Marginalia, no.190

It is said in Aristotle’s Master-Piece, “That when a man doth think of anything which is past, – he looketh down upon the ground; – but that when he thinketh of something which is to come, he looketh up towards the heavens.”

~ Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy

I recently heard a  radio interview with a scientist studying a species of vole (“shaped like a cigar with a red mark on its back”) that lives below ground in the Chernobyl evacuation zone – which nowadays is something like a wildlife preserve. The voles are dangerously radioactive but thriving, with no detectable increase in genetic mutations. I remember the rosy sunsets sent us by the Chernobyl blast in the spring of ’86. Today I scan the western sky for funny clouds and catch myself wondering if Japanese voles are as hardy as their Ukranian cousins.


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