Friday, February 18, 2011

Book #6



A convalescent, nailed in prime adulthood by a mysterious virus which nearly kills her and confines her to bed for years, leads a morose and purposeless existence until a friend brings her a woodland snail. The snail lives for a time in the convalescent's room inside a potted plant, but as Ms. Bailey becomes more interested in the tiny creature and its peculiar habits her caregiver arranges for more suitable habitat: a terrarium with mosses, ferns, rotting branches, and a mussel shell watering dish. The wee beasty thrives, and the fascination it holds for the observer helps bring her renewed purpose and the possibility of healing.

Ms. Bailey meditates on the habits of her companion, and researches dilligently into the surprisingly diverse literature on snails and other mullosks. This charming little tome is half memoir of illness, half amateur naturalist's observations of an amazing little creature. Just as the tiniest creatures might seem insignificant but prove most resiliant and complex, so can the smallest of books.

2 comments:

Shelley said...

I'm always fond of any book that might be helpful in times of sickness....

I may have missed it, but just wondering if you had anything to say about the doin's in Wisconsin....

Nyarlathotep said...

I do. I refrain from politics anymore in this space (my days of being linked by FireDogLake and Crooks and Liars are long gone!).

Here's what I have to say about the Wisconsin situation: It is not government inefficiency and government waste which really concerns the conservatives; it is rather the fact that the public sector is not driven primarily by the need to enrich shareholders and CEOs. If all public agencies were swapped out with private versions tomorrow the level of corruption and inefficiency could skyrocket and the conservatives would be gleefully supportive nevertheless because someone's pockets would be lined and only those who could afford to pay the highest rates could get the services and that's Social Darwinism. Then kids could dial up their Bangladeshi English teacher on Skype before going down the street to work at the mill.