Friday, January 16, 2015

Green Shells on Treetops and Vaccinations

That's a Manus Green Papuina, a rare snail from high tree tops on Manus Island, off the coast of Papua New Guinea. No I did not find it lying in the sand next to the Pacific Ocean. I peered at its outrageous green through plate glass in a rare shell exhibit at the Museum of Natural History today. Oliver and I had a field trip -- mainly to do an evolution/adaptation project in the Dinosaur exhibit, but we also paid a visit to the shell collection and the gem and mineral exhibit in hopes of finding some pearls which would round out our reading of Steinbeck's The Pearl. There were no pearls. But that green! Outrageous! The universe is abundant!

I also baked two loaves of banana-coconut-chocolate-chip bread and made one big pot of Mulligatawny soup and some jasmine rice. I responded to someone's Facebook post about the recent outbreak of measles at Disneyland, not because I wanted to get into an argument but because this person asked the question why people don't vaccinate which then provoked the usual nasty and sarcastic replies about how stupid and immoral they are, that then provoked my indignation and real desire to let people know that not everyone who refrains from vaccinating their children is an immoral idiot. Sigh. I wrote my last post on this issue here, so if you want to read it, you can. Since I wrote that post, as planned I've begun vaccinating Henry slowly and judiciously, so if you're new to the blog and generally restrict your reading to mainstream media, are getting all freaked out that this is some crazy person writing, you can rest assured that he isn't a danger to the larger community.


To tell you the truth, I feel like wolfing down both loaves of bread which would probably be considered emotional eating, no? Instead, I am going to contemplate that beautiful shade of green and the creature that lived inside a shell, high on a treetop on a tropical island, slow to respond and basking unaware in its own beauty.


  1. I hear (and feel) your sigh. I saw the post about the measles outbreak and chose not to comment. But then a friend of mine from high school posted some horrid satire about vaccinations that he said was 'hilarious' and I couldn't NOT take the bait. I responded calmly on his FB page and nearly 12 hours later he responded to tell me why I was wrong. Fortunately, he was very civil about it, but I still couldn't leave it alone, so I wrote an entire blog post about it.

    I love the shell and I love your idea of climbing in there for a bit. I think I'll take a glass of wine in there with me.

  2. I'd love to get emotional with you and that bread.

  3. That shell reminds me of Elizabeth Gilbert's "The Signature of Everything."
    Is that the title?
    Anyway, as always, you have made me think and you have made me grateful for your presence in this universe.

  4. In order to immigrate to the U.S. I HAD to vaccinate my previously un-vaccinated severely disabled daughter. Precisely 14 days post MMR, she got the measles. The CDC posts stats about how many have a "reaction to the MMR" within 7-14 days. The "reaction" is full on measles. Period. She got a full body rash, fever, the lymph nodes in her neck were giant hard lumps, cough and runny eyes. Well, some would say, imagine how bad it might have been had she not been vaccinated!!! OR, imagine how she lived to be 20 and never had it until the shot. Hmmmmm..... Russian roulette, the whole goddamn thing.

  5. I am glad for you because you have made me see the other side of my previously held views about vaccinations. If I am learning anything in life I am learning (very slowly) to not be so rigid and everyone has a story.

  6. That is an amazing green. As you said, the universe is abundant. That seems like just the right response.

  7. So many things are in this post... I am overwhelmed by the complexity of it and grateful for you and the way you write about your inner world... it resonates with so many of us!

  8. Or maybe those green snails are up there in the tree tops fully aware of their amazingness. singing songs we can't hear about the beauty of green.



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