Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Steve Long 2011


I chose my quotation from The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz this year because it has somewhat to do with maps and maps are playing a large part in my life at the moment. I'm setting the courses for a large orienteering event due to be held near Henley-On-Thames in Buckinghamshire next month. As you may know orienteering is a competitive running sport using map and compass for navigation on specially drawn maps in areas of forest or other open land. There is a tendency for orienteering maps (as with all maps) to go out of date very quickly and the quotation I chose echoes this, as it echoes life:

‘For years I have sighted and measured and located this point and that point on the face of the earth,’ said the surveyor, ‘and I have gone back to the same places to find my stakes pulled out as the boundaries waver and lose accuracy. I sight and measure and I plant the stakes again, knowing they will be pulled out again. It is not only the stakes and boundaries that are lost – this is what there is to know about maps, and I tell you what I have paid years to learn; everything that is found is never lost again, and nothing that is found is ever lost again. Can you understand that? You’re still a boy, so maybe you can’t. Can you understand that?’
- from The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz

On the 4th I spent the afternoon in the forest checking various things to do with the event and afterwards went to Henley to 4Qate. I don't know Henley very well but I know a good second hand book shop and in the poetry section at Richard Way I came across a book entitled "The Clever Daughter" by Susan Wicks. I liked the connection with Russ's book Fremder, and left the yellow paper on the shelf there and bought the book.


After some wandering I went into the Helen and Douglas House charity shop and upstairs they have a book section and a coffee maker and a few chairs. The area seemed a little under-used, but I left my second yellow paper in a rack of leaflets on the coffee table hoping it would be found by sooner or later.

Finally, after much wandering around the streets I left the last one in a rolled up property paper in a rack outside an estate agent. I wanted my yellow papers to be found by people with time to look at them. Hopefully I succeeded!

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