“Being is not a steady state but an occulting one: we are all of us a succession of stillnesses blurring into motion on the wheel of action, and it is in those spaces of black between the pictures that we find the heart of the mystery in which we are never allowed to rest.” ~ Russell Hoban - Fremder

It’s Russell Hoban’s 85th birthday today and I celebrated it by writing this quote on a piece of yellow paper and taping it to the side of the large white rock that my city was named after. All around the world, pieces of yellow paper with quotes from his books were left in other public places - cafe tables, bookshops, park benches, telephone booths, train stations or anywhere the birthday celebrant deemed appropriate. The SA4QE (Slickman A4 Quotation Event) website lists 350 quotes that have been left, on his birthday, in big cities and small towns in 14 countries since 2002.  I am still the only Canadian representative listed on their site, but I know at least one other Canadian who leaves the yellow paper anonymously for the simple joy of having done so.

It was a beautiful morning in White Rock and a perfect day to celebrate the “moment under the moment” that Russell Hoban explores and illuminates in his wonderful books. He remains one of the most original writers of the twentieth century and one of my very favourites.

Happy Birthday, Russ!