A Small Welsh Observation
An excerpt from a letter to a friend
The summer did indeed disappear with frightening rapidity — as the days do, here, now, as well. I get to the university about nine most days and about the time I think about getting some breakfast, it seems to be seven pm and I swear, Allan, that the gods have stolen the day away to secrete in some glittering cavern and night, softly, falls.
I seem to be turning into someone else — Celtic and furtive and content. Loam, twilight, scampering, berries. Songs just out of range of human hearing. Fierce and small.
And yet, they believe me here. Have to, I suppose, since it is their own primum mobile. I have not been, as you have, around the entire world and honestly have no wish to. I don’t have external wanderlust — only the internal kinds. I used to want to see the whole world but now I believe that my purpose in life is Blake’s:
To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.
And so I am well situated on Planet Wales. What is difficult to explain is the magnitude of the invisible here. The portent in a smile. The small milestones on the road to trust, the breathlessness of achievement in intimacy, the secrets of the clan. Traversing the chasm between people — mapping the landscape of language, finally, finally, being able to discard even the best of American values (efficiency, productivity, pro-action) even for a while, in order to experience, purely, another mentality, the right to claim inheritance from an ancient code.
These are the journeys I undertake.
I hope you are keeping well in your own private paradise. It beckons so beautifully to me, but not enough.