In honor of the last days of that vacation you didn't take this summer, we serialized Guillermo Fadanelli's "Holy Week Vacation" from Issue 16 on our Twitter feed with the hashtag #holyweek. In case you missed it, here it is in full. Translated by Joel Streicker. Photograph by David Konopka.
Vacation has begun. My family, used to settling for very little, is feverishly excited. My sister bought a run-of-the-mill bathing suit at García Department Store: twenty pesos and her menstrual stains can be seen on both sides of the material. My brother stuck a bottle of Búfalo sauce in his suitcase, the thick coconut oil, not the red, spicy sauce. On the long road from the city to the beach the oil spilled and his bathing suit absorbed the liquid, stiffening like cardboard. My father has a bulging belly, like a gigantic mamey seed that never stops growing. Several times I have been witness to the disdain with which women look at him when he strolls along the beach dressed in just his swim trunks.Continue reading
Kathleen Jamie writes about her time on Rona, a Scottish island in the North Atlantic. Her companions are Stuart Murray, a naturalist, and Jill Harden, an archaeologist, who are conducting research. The full essay can be found in Issue 16.
While Stuart spoke to the birds, Jill communed with stones. First she concentrated on Saint Ronan’s chapel. It’s just a shell now, the stones of its western gable much collapsed. It stands at the southern wall of an enclosure, and within the enclosure is a little graveyard, very old. The turf has risen over the centuries, so the humble gravestones, hewn of the sparkly island feldspar, tilt this way and that like little sinking ships.
Nothing is known of Saint Ronan but his name, which, oddly, means “little seal”—as if he’d been a Rona selkie who’d swapped his sealskin for the habit of a monk. Doubtless he was one of the early Scots-Irish monks who sailed from his monastery to seek “a desert place in the sea” where he could live a life of austerity and prayer. Hundreds of years later, the people built the chapel in his name and buried their dead beside it. Now those people are gone, too, and their graveyard is a poignant place.Continue reading