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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Time and Place. By John von Daler

                 Usually when the stern schoolteacher looks over the rims of her glasses and admonishes you with, There is a Time and a Place for Everything! she means that whatever you are doing should never, ever be done anywhere. So I often have abided by that pacifying annulment of my life's choices.

                Once though, finding myself in Moshi in Tanzania within walking distance of the noble peak, I allowed myself to read Hemingway's great collection, "The Snows of Kilimanjaro", having decided that this must indeed be the right moment and location for that book. Close to the border of Kenya, Hemingway put to shame whatever impressions I had from a previous reading on a train to South Norwalk. His book sparkled in the shadow of the mother of all mountains.
                It occurred to me then that there indeed is a right time and place, the best time and place for many, many things. Then I remembered some of the other rightful combinations that I have encountered during my life.
                I read The Grapes of Wrath in Tulsa.
                Saw Aida in Verona where it belongs.
                Ate Danish pastry in Vienna where it comes from.
                Listened to Mozart in Salzburg.
                Looked at Michelangelo's David in Florence.
                Drank Sancerre in Sancerre and Chablis in Chablis.
                Heard Carl Nielsen in Odense on Funen in Denmark.
                Sipped Madeira in Funchal.
                Smelled lavender in Provence.
                Tasted cinnamon in Zanzibar.

                 But Brussels Sprouts? Never knew where to eat them. 

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