Thank You for Being Late

by Thomas L. Friedman

Everyone goes into journalism for different reasons—and they’re often idealistic ones. There are investigative journalists, beat reporters, breaking-news reporters, and explanatory journalists. I have always aspired to be the latter. I went into journalism because I love being a translator from English to English.


On a midwinter morning in 2013, the Russian city of Chelyabinsk was blinded by a white streak in the sky. It lit up the late dawn and arced across the horizon, leaving a trail of smoke. Students at Lyceum 31 pressed their noses to their classroom windows to see “the unreal light.” Minutes later, there was a huge blast.

Bear behind amps. Photo Credit: Amalie R. Rothschild

The guy who supplied all the high-octane rocket fuel powering this event is definitely freaking out. Every one knows this because for what feels like hours but has only been about ten or fifteen minutes, he has been making the most horrible screeching and scraping noises imaginable by dragging an old wooden chair back and forth across the floor.


I was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, and lived the first few years of my life in the New York City area, but if you ask me, I’ll tell you I’m Puerto Rican. Puerto Rico is where I mostly grew up. It’s where the best memories of my childhood are.


It looks as if it has been busy for hours. It is six a.m. and stalls are up, watermelons arranged in pyramids, the bicycle-repair man sitting next to his kit. The roads are eddying with bicycles and knots of people. The carp seller with a polystyrene crate on the back of his scooter cuts in front of us, turns and swears extravagantly. We are going north out of the dusty city towards the hills, past alleyways squeezed between great high brick walls, factories with open windows, rubbish.


The Givenness of Things

by Marilynne Robinson

I am content to place humankind at the center of Creation. We are complex enough, interesting enough. What we have learned, limited as we must assume it to be, is wonderful even in the fact of its limitations. This is no proof, of course. Be that as it may. It is not anthropocentricity that is a problem here, but the fact that it is unacknowledged and misapplied, and all the while imputed to the other side of the controversy, as if it were, eo ipso, a flagrant error.

Bridge of Words Header

Bridge of Words

by Esther Schor

She smiled. “My name is Ekaterina, I am from Alma Ata. Where are you from?” She seemed to be rummaging for more English words, but after “Do you speak Esperanto?” the pantry was bare. Laughing, I asked, “Français?” but she wasn’t joking. “Ne, ne,” she said deliberately, her gray eyes narrowing, “Es-per-AN-to.” One of us, I was sure, was ridiculous, but who?