Tuesday, November 2, 2010

while on the subject of snails

in the last couple of months i've discovered two very special books that are simply too good not to share (although i'm tempted to buy them for all and sundry and will now be giving my 'secrets' away).

the first of these is a little gem called 'the sound of a wild snail eating' by elizabeth tova bailey. right from the moment you see the cover and the layout you're sure that this is something special. and, luckily, the words inside live up to expectations. attempting to do justice in describing this story is no easy task...i almost feel that it's something which should be left to each reader to explore as untouched. so i'll keep my explanation as brief as possible, hopefully just enough to entice you too to want to read.

put simply, it's a tale about a woman bedridden with severe ME/CFS who 'adopts' (involuntarily) a snail. it might not sound exactly riveting but is actually incredibly interesting and the writing is so beautiful you want to take it slowly - at a snail's pace? - and savour every word. each sentence is so exquisitely sculpted that it feels like a meditation to read. without dwelling overly upon her illness bailey nonetheless manages to gently shed light on just how serious ME/CFS can be.
the emphasis, however, is very much upon the snail - drawing you in to the world of another slow creature and revealing just how much we can learn by pure observation. who knew that gastropods had such fascinating lives?

when i read this the first time i was going through a particularly tough patch, back to spending most of my days in a darkened room and struggling to deal with any sensory stimulation whatsoever.
somehow as i read i felt more at peace and soothed. i would smile to myself as i delighted in another small morsel, sharing the obvious joy shining through the pages and luxuriating in the beauty of the writing. i could feel the snail working its magic on me too through bailey's words.

No comments:

Post a Comment

always love to hear what you have to say...