Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Diana Slickman 2009

A bright, clear, cold February 4 in Chicago! Another in a long line of bitterly cold days we've been having since the new year began. They say - they, the people who say such things - that it's going to be in the 50s (Fahrenheit) by the weekend. I'll believe it when I'm in it.

Because it's cold and because I'm at work, I wasn't inclined to venture out until absolutely required and so I waited until I had some business out of the office to combine with this year's 4Qation. I went to the post office.

The P.O. we take our mail to is a large, rather shabbily grand structure in Evanston, a suburb of Chicago that butts right up against the northern edge of the city proper. It was built by the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression, or the last great depression, and has ceilings that are ridiculously high and a gold-leafed sculpture of a postal carrier above the service windows. I think of it as The Church of Mail.

I left my yellow paper on top of a stack of priority mail envelopes that (for those of you not acquainted with the U.S. postal system) are provided free to postal customers.

As usual, I picked this year's quote by random selection - I opened The Moment Under the Moment and here's where my eye fell. I found another quote that I might post elsewhere later this evening, but this is what I left at the P.O.:

If the human mind is still evolving, as I believe it is, if our mind/soul capability is still developing, then the pattern of our mental intake and sorting and storing is not static but changing. It may well be that we shall learn to let go rather than hold on, that we shall become capable of being with the world rather than attempting to consume it.

from “Mnemosyne, Teen Taals, and Tottenham Court Road”, The Moment Under the Moment

February 4th is Russell Hoban’s birthday. This piece of yellow paper, and your finding it and reading it, are part of a world-wide celebration of the day.

Happy Birthday, Russ!

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