In the “Making Tracks” series, RCC fellows and alumni present their experiences in environmental humanities, retracing the paths that led them to the Rachel Carson Center. For more information, please click here.
Failure lies behind the trappings of academic success: words unwritten, words sunk without trace, applications rejected, snubs both subtle and large.
The tracks I have left: my biography. Like many a small child, a small boy, I killed a lot of bugs. Warm afternoons swatting flies against windows; damp afternoons hunting for slugs, snails, whatever, doused in salt or crushed with bricks. Spiders, centipedes, or— my favorite—millipedes, trapped in empty plastic containers; let’s see who outlives who? I had a graveyard where I buried these dead. Twigs or sticks as memorials. I never killed birds or mammals. But I longed to find dead birds so I could bury them and mark their graves with lollipop sticks. Continue reading