Subscribe
Subscribe
MY AMERICAN SCIENTIST
LOG IN! REGISTER!
SEARCH
 
Logo IMG

BOOK REVIEW

Shell Shock: An Excerpt from Self-Portrait with Turtles: A Memoir, by David M. Carroll

Weakened by thaw, the outer edge of a great ice sheet gradually gives way under my weight and eases me into two and a half feet of mud and water, floodwater filled with the new light of spring. On the twenty-second of March I begin the first day of my fiftieth year with the turtles. In a far different place I set out on the same search, with the intent and eagerness and much of the heart, if not the legs, of the original, even aboriginal, boy. My eyes are not as keen as they were; I now see more by way of experience and a long accrual and sharpening of search-images. As I peer into water pockets blacker than shadow and scan sedges burnished by winter and reflecting the near-blinding ascendant March sun, I am grateful that I still have a turtle place to come to and that I can find a way to be here.

So much opens up before me at this annual returning. The midday quiet here—not even a whisper from the water gliding by—the stillness and apparent torpor of the snowy woods and ice-bound alder thickets I crossed in coming here belie the urgency of turtle season about to break. The need to be everywhere at once is never greater than during the first few days of the turtles' emergence from hibernation: there are so many beginnings, renewals, and first instants set in such simultaneity. Every place I am is a hundred I am not. I never have a harder time reining myself in, focusing, slowing into the day. There is such a rush within the tranquility and timelessness of thaw, the stunned, blinking coming forth in so many hidden places, all in the space of any hour, any moment; somewhere, everything.

Self-Portrait with Turtles: A Memoir
David M. Carroll
Houghton Mifflin Company, $23.


comments powered by Disqus
 

Connect With Us:

Facebook Icon Sm Twitter Icon Google+ Icon Pinterest Icon RSS Feed

Sigma Xi/Amazon Smile (SciNight)


Latest Multimedia

ANIMATION: Hydrangea Colors: It’s All in the SoilHydrangeaAnimation

The Hydrangea macrophylla (big-leafed hydrangea) plant is the only known plant that can 'detect' the pH level in surrounding soil!
One of the world’s most popular ornamental flowers, it conceals a bouquet of biological and biochemical surprises. The iconic “snowball” shaped hydrangea blooms are a common staple of backyard gardens.
Hydrangea colors ultimately depend on the availability of aluminum ions(Al3+) within the soil.

To view all multimedia content, click "Latest Multimedia"!


Subscribe to Free eNewsletters!

  • American Scientist Update

  • An early peek at each new issue, with descriptions of feature articles, columns, and more. Every other issue contains links to everything in the latest issue's table of contents.

  • Scientists' Nightstand

  • News of book reviews published in American Scientist and around the web, as well as other noteworthy happenings in the world of science books.

    To sign up for automatic emails of the American Scientist Update and Scientists' Nightstand issues, create an online profile, then sign up in the My AmSci area.


EMAIL TO A FRIEND :

Subscribe to American Scientist