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February 2014

Book Chain Reaction

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When I was 17 years-old, I happened upon this eccentric book by Juan Ramón Jiménez in a small second-hand bookshop in Toronto, which led me to become interested in Andalusia, which led me to the music of Paco de Lucia (RIP, 1947-2014), which (in a way) led me to study Spanish in university, which (definitely) led me to travel to Spain with my best friend when I was 19, which (later) led me to return (three times), which (coincidentally) led me to be there when I realized that I was in love with my (now) husband, which led us to make some dramatic decisions that would put us in the same city at the same time, which (eventually) led us to travel back to Spain for our honeymoon…which (finally) makes me wonder about Actual Book Chains and whether they can (as often or as easily) trigger these kind of accidental life-changing reactions.

Still Outrunning

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My friend Malcolm told me a story about pronghorns recently, the North American creatures sometimes confused with antelopes. They can run at speeds of nearly sixty miles an hour, much, much faster than any of their existing predators. Some biologists think they’re still outrunning the dangerous species that went extinct at the end of the Pleistocene, specifically the cheetahs that existed on this continent. And then Malcolm asked what each of us is still outrunning and whether we can tell when our predator has been extinct for ten thousand years.”
Rebecca Solnit, The Faraway Nearby