Bruja

“No!” I screamed at her. “No.” Papi didn’t worship devils. “Trees, water!” I babbled at her. I was little and couldn’t really say the important things I thought I knew: Papi practiced a different religion, not a bad one; and Abuela insisted on saying that Papi worshipped devils, when it was Abuela who believed in devils, not Papi.
          Abuela knelt before her little blue robed statue of Mary on the night table. “Blessed Mary, save this child from the devils her father worshipped. Mother of light, fight the darkness in her.”
          I wanted the spirits of water and trees to love me. I didn’t want Mary to take me away from them, so I threw the statue at the wall.”
          Just the head broke off, and Abuela went over to grab it. “¡Mala!” she yelled. “¡Bruja!”

Bruja is the Spanish word for Witch. The character in this quote uses the word as some kind of evil insult. The person at the receiving end is just a kid… Do I even have to tell you why the above quote evokes so many emotions in me? Must I say why I enjoyed Lyn Di Iorio’s novel so much?

The first part of Outside the Bones is provocative. The second part is deep, emotional and bloody. And the rest of the novel is dark and magical enough to leave me with a satisfied grin on my face. Not because a witch kicked butt—although that detail helped quite a bit—but because Lyn Di Iorio’s fiction presents a world were light and darkness meet to create balance out chaos. There is blood; there is death; there is life; there is soil; there is loss; there are souls… and there is my hope for more books.

 I’m a curious Witch, my Wicked Darlings. Would you mind sharing what comes to mind—to heart—after you read the quote from Outside the Bones?

Visit Lyn Di Iorio’s website to learn more.

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24 comments:

  1. What came to my mind was the horrendous pseudo-religious practice that some african tribes practice, where if something doesn't go to plan with your life, you can blame a small child for"being possessed " by evil demons. The result of which is a small child is beaten(usually to death) to make no difference at all to a stupid life!
    Ignorance is not an excuse for hatred!! XXX 

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  2. that christianity, similar to judism & islamic traditions, firmly believe that they are the one, the true way. all those that follow other paths must convert or die. 

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  3. that christianity, similar to judaism & islamic traditions, firmly believe that they are the one, the true way. that all those that follow a different path must convert, be condemned/discriminated against, or die. that this belief must be instilled as young as possible so that it is unquestioned.

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  4. bentley is my daughter...i didn't realize she had signed in, now i can't delete it!  arghhh.....more coffee :/

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  5. This makes me think of the intolerant religions who believe they are the only way ... it's sad that this little one must endure what to her makes no sense... why do they who believe in devils think that anyone who does not believe in their devils is possessed by them?  How can you fight someone who will not listen? 

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  6. What comes to mind?
     
    The story I hinted at when mentioning how I chose my path on my blog a couple of years ago... It started with the time I earned time-out in Sunday school. Bored with reading the bible and getting no answers I decided it would make a great spell book and began playing witch and pretending to conjur up various things. They were horrified and told me I'd go to Hell for such a sinful act as that. I only attended Sunday school for a short time after that because I decided I didn't like their answers to my questions (I was about 7, and - due to my eyesight, which wasn't great even then - they were keeping me in the class with children of 5 and under; you need to know this for the next part). When my Mother's Goddaughter - almost 3 years younger than me - was moved in to a group with slightly older children, I questioned it. I was told that I was an exception to the rule about God treating everyone as equals because of having a disability. So I grabbed my "spellbook" and started flicking through it. They asked what I was looking for, I said, "the right spell." They suspended me from Sunday school. When my suspension was over I refused to return. Earned a hiding from my Dad for literally clinging to the car seat while screaming that I wouldn't go back. After he physically dragged me from the car and I clung instead to him - still screaming - he threw me back in the car, drove me home, gave me a hiding and left me in my room to think about what I'd done. I thought alright, and I never went back to Sunday school. I've been in churches since for various reasons, like when my parents were married about a year later, when events with school or Girl Guides required it (e.g. Christmas concerts and when - as the oldest Girl Guide at the time - it was my duty to carry colours on Rememberance Day).  When people told me I'd go to hell if I stopped going to church and Sunday school, I told them that, "at least I wont have so far to walk."
     
    Someone told me I should be thankful to God because of my blindness.  I told them I didn't see why I would want to thank anyone for such a thing.  They sighed and told me that if I felt that way the devil has already claimed my soul.  I asked how someone I don't believe in could have claimed my soul.  They gasped in horror and siad he must have gotten to me worse than they thought.  Then they gave me an address to go to for a meeting where I could be, "saved."  I never went.
     
    And that, Dear Mags, is what comes to mind when I read that.

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  7. After I read the quote, I felt sadness. We meet so many different people in our lives and have so many different people in our families, why does someone's beliefs make them bad or not as "good" as someone else? We have so much to learn from one another! Open your eyes, smile, breathe, listen, talk ;o) Big Hugs Magaly ;o)

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  8. The quote reminds me of many people today who act/speak out of fear and their misconceptions of things they do not understand. It sounds like a great book... adding it to my list of books I want to read!

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  9. It is incredible and terribly sad how people in fear and hate end up making up devils in order to justify their evils. And when the ones who suffer the consequences are so innocent, the pain is just too much to describe. 

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  10. No religion is perfect and some are less perfect than others. I know many people--Christian, Jewish and Muslim--who belong to monotheistic religions, but have space in their hearts for other faiths. The ones who don't, and who hurt others in the name of a benevolent god, are the ones who sicken me; the ones I pity, for if what they preach is true, their end will be painful and fiery. 

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  11. I deleted the other comment. I sooo understand the need for coffee to jump-start the brain lol

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  12. I don't think you can fight someone who doesn't listen; you can't teach them either, so the exchange is usually painful and most times hopeless.

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  13. I read this comment three times. I know that I'll read it again. I will also email it to someone I know. She read this post, and said that "the book exaggerates too much because no Christian would do something like that to a child in real life." People are uneducated, Tori. They don't see what happens right next to them because most of the time is easier to go on and ignore it. I'm so glad you shared this. I know it had to be hard to relive those moment, for even if they have been long long, they are probably still painful. I know. 

    Here is my bit on not finding my answers on the religion I was told I was part of: http://pagan-culture.blogspot.com/2011/03/witch-brewing-among-catholics.html

    Many hugs, my friend. I don't thank anyone for your blindness, but I thank the Old Ones for the miracle you have become. 

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  14. To love might be more difficult than to hate, but my goodness what one gets out of the first makes any kind of sacrifice worth anyone's while. Hugs right back at you, my dear Stacy ;-)

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  15. It is a wonderful book. I read it in one sitting and then when back to reread all the goodness I knew I had missed. I know I'll read it again too. 

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  16. Slommler11/11/2011

    I believe devils do a great job of hiding and camouflaging their true natures!  How horrific to accuse a child of being a devil!!  So sad
    Hugs
    SueAnn

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  17. Lyn Di Iorio11/11/2011

    Dearest Tori,

    I was so saddened when I read what your childhood experiences were.  I think your playing witch showed how very much you needed to create your own space to find spiritual answers and to develop in all kinds of ways, including developing your imagination and independence.  Instead of being allowed to continue to grow imaginatively and spiritually, you were treated with great intolerance and cruelty.  It has always stunned me when people who claim to be very religious show how intolerant and mean they can be to others whose beliefs veer in different directions.  I am also just shocked at how you were mistreated because of your disability.  Thank you for describing what happened to you--I learned a lot from your post. In Puerto Rico, where I come from and spent part of my childhood, many people regarded the Afro-Caribbean religions as devil worship simply because they are so different in structure and practice.  In fact, the Afro-Caribbean religions are very much about worshipping nature, a nature all around us, and that is some of what I am trying to convey in the book.  

    I want to read your blog now, Tori.  I hope you can send me the link for it.

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  18. Sounds like a good read.  I’ll add it to my “To Be Read” list. 
    The scene with the grandmother and the child reminds me of the turmoil that brews in religiously divided families where the children are caught in the cross fire and end up conflicted, confused and screwed up.  I guess the grandmother forgot that as a Christian or God fearing woman, she wasn’t supposed to worship any idol – not even a statue of Mary.   
    And yes, in the name of religion many people do terrible things to children.  Check out this article on AlterNet.org
    Beating Babies in the Name of Jesus? The Shady World of Right-Wing 'Discipline' GuidesThere is a brutal movement in America that legitimizes child abuse in the name of God.  http://www.alternet.org/belief/153006/beating_babies_in_the_name_of_jesus_the_shady_world_of_right-wing_%27discipline%27_guides

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  19. Hate tends to hide under righteousness; it's sad indeed.

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  20. I just wonder how these people justify their behavior in their own heads. It makes no sense. And in the name of a being who was so purely good. Makes no sense at all.

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  21. First of all, thank you.
     
    Secondly, yes, it was hard, but I'm glad - especially now that I know you can show it to others who don't believe such a thing could happen, and educate them - that I shared it.  When I mentioned how I chose my path I touched on it, mentioning the part about how unfairly we were treated due to our eyesight, but I left it there; I didn't want to think about the rest of it.  You see, I struggle to remember some things that I could see, but one thing I'll never forget is the look on their faces when they realised I was "playing" witch.
     
    I hadn't read your post, but will do so now.

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  22. Thank you.  I hope I can get hold of an accessable copy of your book (is it available in audio?)
     
    As for my blog; I think Mags links to it with my name, but it's http://ziglernews.blogspot.com, anyway.

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  23. I've seen that look and its mixture of fear and hatred can be very terrifying. And sad ;-(

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  24. Dearest Tory,

    Your writing about these experiences is powerful precisely because it is unsentimental, just incisive and clear. I am really moved and troubled by what happened to you, but also happy that you survived and transcended those hurtful experiences.

    About the book; alas, it's not in audio yet, but tomorrow I will ask my publisher about it and get back to you.  

    I just posted a short 3.5 minute video summary of my launch at Barnes and Noble in which there are little snippets of me reading from the book, and perhaps you might want to go to it.  It is on my blog site on my website: http://www.outsidethebones.com/blog/

    Many hugs, my dear, and we will keep in touch I hope.

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