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Where the Sky Begins: 
Travel Essays on the Edge of Time

by Carmen Firan

Translated from Romanian by Alexandra Carides

Travel is an escapade in time. Sometimes, the traveler has the feeling that people left behind, at home, grow older faster, while his time stands still or moves very slowly, with a rejuvenating power. I felt this under the intense sky of Jerusalem, in the markets of Lisbon, in the medieval streets of Medina of Fez, or on the Ghats of the Ganges River. In a Buddhist Temple in Thailand, a monk spoke to me about the wandering, immortal soul; in Peru, I witnessed how a shaman called upon the departed enlightened spirits to heal and cure the living; in Varanasi, huge crowds waited patiently for the day on which they embark on their final voyage. Somewhere on an isolated beach in South America, I felt that time had shed its authoritative structures. I took in that feeling happily, ready to enjoy the simple moment. I knew then that I could put a stop to everything and live simply, freely, without responsibility and without guilt. Journeys can bring these sorts of revelations.

"Carmen Firan’s keenly-observed essays transport you with her to many destinations from Machu Pichu to Lisbon and Bangkok with an imaginative, sensory and painterly vitality. These whimsical travel stories dive into the connections we have to one another and to our planet.  As the author notes, “Earth is like a tiny walnut that can be slipped into one’s pocket.."

                                       -- Alka Mansukhani, PhD, Biomedical research scientist,

                                            Health Equity Initiative


About the Author

Carmen Firan, born in Romania, has published twenty-eight books in her native country and in the United States. Since 2000 she has been living in New York. Among her recent books and publications are The Lost Shadow (New Meridian Arts), Changing Your Sign, Changing your Destiny – An Immigrant’s Horoscope (New Meridian Arts), Interviews and Encounters (Poems and Dialogue with Nina Cassian, Sheep Meadow Press), Rock and Dew (poems, Sheep Meadow Press),Words and Flesh, (essays, Talisman Publishers), In the Most Beautiful Life (poems with photographs by Virginia Joffe, Umbrage Editions), and several collections of poetry. Her work appears in translation in France, Israel, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Poland.


New Meridian Arts

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