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.

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