Best of Essays

Take another look at James Salter on France and A Sport and a Pastime, introduced by Paul Yoon; revisit Damascus with Tricia Khleif as she recalls music lessons in “Abu Musa.”

 

Photo from Flickr Creative Commons

 

Best of Essays

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scene of ocean with sun reflecting down on water

Negotiating Fluidity

BRIDGET A. LYONS
My customary visual bearings don’t seem to be serving me here in Alice’s Arctic Wonderland, where even the most fundamental rules of spatial arrangement have been upended. I see liquid lying over land, tundra hovering in midair, and chunks of ice floating several feet above the sea.

I Heart Ugly Nature

CHARLES HOOD
I logged eleven species of warbler by midday, including two rare ones for California—a black-and-white warbler and a northern waterthrush. I drove Highway 14 back to Lancaster, had lunch, then changed into my suit in the restaurant parking lot.

Image of Moai statues in a field.

Past and Future on Rapa Nui

JULIA COOKE
The morning was clear and the colors vivid: yellow brush, white ocean froth against cobalt sky. In front of me, dense gray volcanic stone appeared to consume the light. I stood in salty mist before an altar on the north coast of Rapa Nui, Easter Island.