Happy Birthday, Russ, and happy day to everyone!
There have been too many "toos" this year: too much work, too many extra events at my school, too little time to sleep. But fortunately there was also this day to look forward to. So I could barely wait for the last report meeting of the day to be over. As I left my school, the sun was shining (we'd been under a cover of fog for more than two weeks) and coming out of the building, I felt like William G. at the end of Turtle Diary, "Coming up on the escalator with my hair flying I felt as if I was coming out of a dark place and into the light, then I laughed because that's what I was actually doing." (ch. 53).
Earlier I had decided to go 4qating in the real world rather than the digital one this year, but as I didn't get home from work until late in the afternoon, I couldn't go on a very extensive tour. However, there was an ideal place for a quote near the block of flats where I live, the fence around a construction site on which someone had sprayed, "Wer es wagt, zu träumen, kann alles erk..." (Whoever dares to dream can ... everything.) The original word was "erkämpfen" (achieve something by fighting for it), but another sprayer had added his tag, so only "erk" remained, turning the sentence into a delightfully polyvalent message. It can now be read as "Wer es wagt, zu träumen, kann alles erkunden / erkennen / erklären / erklimmen" (Whoever dares to dream can explore, recognise, explain, get on top of everything).
The fence with its graffiti had been sending out signals to me for quite a while but I wasn't sure I would hang up an SA4QE quote there until The Last of the Wallendas And Other Poems, Russ's 1997 collection of poems, opened up to the poem "Long Green Dream". I knew then that the fence had to be this year's 4qation site.
Here's what I printed on a piece of yellow A4 paper:
Long Green DreamBest wishes from Yvonne
Last night there came a long green dream,
it pulled in like a train.
I climbed aboard and found a seat, it started
and chuntered on and on and on to oh, so
with place-names that I couldn't read and
hundreds of strange faces.
We journeyed half-again as long as any trip
and yet it got me back on time, and brought
me to Awake.
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