Seven short stories that explore the essence of things. The landscapes and memories that inspire a 16th century Italian painter. What a scientist feels as he dissolves into nothing, lashed to a bonfire. How a mantra is born in a dark Tibetan temple. The relationship between a Literature professor and his flamboyant older brother, reduced to a postcard. Dreams and the meaning of dandelions to a six-year-old boy. Photos, words and the connections that bind us to our family, even across oceans. Why snow and love have the power to steal sound.
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Each story creates a snapshot of the lives of seven people, from the Renaissance to the modern day. From a quiet mountain village in Japan to a quiet kitchen in the mountains of Italy to the quiet hopes of a young boy in suburban America. From the dark recesses of a Buddhist temple, rich with the smell of yak butter candles, to the bright flames of an execution and the view from the pyre.