Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Heather Uhl 2011


Hello from Canada!

I've intended for years to participate in SA4QE but always gave way to lazy excuses. I didn't want to just copy someone else's shared quote - that felt like cheating. I wanted to re-read the books and re-find specific phrases that had spoken directly to me, and for me. There are countless lines of Mr. Hoban's books that I've let swish back and forth and linger, exciting tastebuds I didn't know I had, until swallowing them to discover the next delicious bite.

A stack of Russ sat on my nightstand will full intent. And no crisply perfect printer sheet for me, either - for all the joy I've received, this deserves the effort and intimacy of a handwritten, carefully chosen passage!

Yeah.

Well, that was the plan. And yet there I was, on February 4th, copying and pasting on a computer. I'm sure there's an insightful and witty quote somewhere in my Hoban library that would suit this perfectly. Maybe I'll find it before next year comes speeding around.

The passage I chose was the following:

Sometimes I don't know anything at all for large spaces; sometimes I know many things all in the same place. My perceptions are uneven, my understanding patchy but I have action; I go. I can't tell this as a story because it isn't a story; a story is what remains when you leave out most of the action.
- from Pilgermann

There is a small parking area outside our international airport where people can sit and watch the planes. It seems to me that it's a place full of large and small spaces, action (and inaction), deciding, remembering, and dreaming. An appropriate place for a golden paper and the above quote.

I pulled in and parked, suddenly unsure of potential repercussions of this mission. It's one thing to drive too fast and tear tags off of pillows, but I don't need the Federal Department of Transport annoyed with me. To my right was an airport shuttle van, the driver napping in the sun coming through her window. To my left was a man who sat behind his steering wheel and ate four burgers and two cartons of fries while I waited impatiently for him to leave. I wonder if he has much action.

There is only one other Hoban fan who I know personally - a co-conspirator who introduced me to Russ's work and, through it, to worlds where fantasy is genuine, one can worry without fear, men are unapologetically male, and moments are not so filled as to be useless. I send my deep thanks to Mr. Hoban, to my dear friend, and to all the other 4qaters who share their adventures and delight in this brilliant lunacy. Happy birthday, Russ!

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