January 12, 2010

My Missent Ritual

I have to say that, for me, the tracking of packages is one of the greatest and most enjoyable uses of the internet. It's like taking a virtual journey through places near and far, with a conclusion of sudden reality when whatever it is actually shows up.

I have ordered from Paxbook and watched a package come all the way from the Holy See. It first appears in Rome and then quickly makes its way to Milan. Then it descends into silence for a few days before popping up in Pittsburgh.

I have tracked packages sent via UPS, FedEx, and Deutsche Post (The Dutch book dealer from whom I have found a few treasures seems to wander over the border to do his mailing.)

But the most obscure, mysterious--and in this sense, interesting--package tracking is with items sent via the U.S. Postal Service Media Mail, the former 4th class/Book Rate. The indications can be opaque and the itineraries without obvious logic.

Today I see that my latest package from the great Loome Booksellers, now in its ninth day in the epic journey from Stillwater, Minnesota to the City of Gracious Living, Yonkers, New York, has appeared in Englewood, New Jersey, having taken three days to get there from fifteen or so miles away in Jersey City.

This means that me and my package are probably less than three miles apart at this moment, but who knows how long it will take to get here, especially as the most recent "status" reads "missent."

I can only imagine what "missent" might mean: Perhaps some Jersey Wiccan or Scientologist is poring over the 1955 Rituale Romano-Seraphicum in a state of disappointment.


Qualis Rex said...


Maybe it is indeed the Holy Spirit at work. Hey, if St Paul can get blown off course and end up in Malta, maybe it is in fact divine providence that you book was sent to that theological wilderness that is New Jersey.

Hidden One said...

Were I you, after that trip, I would take heart. Perhaps they have now sent it directly to you by mistake!