1 November 2012

Day of the dead

Thirteenth in a series of notes and comments on The Book of Barely Imagined Beings

Chapter 6: Flatworm

page 92: Everything that lives is holy. On occasion, Annie Dillard entertains a different view:
I don't know what it is about fecundity that so appalls. I suppose it is the teeming evidence that birth and growth, which we value, are ubiquitous and blind, that life itself is so astonishingly cheap, that nature is as careless as it is bountiful, and that with extravagance goes a crushing waste that will one day include our own cheap lives. Every glistening egg is a memento mori.
page 93: an attitude vaguely adequate in the face of [death].  Michel de Montaigne wrote:
To philosophize is to learn how to die: Where death waits for us is uncertain; let us look for him everywhere. The premeditation of death is the premeditation of liberty; he who has learned to die, has unlearned to serve.  
In The Hit, a 1984 gangster film, Willie Parker (played by Terrence Stamp) seems to be living with this attitude (see this clip) but looses it in the end (see this clip).

page 96: spicy delights of the soil.  See, for example, My mushroom burial suit (TED talk) by Jae Rhim Lee.

P.S. A note from a year ago and some wise words from Christopher Hitchens

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