From the Journal or, Driving in English

An excerpt from yesterday´s journal entry, after the visit to the National Library of Chile (click here to read ). Point to note before reading, since September, my journal entries have been 98% in Spanish. For reasons that are difficult to explain, it is easier for me to do it that way… otherwise, there is a sort of freeze-up in the brain when trying to think in one language and being surrounded by another, both of which I understand.

6:10 pm. In the dining room with a fortifying, strong mug of tea. A prize for having finished a slice of whole wheat pan de molde and a wedge of unripe avocado. I have come to really enjoy this civil ritual of afternoon tea–there is something so balanced about it. So balanced and pleasing, in fact, that I shall do what five months ago would have been unthinkable, and double-dunk. Two cups, one bag. I must also add here, while the steeping is in process, that it is a genuine pleasure to be writing in English for an entry.

The best I can do is liken it to slipping behind the wheel of a car you have detailed and cared for–a car who purrs for you, who knows your touch and style and responds with fluidity and throttle. A car you shift seamlessly, feeling the potential of the engine, feeling the smooth thrill of low-seated velocity, the slope of a curve well taken. A car that seems in perpetual idle, waiting for the driver and an open highway, or blank page, so it can do its thing–both what it was meant to do, and what it and the driver learned it could do when patience, capacity, and a certain marvel for mechanics meet.

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