Friday, March 11, 2011


It's a pristine night. In the creek below campus the toads mourn, sheltered by redwoods. Walking to my office I stopped on the bridge to listen. Pretty soon, one by one, they went silent. Only when I was out of sight, well up the stairs, did they resume their moans.

On the drive from Half Moon Bay I heard a story on NPR about Jasmin Levy, whose newest album, Sentir, was just released in the US. Listening to her sing reminded me of a night long ago, in Madrid, when I sat with my friend Haukur Ástvaldsson in a small, smoke-filled bar and listened to three men and a woman take turns singing flamenco.

We humans know something about mourning, too, old toads.

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