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  • My friend Ginés once told me he believed the word día — day — came to a man on the sea. For several years, Ginés was the lone inhabitant of Alegranza, the eastern most island in the Canaries. At daybreak two or three times a month he would row to the neighboring island for supplies. He would always position himself so that as he rowed, his back was to the island he was approaching and he faced east, into the sunrise. He once described to me the feeling he had when the sun first slipped free from the horizon. “Surely, this is what the fisherman and the sailor and the person standing at the lip of the sea must feel. What the families fleeing North Africa by raft to the Canaries must feel. All of them, a sense of urgency, of need.” “Día.” He had said, miming a stroke of the oars. “Dia,” with each pump of his arms. "So simple: Día. Día, Día, Día.” Urging the day into being.
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