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The Leap of Faith
[FINAL Edition]
The Washington Post (pre-1997 Fulltext) - Washington, D.C.
Author: Stephens, Jack
Date: Dec 10, 1989
Start Page: x.08
Section: BOOK WORLD

Enter one Hopi kachina named Aholi, a strange bright figure sporting a conical blue mask, seen suddenly poking about in the [George Binns]' and Pikes' yards. Those of us un-Hopi, those of us for whom such intimations of otherworldliness are alien, might feel pressed by fear of the unknown to choose between two options: evict the apparition so that life can return to normal, or ignore it and hope it goes away. [Richard Snodgrass]'s curious George, however, teetering between a long-distance lover and his estranged wife, is at a crux where such a visitation provokes him to attempt to understand Aholi, and by so doing, to risk being changed.

Over a four-day course, Aholi moves wordlessly through his backyard rituals with rattles and feathers, as we follow our George's sometimes clumsy fit-and-start journey to the heart of the Hopi Reservation, where he receives the advice of an elder and witnesses a Home Dance. Each time he returns to Aholi, it is with increased familiarity, and with an increased sense of how far away he is from ever understanding it. Still, the kachina serves as touchstone to the value of George's own problems. And because of the apparition, Don, [Mary Olive] and [Sally] must also settle accounts with their own disillusionments over passion lost or appropriated. They are all dancing the third dance according to Lord Krishna, the dance for the meaning of their lives.

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