Alive in Two Worlds

The past is never dead. It’s not even past: William Faulkner

It is impossible to wander the streets of Valencia without being shadowed by memories, all of them beautiful, like the city itself. Each memory carries feelings of peace and comfort, because during the months when I first lived here, an unexpected new world revealed itself. It was not only the Spanish language — a new way of thinking — but also new friends and a Spain that was beyond the horizon of my American imagination.

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The Mask Behind the Mask

The only thing certain about her is her unpredictability. She might appear in the middle of the night, as quiet as a cat, or arrive suddenly in a rainstorm with not a drop of water on her. She vanishes as unexpectedly as she appears. There’s nothing about her I understand, except that she is mischievous and she disdains clothing. Also, she refuses to speak.

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A River of Trees

The first few drops began to fall on Tuesday evening, the 10th of September. During the following three days the skies opened and rain fell in torrents on the Mediterranean Coast. Now it’s Saturday and the rains have stopped. Valencia seems to have been spared from the worst damage, but outside the city and along the coast south towards Murcia, dams and walls have collapsed, thousands of people have been displaced, crops are drowned under chocolate-colored lakes created by the floods, innumerable houses have been destroyed and six people have died, two swept away in their cars. It was awful to watch the video on the news, the cars tumbling like toys in the muddy waters, headlights still burning.

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