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December 3, 2012

Travel is a quest for common miracles

“I want to know what it feels like to actually be in a place that I’ve always heard about, to be part of its daily atmosphere and rhythm. I don’t need to see every famous sight, every last mosque and museum; art is all around me, wherever I look: intricately woven baskets in an Asian market, elegant pottery in an African village, ornate silver jewelry on tribal women. I marvel at how broadly the artistic gene has been distributed: at the human ability to make ordinary objects of extraordinary beauty. I marvel at the beauty of the people themselves, especially women and children. I marvel at the infinite varieties of religious experience: the countless forms that faith can take, the endless thanking and beseeching and propitiating of gods through worship and song and dance. These are some of the common miracles I go in search of.”
–William Zinsser, “The Road to Timbuktu: Why I Travel,” The American Scholar, Winter 1997

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