Ah yes, the log cabin. How can we ever forget it? Somewhere an exile, an expatriate who has shaken the dust of America from his feet, who has hoped never to see that log cabin again, will empty his pockets for the laundry and there it will be again, the shining cabin on a hill. The cabin that remade America. And then it will fall and roll under the sofa.
And, there he is, the young Lincoln, looking in that book and writing that paper. Is he 14 here? 16? Already he has started work on what will become the Gettysburg address. Here he is writing version 1.0. It's a little verbose, a little childish. Each year he will improve it until The Moment arrives on that train when it is Perfection. On this I meditate each day upon gazing at the penny stuck to the well of the dashboard where I spilled my Coke.
Oh look, it's the young state legislator. Oh, how often we recall those maginficent Lincoln years in the Illinois state legislature, years that remade the state from top to bottom. Who does not know the story of "Abe Lincoln of the State Legislature"? Who does not yearn for a state legislator in any venue to scale the same heights Lincoln scaled in Illinois? I shall think of him each time I pass his state legislative image stuck in the asphalt near the sewer grating at the Seven Eleven.
(Earlier post here.)