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Pickle Me This

September 18, 2008

Like a treasure

“I receive remarkable letters. They are opened for me, unfolded and spread out before my eyes, in a daily ritual that gives the arrival of the post the character of a hushed and holy ceremony. I carefully read each letter myself. Some of them are serious in tone, invoking the supremacy of the soul, the mystery of every existence… Other letters simply relate the small events that punctuate the passage of time: roses picked at dusk, the laziness of a rainy Sunday, a children crying himself to sleep. Capturing the moment, these small slices of life, these small gusts of happiness, move me more than all the rest. A couple of lines or eight pages, a Middle Eastern stamp or a suburban postmark… I hoard all these letters like a treasure. One day I hope to fasten them end to end in a half-mile streamer, to float in the wind like a banner raised to the glory of friendship./ It will keep the vultures at bay.” –Jean-Dominique Bauby, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (trans. Jeremy Leggatt).

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