One wakes up every morning and puts on oneself. Everyone has experienced this: the self must be put on before any garment, and there is inevitably a pause as it were a caesura in the going forward of things before the self is put on. Why is this? It is because our mortal identity is not the primary one, not the profound, not the deep one. No, what wakes up from sleep is not Tiglath-Pileser or Peter Schlemiel or Pilgermann; it is simply raw undifferentiated being, brute being with nothing driving it but the forward motion imparted to it by the original explosion into the being of the universe. For a fraction of a moment it is itself only; then it must with joy or terror put on that identity taken on with mortal birth, that identity that each morning is the cumulative total of its mortal days and nights, that self old or young, sick or well, brave or cowardly, beautiful or ugly, whole or mutilated, that is one's lot.
from PilgermannEarlier, I tucked the following inside a copy of Bob the Builder comic, in the Camden branch of Sainsbury's. I had been flicking through the Pedalling Man collection and it jumped off the page and threw a snowball at me…
I have London, London, London-
all the city, small and pretty,
in a dome that's on my desk, a little dome.
I have Nelson on his column
and Saint Martin-in-the-Fields
and I have the National Gallery
and two trees,
and that's what London is - the five of these.
I can make it snow in London
when I shake the sky of London;
I can hold the little city small and pretty in my hand;
then the weather's fair in London,
in Trafalgar Square in London,
when I put my city down and let it stand.
from The Pedalling Man
My whole day seemed to oscillate between sweetness and darkness and these words mirrored my feelings perfectly.
Happy (and sweet, and dark,) Hoban Day.