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.
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.
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.
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."