Of which only the heart knows

Sometimes you find a postcard, and sometimes a postcard finds you.

After last week’s post and other musings on my desire to slow down and enjoy the simple moments, the postcard above arrived from Frank in Germany. As I went the Spanish route in high school and know exactly zero German (except, you know, gutentag), I had to rely on alternate help.

Since I couldn’t find an English translation of “Kleines Glück” online, I did some investigative work — and that turned out to be the most fun I had all day. Google Translate never lets me down. For someone madly in love with words, examining the sentiment behind the poem — “Little Pleasures” or “Small Fortune” in English, I think — was fascinating.

I went through the alternate translations for every word, stitching Irmgard Erath’s poem together like a quilt. I’m sure it’s not perfect, but that’s okay. Like all art, it’s open to interpretation. And this time? The interpretation was mine. That feeling was bold and empowering. It felt like deciphering an ancient text — and this text was all too applicable to my own life.

“Little Pleasures” reminds me how truly alike we all are. And how, with our incredible technology, not even language can separate us now.

Little Pleasures
by Irmgard Erath

Each day carries thousands of possibilities
for joy, for hope
and is a small fortune in itself:
Very quietly and unnoticed
in the midst of this noisy world
can the magnificent happen.
There are those small events
that make life bright and beautiful —
those precious moments
of which only the heart knows.

Book GIVEAWAY: ‘Bride Flight’

Many great films were great books first.

I’m absolutely loving the look of “Bride Flight,” a film premiering in the U.S. after enjoying success abroad. The movie is based on Marieke van der Pol’s Bride Flight, translated into English by Colleen Higgins — and it’s been a while since I picked up a novel without American roots. (How short-sighted of me, I know.) I’m really enjoying the book so far — and am happy to announce that I have three copies to give away to three U.S. readers!

Here’s what you’ll be getting yourself into, from Goodreads:

“It is 1953, and the last great transcontinental air race from London to Christchurch is about to begin; but even before the plane has left the runway, it has already become famous as the ‘bride flight.’ Of its 60 emigrating passengers, many are brides-to-be flying out to join their fiancés on the other side of the world.

Among them are Ada, Marjorie, and Esther, each of them with their own reasons for wanting to leave behind the hardships of post-war life at home and their own pasts. During the trip they meet Frank, a charismatic bachelor, who will come to have a dramatic influence on their lives and who exerts a continued hold over each of the women as they follow their very different paths in New Zealand. It is only when they meet again, years later, at Frank’s funeral, that the three women — now ‘brides in black’ — get to hear each other’s stories for the first time and realize just how closely their lives have been bound together by what happened on the bride flight.”

Sound enchanting? Want to read the book before you see the movie? Simply fill out this form before 12 p.m. EST on Friday, July 29. U.S. entries only, please (sorry, international friends). Three winners will be randomly selected and emailed for their mailing addresses.

Update on 7/29: Congrats to Melissa, Linda and Leslie, our winners! Ladies, I’ve emailed you.