“Travel, set out and head for pastures new.
Life tastes richer when you've road-worn feet.
No water that stagnates is fit to drink
for only that which flows is truly sweet.” - imam Al-Shafi
and travel I have...20 years ago I set out from a frozen, snowy place somewhere near the top of the world. I happened to be born in the last city of any real size in, what some people have called, the New World. A place where the fabled Alaskan highway starts and the true great north opens up and skids across the tundra and ice all the way to the North Pole. It then took me 2 decades of wandering to come across those words written 12 centuries ago by Imam Al-Shafi writing in a desert of sand instead of snow, but the moment I read them, I realized that at least for me, they were as true as the laws of gravity that cause sweet water to flow.
...And so I started my acceptance speech in the 15th century place just up the hill from my Almohad refuge here in Caceres. The foundation that I walk by everyday was the scene of the ceremony, bigwigs a plenty and it even looked like I was wearing one. One of the national newspapers even picked up the news item in our usually overlooked forest of dehesas.
Many thanks to those at the foundation, I can truly say it was a pleasure.