Letter from Nara

Japan Is it because I am faring far from my homeland that here mountains are more blue than blue - dividing waters; that sun-traceries are like maki-e outlining cherry-pink, poppy-red, up-curved roof-top green bright as polished trees? Is it because I am far from home that these become more luminous, more glistening? I was listening when someone said: ''Nara is a delight - precise pagodas, orderly gardens, velvet smooth deer mirrored in pools ... '' but nothing had prepared me for this sheen - this radiance of sight that I may take with me, like lacquerware that hardens to perpetual scene: Nara, sky clear, wind cool, sun clean....

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