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Letters to daCunha from Ben Weinberg

“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” Ellen Parr

Letters to daCunha from Ben Weinberg

About the Author

Benjamin Weinberg

Ben Weinberg has lived and worked on three continents, but his home will always be on Gotts Island where he worked for years as a lobsterman, builder, and organic farmer. He is currently the headmaster of the American School of Madrid. He has published one novel, and his writing has appeared in Northern New England Review, Off the Coast, The Island Journal, and Downeast Magazine.

To Veronica Montes on the occasion of the news that his story would feature in daCunha…

Yesterday I walked by the cathedral near the palace in the evening. Rainy day, grey, umbrellas everywhere, The bells rang out at six before the evening mass. Something about the bells and the old stone so dark with rain and the lights coming on early. Music from the open cafe doors, the spill of light and laughter reflected in the darkening puddles. The landmark of the church on the far ridge across the Campo. Knowing home is just beyond in the mist. Something about time and distance and the singular moments when we find even if it is only to lose it again.

Knowing a story has a home is a moment like this. Thank you for opening the door for mine.

To Veronica when asked whether we could publish a few of his letters…

Of course Veronica, I’ve always liked having someone to write to, not the same as more formally trying to get a story right, these are finding a starting phrase and follow it.  I lived on an island, almost once upon a time, was a lobster fisherman and poor enough I walked the shores finding snarls of rope washed up after the storms.  Lines from several traps all wound together.  I’d find an end and slowly pick them apart until I had a set of neat coils.  Sometimes these notes are like that. Other times it’s like when the kids are chasing bubbles on a windy day.

To Lisa Renee as a response to her inquiry regarding his biographical information…

A quiet Sunday in Madrid, bit ironic to be living in a country without a government given the news of the day.  This morning I read a piece about measuring the summer melt in Greenland, sunny day floods on the east coast, and of course the latest in the Trump saga—not sure saga is the right word thinking about its historical origin—but then maybe it actually fits.  Had a long lunch by Plaza de Sol yesterday, group of very mixed business men at the next table sported black T-shirts: duck off, duck me, duck you, what the duck.  Indian British brothers looking Ghandiesque minus the glasses, an Austrian Columbian, a Nederlander, couple of others.  Me an American with a South African, we laughed a lot, then wended our way home.  Along Gran Via, a Falun dafa demonstration for peace.  Cops looking on quietly, one of them took a selfie with the ladies holding their poses in the background not the Donald’s world but so refreshingly ours.

Keep well,


Brought to you by “The Bell” by Benjamin Weinberg.

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