Spoiler Alert: From Chapter 16 of Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower
Cast on new ground
Must first perceive
That it knows nothing
It’s August 2, 2027, and Lauren and her companions are walking west on Route 118 away from her (fictional) home in Robledo, CA, which was destroyed two days before by a mob of homeless arsonists and scavengers. It’s their first actual day on the road. The pilgrimage toward the Destiny has begun in earnest.
In Chapter 16, Lauren and Harry have to learn from their companion, Zahra, what the rules of homelessness are. Lauren is forced to kill a man. While their lives were not exactly comfortable, they did live their entire lives in a walled-off cul-de-sac. Zahra, on the other hand, has experience being homeless.
For her part, Zahra asks Lauren to teacher to read and write. Lauren introduces Zahra to read using verses from the Book of the Living. The first verse she shows Zahra and Harry is this:
All that you touch
All that you Chnage
The only lasting truth