I Always Come Back Changed

I cannot read a book, take time to hear another’s story, or let a movie give me its message, without coming back to my regular life changed. Forrest Gander captured this truth in his intro to the new book of Neruda’s lost poems:

The truth is that I disappeared from myself. I was concentrated entirely into the durable moment of translation–which begins in humility, a sublimation of the self so extreme that the music of someone else’s mind might be heard. And for a while, no remnant of me existed outside of that moment.” – Forrest Gander (translator of The Lost Neruda Poems)


When my friend gave me this book, I wasn’t very excited about reading obscure love poems, yet the book begin to change me in the prologue when the translator mentioned the same skepticism when asked to translate the work.

Today will change me…if I allow it. It will improve me if I listen to the music of someone else’s mind intently enough to receive the gifts they offer and translate them to my own journey home.

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