Thursday, February 05, 2009


Sometimes I wonder just how a person is supposed to notice all the interesting things there are to notice in this short life we have been given. There are all these things around us, things we know a little about, things that contain whole worlds of facts and associations we simply haven’t noticed. The enormity of it boggles the mind. But I do love it.
Take turtles, for example. Now I know turtles a little, turtles with shells, turtles with soft underbellies, turtles in basement cages, turtles in pet shops, sea turtles defended by environmental activists against threat of extinction, mass turtle migrations that block highways in certain areas, chocolate turtles with sticky nutty fillings. Yes, I know turtles a little. So when I meet someone who hopes to have a turtle in future I think, Turtle!’ That’s nice. But I wouldn’t want one.
I once had a turtle, he tells me. ‘’I didn’t know much about turtles then. We didn’t have the Internet, you know. But anyway, I’d come home in the evening and let Turtle out of his cage. He’d wander around my room, and he’d nuzzle my feet. Turtle was afraid of other people, but not of me. ‘
And there am I, taken suddenly aback by the realization that in all my turtle awareness, no turtle has ever before entered my frame of reference as a loyal, loving companion. A little more turtle knowledge. A stirring of curiosity. Would I ever want a turtle?

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