Unfilled Meaning

“The idea that people from one culture are barred from understanding people in another culture stems from ignoring the role that unfilled meanings play in much of human learning, especially human learning about cultural practices. If I cannot understand that your words and gestures carry some meaning without already knowing what the meaning is, then I can never come to learn what it is you mean. But if I can realize that you are doing something meaningful, then I can put myself in the position of a child and encourage you to promote both my action and my understanding.” – Edward Reed


“‘Place’ is something we carry with us — a summation of our inner memories mapped onto the present landscape as we traverse it.” — Martin Venezky


聽說水氣今天漸漸從南方移來. 大樓頂端的警示燈, 那個唯一暗示時間流逝的訊號都無法劃破陰沉的天空. 於是想起那個同樣是海島但是在記憶裡光影分明已經超過 500 年的 Trinadad. 橘紅, 陶坏黃,青瓷綠, 舊蕾絲白, 和從極深到極淺的藍, 明明白白地被光線切割出幾何的圖形, 全影裡抽著雪茄的老人, 只聞香味, 看不見臉.

這裡許多人家都有自己的天台, 樓高三層便可以平視附近高矮不齊的紅磚瓦屋頂. 屋頂除了有 Vive Fidel 塗鴉的水塔外, 最普遍的用途便是曬衣服毛巾棉被. 簡單的白色鐵桌椅隨意散落, 等著人們在傍晚的時候帶一壺冰茶, 眺望漸層的藍色天空下像一條深藍緞帶的海. 海邊的沙灘上有德國來的遊客, 加拿大來的遊客,南美洲來的遊客, 少有美國人. 那時美國還沒有開放一般人來古巴, Fidel 還有兩年才死.

mercato 裡面常是空蕩蕩的, 但牌子上有米有糖有鹽有蛋有奶粉有果醬. 落單的小孩躲在有保護色的牆下, 心裡想著等一下是不是可以從這個陌生人手上拿到點銅板.


Why do kids like making/blowing bubbles? Do I still remember the sensation as a small kid blowing my first bubble with just a straw and some soapy water and seeing it being carried away by a summer breeze? No, but I do remember the taste of soap and potentially this has something to do with the bubble-blowing activity. So I asked my 4-year-old and as expected she didn’t have enough vocabulary to describe much of her feeling, but she did sketch on a piece of paper the motion of her hands waving the magical bubble wand in the air. That drawing contains the little secret path to her brain, just like any artwork to its creator.

To her that wand must possess true magic power (yes like Elsa’s); To me watching her grow up, however fast, is no less magical.