed, covering her face in a gesture of sham embarrassment.
“You can ask me,” she said giggling. “You want to hear what I think?”
“Of course I want to hear it.”
“Those people don’t have more spirit, they merely had a lot of vigor to begin with and have trained their children to be obedient and meek. They have frightened their children all their lives, that’s all.”
I described to her the case of a man I knew, a father of four, who at the age of fifty-three changed his life completely. That entailed leaving his wife and his executive job in a large corporation after more than twenty-five years of building a career and a family. He chucked it all very daringly and went to live on an island in the Pacific.
“You mean he went there all by himself?” la Gorda asked with a tone of surprise.
She had destroyed my argument. I had to admit that the man had gone there with his twenty three-year-old bride.
“Who no doubt is complete,” la Gorda added.
I had to agree with her again.
“An empty man uses the completeness of a woman all the time,” she went on. “A complete woman is dangerous in her completeness, more so than a man. She is unreliable, moody, nervous, but also capable of great changes. Women like that can pick themselves up and go anywhere. They’ll do nothing there, but that’s because they had nothing going to begin with. Empty people, on the other hand, can’t jump like that anymore, but they’re more reliable. The Nagual said that empty people are like worms that look around before moving a bit and then they back up and then they move a little bit more again. Complete people always jump, somersault and almost always land on their heads, but it doesn’t matter to them.”
“The Nagual said that to enter into the other world one has to be complete. To be a sorcerer one has to have all of one’s luminosity: no holes, no patches and all the edge of the spirit. So a sorcerer who is empty has to regain completeness. Man or woman, they must be complete to enter into that world out there, that eternity where the Nagual and Genaro are now waiting for us.”
She stopped talking and stared at me for a long moment. There was barely enough light to write.
“But how did you regain your completeness?” I asked.
She jumped at the sound of my voice. I repeated my question. She stared up at the roof of the cave before answering me.
“I had to refuse those two girls,” she said. “The Nagual once told you how to do that but you didn’t want to hear it. His point was that one has to steal that edge back. He said that we got it the hard way by stealing it and that we must recover it the same way, the hard way.”
“He guided me to do that, and the first thing he made me do was to refuse my love for those two children. I had to do that in dreaming. Little by little I learned not to like them, but the Nagual said that that was useless, one has to learn not to care and not not to like. Whenever those girls meant nothing to me I had to see them again, lay my eyes and my hands on them. I had to pat them gently on the head and let my left side snatch the edge out of them.”
“What happened to them?”
“Nothing. They never felt a thing. They went home and are now like two grown-up persons. Empty like most people around them. They don’t like the company of children because they have no use for them. I would say that they are better off. I took the craziness out of them. They didn’t need it, while I did. I didn’t know what I was doing when I gave it to them. Besides, they still retain the edge they stole from their father. The Nagual was right: no one noticed the loss, but I did notice my gain. As I looked out of this cave I saw all my illusions lined up like a row of soldiers. The world was bright and new. The heaviness of my body and my spirit had been lifted off and I was truly a new being.”
“Do you know how you took your edge from your children?”
“They are not my children! I have never had any. Look at me.”
She crawled out of the cave, lifted her skirt and showed me her naked body. The first thing I noticed was how slender and muscular she was.
She urged me to come closer and examine her. Her body was so lean and firm that I had to conclude she could not possibly have had children. She put her right leg on a high rock and showed me her vagina. Her drive to prove her change was so intense that I had to laugh to bridge my nervousness. I said that I was not a doctor and therefore I could not tell, but that I was sure she must be right.
“Of course I’m right,” she said as she crawled back into the cave. “Nothing has ever come outof this womb.”
After a moment’s pause she answered my question, which I had already forgotten under the onslaught of her display.
“My left side took my edge back,” she said. “All I did was to go and visit the girls. I went there four or five times to allow them time to feel at ease with me. They were big girls and were going to school. I thought I would have to fight not to like them, but the Nagual said that it didn’t matter, that I should like them if I wanted to. So I liked them. But my liking them was just like liking a stranger. My mind was made up, my purpose was unbending. I want to enter into the other world while I’m still alive, as the Nagual told me. In order to do that I need all the edge of my spirit. I need my completeness. Nothing can turn me away from that world! Nothing!”
She stared at me defiantly.
“You have to refuse both, the woman who emptied you and the little boy who has your love, if you are seeking your completeness. The woman you can easily refuse. The little boy is something else. Do you think that your useless affection for that child is so worthy as to keep you from entering into that realm?”