The place I am writing about doesn’t exist. That is, it doesn’t exist for you. You’ll never see this place or these people. You’ll never hear them say the things that I have heard them say, sing the songs they sang to me, carry the scent of lanolin on your skin – or hear the hum of small cities in the loam beneath the oaks.
If you had gone into the post office, the heart of my village, in those days, in that captured time, you might have caught a glimpse of a boy – a lost and beautiful elphin boy, as fleet of foot as he was, as they all were. But probably not. He would have disappeared from view, as he usually did, as befits an Adept in the ways of a world that disappears regularly, but is not gone yet. Not yet.
It lives still, safe in a language, so if you come to Wales from Thailand, Somalia, England or Brazil, from any foreign country, and you don’t speak Welsh, you’ll see something. But you won’t see Something Else. You won’t see Cymru.
 Unless you speak Welsh, or were learning it in the bubble of time and space in which my experience took place.
“I foresee a great protest from the Anglo-Welsh world. But if you were to tell the native Welsh speakers I know that the English language in Wales is primordial, holds the secrets of disappearance, finds its way into the ancient history of this land, or sings its songs – they would nod politely, as they have been taught by their mothers, withdraw inwardly, and probably say something like this: “Well, you may have a point there.” However, were you to glance across the invisible matrix of communication they share with their own – you would see their eyes grow opaque, while the echo of your voice dissolved in the rich and secret air they breathe. “You may have a point,” they would say. But they’d not add what they think. They would not tell you that the Welsh appositive for English is yr iaith fain – “the thin language.” They would not tell you that they can only hear words in English. They can’t hear meaning. […] Of course you don’t need Welsh for English-speaking Wales. You don’t need it to describe your own experiences if all of your experiences have been in English. You don’t even need it to describe Wales as you see it. But you need Cymraeg to understand Cymru. You really do. Because you can’t have Cymreig experiences in English. Period.”
– Harrison Solow, dialogue in an unpublished manuscript
 The word ‘village’ conforms to an American scale of size – “a small municipality with limited corporate powers” with populations between a few hundred and tens of thousands, according to the New Oxford American Dictionary (the internal dictionary in the iMac Apple computer, OSX 10.6.6), not official British classification.
 Elphin, also spelled Elffin, refers to Elphin ap Gwyddno, the son of Gwyddno Garanhir, the Lord of Ceredigion (the county in which I lived in Wales) in the Book of Taliesin (Llyfr Taliesin in Welsh). The Book of Taliesin is a famous 14th century Welsh manuscript. It contains fifty-six poems – some from the 10th century and some, those attributed to the poet Taliesin, from the 6th century. The manuscript, formally labeled Peniarth MS 2 is at the National Library of Wales. http://www.llgc.org.uk/index.php?id=bookoftaliesinpeniarthms2 The reference to Elphin is to his having drawn poetry (in the form of Taliesin) out of a hidden element, the sea. It also of course refers to the elfin qualities in this particular person – that which is hidden in him, from which poetry, in the form of song, is also drawn; and an otherworldly essence. In Welsh, the word ‘poem’ and the word ‘song’ are the same word: cerdd. The boy in question appears in ‘The Postmaster’s Song’ in the creative work, Bendithion, in this thesis.
 It is crucial for the reader to commit to memory the fact that throughout this text, except where otherwise noted, Cymru and the English word for Cymru, Wales, refer only to my experience of Cymru/Wales, which, although shared by many Welsh-speaking native Welsh men and women, remains nonetheless, subjective. ‘Wales’ is not really an English word, it is the word English speakers use to refer to Cymru. The word ‘Wales’ is generally said to originate from the Germanic word ‘Walha’, meaning ‘stranger’ or 'foreigner’. John Davies, in his The History of Wales, p. 68 (see bibliography), notes that there are other interpretations of ‘Walha’ which include the definition ‘Romanised people’.
Causes Harrison Solow Supports
Lupus Foundation of America
Museum of Tolerance