Thursday, November 16, 2006

Off to DC and the Line between Living and Dead

Where I will present my work on zombie films to my bemused colleagues in religious studies. Oh, and at the book display I'll see these HUGE stacks of my book - probably four or five stacks of them, each waist high. Any of you who've written know how good that's going to feel.

I was thinking the other day about some of the less scarey limens between life and death, when my daughter and I were raking leaves. She ran over to me and swore there were snakes in the leaves. I assured her that was unlikely in our clime and at this time of year, but I had to investigate. There were some squiggly things, each about 3 inches long, under the leaves. I told her they were worms that had gotten frozen, but she insisted, so I looked closer. Sure enough, they had heads and were definitely not worms. It was about 50 degrees, and there had been two nights in a row below freezing, so I wasn't too afraid to reach down and pick up the dead fellows and hold them in my palm. As I looked even closer, though, I saw they had legs, too, so they were skinks, I guess. About then I noticed how warm it was getting in the sun, and I'd remembered years before I'd done something similar with some insects I found, so I said "Watch this!" I cupped my hands around the frozen skinks and blew on them, as I held them up to the sunlight, and sure enough, they suddenly darted around in my hand. I did feel like life is almost certainly more powerful than death, at that moment.


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