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Amber Paulen

A Short Trip

The whirlwind of going home for a curt visit over the holidays has almost settled. At such times, it’s difficult to say where I am: home of family and friends, lifted by a whirlwind of conversations and places. If I were a master builder I would sift through all said and unsaid and build with all those grains of sand, a tower of comprehensibility. I prefer that I am not a master builder.

Memories unfurl like flowers—there or here ; and when the wind is right I run through the budding field or stroll through. The flowers shift colors according to the light and the activity of the wind, which reveals pearled underbellies. My over-active mind bids me stay aware of interesting events and people and their characteristics, and names them “material.” Home is a sheer brimming cauldron that only fiction can do justice to.

In more concrete matters, I had a lovely time in the States albeit short. I acquired my first Glimmer Train magazine, a very physically and literarily pleasing quarterly publication of short stories, also Lee Rourke’s first novel, The Canal and C.E. Morgan’s All the Living, in addition to a stack of other older books. I spent the last days of my trip in Nashville, Tennessee, where I was impressed with the truth of the cliche of Southern hospitality and as always, joyful with the privilege of communion with good and old friends.

And later this week: Tarjei Vesaas’ The Birds; and, after long deliberation and much stubbornness I will join Facebook, the first step of self-promotion. Mamma Mia! And I thought I could manage well enough without it!


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