The Voyage

Finding wonder in the work of a writer I’ve not read before is not dissimilar to the early days of a romance. Those early weeks and months of enchantment are enlivening, energizing, as I go through the joyful immersion in their work. In that first flush, I allow the thrill of enchantment to have its way, knowing that more  level-headed scrutiny will have its day.

The wellspring of enchantment is capricious and very personal. This year has been rich with the discovery of the work of Ágota Kristóf, Denton Welch and lately Eduardo Galeano. They have delighted whilst the work of Barbara Pym and Jens Bjørneboe has left me untouched.

After Mirrors, I couldn’t resist more Galeano. While I await delivery of his Memory of Fire trilogy, I found today a nice edition of Voices in Time.

Orion Vall, who works with newborns at a hospital in Barcelona, says that the first human gesture is the embrace. After coming into the world, at the beginning of their days, babies wave their arms as if seeking someone.
Other doctors, who work with people who have already lived their lives, say that the aged, at the end of their days, die trying to raise their arms.
And that’s it, that’s all, no matter how hard we strive or how many words we pile on. Everything comes down to this: between two flutterings, with no more explanation, the voyage occurs.

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