Before I learned a foreign language, when I only knew my own, I thought that in learning another language, the foreign language would begin to sound more and more like my own.  But what I found to be true was that the foreign language only began to sound more and more like itself, which continued to remain foreign, no matter how familiar it became.

While living in foreign countries, learning foreign languages, I had the strongest desires to read and write only in my own language.  It was in reading and writing in my own language that I could escape the sense of skittering around on the surface of understanding and experience the heat of sentences burrowing deep.

Once, walking down the street in a foreign city, there appeared a bookstore, and in I went. But all the books were in a language other than my own, and being so far away from home, I wanted only books that were in my own language.  The longer I was away and the more I learned to speak in the foreign language, the closer to my own language I became.

In the bookstore, I found a book on a forgotten bottom shelf, a musty and stained little book.  It was a book of blank pages.  I immediately felt a great connection with the book.  I felt the purchase of this book was very significant, and I went to a cafe and immediately began to write in the book a story about purchasing the book.  The story went nowhere, as they so often do.

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