We humans think we are smart, but an orchid, for example, knows how to produce noble, symmetrical flowers, and a snail knows how to make a beautiful, well-proportioned shell. Compared with their knowledge, ours is not worth much at all. We should bow deeply before the orchid and the snail and join our palms reverently before the monarch butterfly and the magnolia tree. The feeling of respect for all species will help us recognize the noblest nature in ourselves.
I'm scared," she said. "These days I feel like a snail without a shell." "I'm scared too," I said. "I feel like a frog without any webs." She looked up and smiled. Wordlessly we walked over to a shaded part of the building and held each other and kissed, a shell-less snail and a webless frog.
Ugly and futile: lean neck and thick hair and a stain of ink, a snail's bed. Yet someone had loved him, borne him in her arms and in her heart. But for her the race of the world would have trampled him underfoot, a squashed boneless snail. She had loved his weak watery blood drained from her own. Was that then real? The only true thing in life? His mother's prostrate body the fiery Columbanus in holy zeal bestrode. She was no more: the trembling skeleton of a twig burnt in the fire, an odour of rosewood and wetted ashes. She had saved him from being trampled underfoot and had gone, scarcely having been. A poor soul gone to heaven: and on a heath beneath winking stars a fox, red reek of rapine in his fur, with merciless bright eyes scraped in the earth, listened, scraped up the earth, listened, scraped and scraped.
The tourist travels in his own atmosphere like a snail in his shell and stands, as it were, on his own perambulating doorstep to look at the continents of the world. But if you discard all this, and sally forth with a leisurely and blank mind, there is no knowing what may not happen to you.
In the circle of light on the state in the midst of darkness, you have the sensation of being entirely alone... This is called solitude in public... During a performance, before an audience of thousands, you can always enclose yourself in this circle, like a snail in its shell... You can carry it wherever you go.
Geography is the key, the crucial accident of birth. A piece of protein could be a snail, a sea lion, or a systems analyst, but it had to start somewhere. This is not science; it is merely metaphor. And the landscape in which the protein "starts" shapes its end as surely as bowls shape water.
Everyone used to chuck snails at each other at school, and I used to try and save them. And not only did I get in trouble for it, I got suspended for doing it. For saving the snails I kept about four or five hundred of them at the back of the class -- in Snail Land. We were like six or seven or something, people didn't even realise what they were doing. I had a strange compassion for snails. And the teacher just chucked them all in the trash in the end.
My body, now close to fifty years of age, has become an old tree that bears bitter peaches, a snail which has lost its shell, a bagworm separated from its bag; it drifts with the winds and clouds that know no destination. Morning and night I have eaten traveler's fare, and have held out for alms a pilgrim's wallet.
What really grabs me is when a reader writes to express her personal story and how a book helped her situation, or her acceptance of a situation she can't change. I read some sad cases in my snail and electronic mail. I respond to all I can, affirming that they are the true heroes of life because they are fighting through adversity and surviving.
My first book, 'In Praise of Slowness,' examines how the world got stuck in fast-forward and chronicles a global trend towards putting on the brakes. That trend is called the Slow movement. 'Slow' in this context does not mean doing everything at a snail's pace. It means doing everything at the right speed.
Of course, when we got home, we found that Dagda had peed on my down comforter. He had also eaten part of Mom's maidenhair fern and barfed it up on the carpet. Then he had apparently worked himself into a frenzy sharpening his ting by amazingly effective claws on the armrest of my dad's favorite chair. Now he was asleep on a pillow, curled up like a fuzzy little snail. "God, he's so cute," I said, shaking my head.
Children, as persons, are entitled to the greatest respect. Children are given to us as free-flying souls, but then we clip their wings like we domesticate the wild mallard. Children should become the role-models for us, their parents, for they are coated with the spirit from which they came- out of the ether, clean, innocent, brimming with the delight of life, aware of the beauty of the simplest thing; a snail, a bud....
Children, as persons, are entitled to the greatest respect. Children are given to us as free-flying souls, but then we clip their wings like we domesticate the wild mallard. Children should become the role-models for us, their parents, for they are coated with the spirit from which they came- out of the ether, clean, innocent, brimming with the delight of life, aware of the beauty of the simplest thing; a snail, a bud...
Save your wack rhymes, hold your female. Pass the Old Gold, trash the ale. Cash your food stamps, get the WIC out the mail. Love to eat shrimps, but I never eat snail, Eat a whole fish except for the tail. Keep food in the fridge so it don't get stale, And when there's nothing to eat...I bite my nails.
Big Daddy Kane
How dominating is appetite, how enveloping immediate experience! Even the philosophically minded among us capitulate, ultimately, to the narrowest sense of personal need. Political time moves at a snail's pace because it is only with nearly insurmountable difficulty that moral discomfort takes root in the best of people, forcing an imperative out of a complaint; so viscerally repugnant is it for a critical mass to find the prevailing system unbearable, much less prepare to take up arms against it.
It would take more than long-stemmed roses to change my view that you're a despicable cowardy custard and a disgrace to a proud family. Your ancestors fought in the Crusades and were often mentioned in despatches, and you cringe like a salted snail at the thought of appearing as Santa Claus before an audience of charming children who wouldn't hurt a fly. It's enough to make an aunt turn her face to the wall and give up the struggle.
In the tortoise and the hair fable, I believe the tortoise represents big business, while the hair represents small business. Not featured in the fable is the six-ton snail, which represents the government. Not only is it massive and unbelievably slow, but it's also armed and without intelligence.
In White Summer, Joelle Biele exhibits a Roethke-like affinity with nature and natures creatures. At times a miniaturist, Biele constructs exquisite addresses to a heron, cicada, spider, catalpa tree, mockingbird, snail, cormorant, and others. These pitch-perfect poems are written with a delicate, meticulous attention to craft and music. Like the joy she takes in her subjects, this collection is a joy to read.
A man builds a house in England with the expectation of living in it and leaving it to his children; while we shed our houses in America as easily as a snail does his shell. We live a while in Boston, and then a while in New York, and then, perhaps, turn up at Cincinnati. Scarcely any body with us is living where they expect to live and die. The man that dies in the house he was born in is a wonder. There is something pleasant in the permanence and repose of the English family estate, which we, in America, know very little of.
Harriet Beecher Stowe
The French are not rude. They just happen to hate you. But that is no reason to bypass this beautiful country, whose master chefs have a well-deserved worldwide reputation for trying to trick people into eating snails. Nobody is sure how this got started. Probably a couple of French master chefs were standing around one day, and they found a snail, and one of them said: 'I bet that if we called this something like 'escargot,' tourists would eat it.' Then they had hearty laugh, because 'escargot' is the French word for 'fat crawling bag of phlegm.'
Our Nation, a great stage for the acting out of great thoughts, presents the classic confrontation between Locke's views of the state of nature and Rousseau's criticism of them... Nature is raw material, worthless without the mixture of human labor; yet nature is also the highest and most sacred thing. The same people who struggle to save the snail-darter bless the pill, worry about hunting deer and defend abortion. Reverence for nature, mastery of nature- whichever is convenient.
With the utmost love and attention the man who walks must study and observe every smallest living thing, be it a child, a dog, a fly, a butterfly, a sparrow, a worm, a flower, a man, a house, a tree, a hedge, a snail, a mouse, a cloud, a hill, a leaf, or no more than a poor discarded scrap of paper on which, perhaps, a dear good child at school has written his first clumsy letters. The highest and the lowest, the most serious and the most hilarious things are to him equally beloved, beautiful, and valuable.
The lancet fluke (Dicrocoelium) infects the brain of ants by taking control and driving them to climb to the top of a blade of grass where they can be eaten by a cow. The ingested fluke then lays eggs in the cow gut. Eventually, the eggs exit the cow, and hungry snails eat the dung (and fluke eggs). The fluke enters the snail's digestive gland and gets excreted in sticky slime full of a seething mass of flukes to be drunk by ants as a source of moisture.
It was hot; I never need the sweater. A great tall cloud moved elegantly across an invisible walkway in the upper air, sliding on its flat foot like an enormous proud snail. I smelled silt on the wind, turkey, laundry, leaves... my God what a world. There is no accounting for one second of it. On the quarry path through the woods I saw again the discarded aquarium; now, almost a year later, still only one side of the aquarium's glass was shattered. I could plant a terrarium here, I thought; I could transfer the two square feet of forest floor under the glass to above the glass, framing it, hiding a penny, and saying to passers-by look! Look! Here is two square feet of the world.
Perfection" Every oak will lose a leaf to the wind. Every star-thistle has a thorn. Every flower has a blemish. Every wave washes back upon itself. Every ocean embraces a storm. Every raindrop falls with precision. Every slithering snail leaves its silver trail. Every butterfly flies until its wings are torn. Every tree-frog is obligated to sing. Every sound has an echo in the canyon. Every pine drops its needles to the forest floor. Creation's whispered breath at dusk comes with a frost and leaves within dawn's faint mist, for all of existence remains perfect, adorned, with a dead sparrow on the ground. (Poem titled : 'Perfection' by R.H.Peat)
At age 43, when I decided to run again, I realized that the images used to describe runners didn't fit me. I wasn't a rabbit. I wasn't a gazelle or a cheetah or any of the other animals that run fast and free. But I wasn't a turtle or a snail either. I wasn't content anymore to move slowly through my life and hide in my shell when I was scared. I was a round little man with a heavy heart but a hopeful spirit. I didn't really run, or even jog. I waddled. I was a Penguin. This was the image that fit. Emperor-proud, I stand tallto face the elements of my life. Yes, I am round. Yes, I am slow. Yes, I run as thought my legs are tied together at the knees. But I am running. And that is all that matters.
When I was a child, I thought, Casually, that solitude Never needed to be sought. Something everybody had, Like nakedness, it lay at hand, Not specially right or specially wrong, A plentiful and obvious thing Not at all hard to understand. Then, after twenty, it became At once more difficult to get And more desired - though all the same More undesirable; for what You are alone has, to achieve The rank of fact, to be expressed In terms of others, or it's just A compensating make-believe. Much better stay in company! To love you must have someone else, Giving requires a legatee, Good neighbours need whole parishfuls Of folk to do it on - in short, Our virtues are all social; if, Deprived of solitude, you chafe, It's clear you're not the virtuous sort. Viciously, then, I lock my door. The gas-fire breathes. The wind outside Ushers in evening rain. Once more Uncontradicting solitude Supports me on its giant palm; And like a sea-anemone Or simple snail, there cautiously Unfolds, emerges, what I am." (Best Company)