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  Elise Byun and Family. " I'm not sure of the exact year. My guess is 1991 or 1992.  I  think I'm 4 years old but my mom says 3 or 4. Don't I look too big to be 3 years old? Shrug."

Elise Byun and Family. "I'm not sure of the exact year. My guess is 1991 or 1992. I think I'm 4 years old but my mom says 3 or 4. Don't I look too big to be 3 years old? Shrug."

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
— "Wild Geese" by Mary Oliver
  Elaine.  Toby Edward Rosenthal, 1874.

Elaine. Toby Edward Rosenthal, 1874.

 Work by Elise Byun.

Work by Elise Byun.

LOUISE - Kangaroo.

COLONEL WEBER - What?

LOUISE - In 1770, Captain James Cook’s ship ran aground on the coast of Australia. He led a party into the country and met the aboriginal people. One of his sailors pointed to the animals that hopped around with their young in pouches, and asked what they were called. The aborigine replied “Kanguru.”

COLONEL WEBER - What’s your point?

LOUISE - It wasn’t until later that they learned “Kanguru” means “I don’t understand.”

****

IAN - Is that true? The kangaroo story?

LOUISE - No. But it made my point.
— Excerpt from "Arrival," screenplay by Eric Heisserer