Your copy of Cedar Toothpick is somewhere between Here and There (and quite possibly up in the air). All Cedars have been packed, stamped, stamped again, and again, and again—Polish post office likes to stamp things, with vigor—and shipped.
And so Tomboy is hitching: she has hopped into motorcycle sidecars bound for Warsaw; charmed her way up into the cabs of tankers (with their trinket-laden dashboards) rumbling over the border into Germany, or over two borders into France and Austria; and curled up catlike into the basket of a balloon aiming for England. She has bribed the captains of Baltic ferries chugging north to Finland and Sweden; and stowed herself away into rowboats lashed to the backs of big oceangoing ships with courses set for the ports of the New World, or else Japan, or else New Zealand (which may or may not exist, and may or may not be there, bobbing in the southwestern Pacific, when Tomboy arrives).
And then there is the copy of Cedar journeying up into the Accursed Mountains of Albania (yes, that is indeed what they are called). I mailed this rucksack hardback to a specific patch of planet, and that’s about it, because addresses in northern Albania do not contain numbers. Address: First Name c/o Family, Valley, Region, Albania. Good luck, Tomboy! And be careful: there are wolves in those mountains. To quote Angela Carter: “Here, take your father’s hunting knife; you know how to use it.”
Speaking of wolves: one of two Cedar tracks, created by Jack Wolf and a choir of midsummer crickets, is available for download here. The track is entitled Last Corn, and can be played while one reads Cedar’s coda (The Hiker). Track, crickets, and Wolf’s playing overlap with the steps of the hiker venturing deeper and deeper into the forest—under blue skies, yes, but also under the influence of eldritch bewitchment. A second Cedar track, entitled Warm Boulder, is still in the process of being shaped, and so I’ve decided to wait a bit before sharing. Some things take time: bread, for example, and boulders.
Lastly, a note on scale:
Cedar is indeed a little book! The red sweater, in the previous update, is for a child. It is not a lumberjack’s post-supper sweater, and Cedar is not the size of a North American road atlas.
Here is Cedar on a shelf, befriending some ancestors and distant cousins. Cedar, as you can see from this picture, is small, though also, somewhat confusingly, twice as tall as a house.