We can only have our own experience in life. We only live it once, and we live it in our own shoes, or our own bare feet. That does not mean, however, that we cannot, or should not, seek out the other. That would shouldn't seek to understand.
What we write, and how we write, is the translation of our lives lived. We can't ever have the full experience of living the life of another. We can walk awkwardly in her shoes. We can look through her photos of family and kin. We can cook her recipes and set tables with her china. We can try to carry her suitcases of long history. Board the steamship or travel that bus line. But it will never be exactly the same. Maybe reading her stories is the closest we can hope to get.
[Fuller version HERE]