Monday, June 20, 2011

One Thousand Nights and One Night

ॐ । अहं षिवीय ।।
I am Shiva.
I am Ogou.

Years ago at our house, we tried to start an activity. Our activities take many forms. Sometimes it’s something we do in the living room, on the porch or in times past in front of the wood-burning fireplace. Other times, it’s sleep foreplay, a.k.a. the bedtime story. This particular activity was the classic Arabic tale of romance, One Thousand Nights and One Night. We have a fragile old four volume set that’s forbidden to leave the house. Saum started reading this to me as a bedtime story. For those of you familiar with the slim slivers taken by movies, these are beautifully complex stories. There are stories within stories within stories.

Witnessing his wife’s betrayal, King Shahryār goes beyond reason with rage killing the cheating pair in a crime of passion. He loses all faith in women and takes a new virtuous young woman each night as wife, killing her after slacking his passions. He does so for three years until he has killed all in his kingdom, all except his chief advisors young daughters.