Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.
Louisa May Alcott from Elbert Hubbard’s Scrap Book: Containing the Inspired and Inspiring Selections, Gathered During a Lifetime of Discriminating Reading for His Own Use
Elbert Hubbard, like most of us, was a gatherer. He gathered up the spoken thoughts of other men and women as one gathers a beautiful wildflower. This quest lead him far and wide. It was the quest he enjoyed, but the sayings we remember.
My French teacher reminded me that words can be good or bad depending on how they are used, “les mots sont des choses, bonnes ou mauvaises.”
Words are twice translated, my French instructor would say to me, first by the author in putting words to paper, and twice by the translator who interprets the subtlety of thought into a foreign language. Context, the instructor continues, gives meaning to the words.
Loin dans le soleil sont mes aspirations plus grand. Je ne peut pas les atteindre, mais je peux les regarder et de voir leur beauté, croire en eux, et essayez de suivre où ils me emportent.
There is, I reply, a third translation. That is, by the reader who applies their own emotions and feelings to the words. We all seek truth and understanding, but the path is a solitary one, one for which we are thankful if we are given some direction.