Sri Lanka snippet

15 Apr 2014

[Ed note: This is the final section for which I'd written anything for this work. It's just a few short paragraphs that take place in Sri Lanka.]


Sometimes, one can comment on something simply by stating its subject outright. A man frustrated, for instance, with a general disrespectful attitude held among a younger generation may simply mumble, “These kids....” Clive often used this method of description in praise of foods. He sometimes, to his great consternation, found it diffuclut to translate feelings into words when it seemed a simple acknowledgement only need be made. “These potatoes. . . ,” he’d say, leaving the rest of the sentence unsaid-because the unsaid is sometimes more powerful than the said. Please note, the unsaid differs greatly from the not said. And Clive mentally worked out the difference:

The not said seemed equivalent to certain literary devices. For instance, when Wordsworth describes how beautiful London appears early in the morning, he does not say how ugly it appears during the day. Many argue, infact, that that’s what Wordswarth actually is saying. Lists, for instance, become more about their omissions than their content. So, the not said equals the meaning. The unsaid, on the other hand, is better described as the left off, which effectively replaces words with gestures. Used with the correct tone, say, in praise of a great dish, it awards the dish an ineffibly high honor.

So, when Andrew, from a general lack of conversation in the station wagon, suddenly uttered “This music . . .” as if he were planning to finish the sentence, Clive determined that the music touched Andrew beyond words—that it tugged at, perhaps reinforced, his fundamental religious tenets. So, all spent a journey into the ancient hills surrounded by ancient sounds—sounds that, although played back through a Toyota’s cassette deck, redeemed the journey in status from simple outing to just shy of pilgramage.


[Ed note: There's a ton more from Sri Lanka, but I lost my steam on this one, for the time being. So, that's all for now. Surely, I've written on some of the primary lessons learned from that trip here and there, though. One thing that stood out would be the difference between what governments say about a foreign country, and the vastly different reality there. In this case, there were plenty of warnings about staying out of Sri Lanka. Yet, the people -- even the Tamils we were warned about -- were extremely friendly.]

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