Dear reader: these are stories inspired by thoughts you scribbled in your notebook while traveling some place that challenged you.
Every time a word appears in another language, something gets lost in translation. Here's what's missing.
The expectation that you had a right to be heard, no matter what, seemed audacious, even arrogant. The line between confidence and arrogance, of course, depends on the perspective of the listener, and that staccato spirit of madzona plucked my insecurities.
Where nostalgia expresses a longing to return to time or place when things were good, it is tinged with melancholy, even sadness and anxiety. Natsukashii, on the other hand, is absent this gloominess and suggests something slightly different: a happiness to be remembering a happy memory.
Occasionally, I would exaggerate stories of California to entertain my summer friends, but I felt uncomfortable with the responsibility of relaying all the nuances of American culture and uncomfortable that they didn’t see me as a fellow Spaniard.
I listened to the word dozens of times during a single broadcast, sometimes succumbing to giggles. Such is the mental exhaustion caused by straining to learn a language with no classes and little written material. Or, the emotional exhaustion of trying to faq out a life as an alien in a new land.
UNDER THE INFLUENCE
In which writers describe their pilgrimages to places made magical by the influence of a favorite artist.
At the center, the ellipse was a shelter, a hurricane’s eye, an intake of breath. I wanted to lay down there, to hold his hand, never to leave.
I was sure there were missing pages or I was misremembering the story of Dracula. I soon realized, though, that I wasn’t looking for an exquisitely crafted translation or even a new understanding of Dracula. Rather, I was reveling in the fact that one of my favorite stories had made its way to my favorite place in the world.
After the killing was done, the deep silence of the desert returned, and I must have fallen back asleep quickly. When I awoke at sunrise, the whole thing seemed like a dream. I went to pee in the outhouse, and when I was done I ventured into the dawn-washed desert, looking for the kill site, for any evidence of what I had heard.
The whole park is like this: lake and sky, gloom and glass. Time itself passes according to its own rules: the sun rises and sets, shadows spin like sundials, years go by in seconds, tree leaves curl up and fall.
The historian is like Merlin, living backwards from the future, knowing what the world is, but having to infer why. As we peer into the past, the view grows less distinct, until it vanishes in a fog.
While much of the media was focused on the Summer of Love, Didion focused on the darker side. The country was not in open revolt, but there was a brewing discontent.
WHAT I DIDN'T SAY
What did your favorite author leave out of their book? What would they say if they could return to its pages?
When she tasted a Cuban banana, her eyes widened, her mouth puckered, she cocked her head and looked at the bowl, the tree, my face, back to the bowl and to the banana inside of it.
But what brought me low that day was not as simple as feeling my age, and the long stretch of years since I’d fallen for the place—it was returning in a way that was anything but picturesque.
IN THE STUDIO
"At the edges of language, caught between here and elsewhere, there is hope that if we look out of the corners of our eyes, we can sometimes catch the metaphors lying round about, hidden in the most ordinary words, in wait for the possibility of surprise."