Story of Evolution, Evolution of Stories
20 April 2004

Ishmael/Ismail
His Story of Our Story

He with whom one books begins and the other ends
Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, grizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses ... whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to preent me from ... methodically knocking people's hat off --- the, I account it hight time to get to sea as soon as I can. The mystery
The outsider

Now the bias let's take
That clear we may make
Just who yours truly might be
And why he should want
Others to haunt
With pictures so open and free.

He's one to whom living
His creed I'm giving
Encompasses all man knows and does.
To sit and see life
Its varieties rife
Serves as its own Because.

And yet to see
With a capital Be
Requires as well that one is
And so he will sit
In the random sieve
And view lives, others and his.

And errors he'll make
For he too has a stake
In how he wants things to be
And can't ever quite know
From his vantage point low
What eternity can see.

There are strange things done
Under moon and sun
By those who search to Live
The tales of the race
Through time and space
Appear as from a Random Sieve
To the Lasting Same
Who view the game
It must look the dance of the blind
But to those down below
Who play the show ...

Some History

One story
Of Ishmael's birth to Abraham and Hagar: The Lord to Hagar: "Behold, you are with child, and shall bear a son; you shall call his name Ishmael; because The Lord has given heed to your affliction. He shall be a wild ass of a man, his hand against every man and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen." (Genesis 16:11-12 RSV) And what followed: Sarah to Abraham: "Cast out this slave woman with her son; for the son of this slave woman shall not be heir with my son Isaac." (Genesis 21:10 RSV) The happy ending?: The Lord to Abraham: "Be not displeased because of the lad and because of your slave woman; whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for through Isaac shall your descendants be named. And I will make a nation of the son of the slave woman also, because he is your offspring." (Genesis 21:12-13 RSV)

"And God was with the lad, and he grew up; he lived in the wilderness, and became an expert with the bow. He lived in the wilderness of Paran; and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt" (Genesis 21:20-21 RSV)

And another ...

The Kaba is Built
by Prophet Muhammad

"Then Abraham stayed away from them for a period as long as Allah wished and called on them afterwards. He saw Ishmael under a tree near Zam-Zam, sharpening his arrows. When he saw Abraham, he rose up to welcome him (and they greeted each other as a father does with his son or a son does with his father). Abraham said: '0 Ishmael! Allah has given me an order.' Ishmael said: 'Do what your Lord has ordered you to do.' Abraham asked: 'Will you help me?' Ishmael said: 'I will help you.' Abraham said: 'Allah has ordered me to build a house here,' pointing to a hillock higher than the land surrounding it. "Then they raised the foundations of the House (i.e. the Kaba). Ishmael brought the stones while Abraham built, and when the walls became high, Ishmael brought this stone and put it for Abraham, who stood over it and carried on building. While Ishmael was handing him the stones, and both of them were saying: "0 our Lord! Accept (this service) from us, verily, You are the All-Hearer, the All-Knower." Surah 2: 127 Lessons

A less wrong image of evolution?Adding the stories

Fitting Ishmael in ... and with?

Call me Ishmael ... it was ever Ishmael's way to extend a thought. "Think of the Cathedral of Chartres. Think of its two towers. They do not match at all ... but without both spires, our Chartres would not be Chartres ... My whole book is but a draft - nay the draft of a draft". I said I felt the same about my book

The wind enwrapped us both, with whirling, invisible arms; its fingers plowed our hair ... With our faces uplifed toward the stars, he said, "And what do you think, Una, of these hearless immensities?"

"That we are a part of them, and they a part of us"

 A still more less wrong image/story?
Being as stubborn as I am, my immediate reaction was "of course i don't rely on other people, i'm exceedingly independent, self reliant, and damn good at it at that." However, after reading her question I went on to reading some of your reactions to my post about Ahab's Wife .. Reading your thoughts made my thoughts clearer. The clarity of my thoughts were somewhat reliant on yours. They may still be my thoughts, but they were affected by all of you. And so, while I'm not sure that we're dependent on others entirely, we cannot help but being affected by each other. And i think that is a stronger, healthier connection than dependence, and so that is how I will choose to think of our interactions ... Diane

The stories in this forum evolve me ... Melville's message of open-mindedness and appreciation of diversity told the story that was evolving in humanity! He gave an eloquent fellow voice to this new feeling within, and modeled a openminded approach to thought. His approach is still helpful today as we struggle through our issues of acceptance of others ... Mary

am I protecting my identity, and is that identity my story, my evolving story ... Ro

it speaks to a relationship in which the two characters allow each other to be. it reflects a respectful SILENCE ... Orah

I see the story of una and moby dick as bridges from one to the other. It helps me understand the stoy which is being told to think of it as one big story rather than two seperate parts ... Fritz

From biology/evolution to literature and back

  • Expanding/contracting, divergence/convergence, clinging/floating?

  • The present is created by the past; the future is made possible by the present .... but is more than the past? includes skybooks/authorial intent?

  • Interactions affect the future, directly and by lateral spread?

  • You can't backtrack in evolution; can one backtrack on stories?

Some relevant web sites

ZamZam, the Well of Ishmael

The Sacrifice of Abraham: Isaac or Ishmael?

Prophet Ishmael (Ismail)

Ismail(Ishmael)

Links to images of Hagar/Ishmael

Islam, with images/discussion of Hagar/Ishmael

The Expulsion of Hagar, Gustav Dore, 1866, from http://sunsite.icm.edu.pl/cjackson//dore/bible_illustrations.htm

Sarah Presenting Hagar to Abraham

Ishmael's Cage

The Hall of Hebrew Patriarchs

Call Me Ishmael

Me chame de Ishmael

Ishmael, from ChristianAnswers.net

Prophet Ismail (Ishmael)




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