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Monday, 4 February 2002

Sandra Smith 2002

Sea turtle tracks, early morning on the Space Coast of Florida, 2001.

Biting the wheel is not enough.

Dear Russ,

I thought about where I might leave a piece of paper with your apothegm. I'm only a few hours distant from Roswell, you know. I could have taken it to the UFO Museum. But in the end I decided to commit my yellow paper to the ghost town of White Oaks. Virtually nothing is left of this Victorian gold mining town, which began to die when it lost the chance to become a railroad stop. There is nothing but a tiny wooden saloon of casual construction that serves as the epicenter for a treeless warren of dirt roads sparsely studded with trailers. A steer skull hangs crookedly over the entrance. The scene always makes me think of "The Man With the Dagger". I drove to White Oaks as furtively as one can when one raises a dust cloud, but I was seen. The mission failed.

So then I hit on the idea of placing my yellow paper in the virtual world: hence this photo. I took the picture during the summer of 2001, the morning after sea turtles had come up to deposit their clutches, on the Atlantic coast of Florida near Cape Canaveral. Last week I re-entered the picture in virtual mode, and left my A4.

Some statements are so succinct but at the same time blipful that, like black holes, they suck into themselves any attempt to explain them. I've already told the epiphanic story, over on the Head of Orpheus web site, of how I discovered that wheel-biting lion deep in the narrow corridors of the Assyrian exhibit at the British Museum. I am awestruck at how that lion unleashed such creative profundity in you. I took a version of that lion away with me that day... or perhaps, as lions will do, he chose me. He was, and continues to be, a privelege to witness, a necessity to witness.

Happy Birthday, Russ, and may you have as many more as you can stand.

With warmest wishes,
Asteroid Lil
formerly in the Green Swamp -- now in the land of Billy the Kid

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