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If George Did It

One of the magazines I often love and often feel I need to love is Harper's.  I've been reading it for years, but most everyone who writes for it is smarter than I am and talks about things that I know I should care about all the way to my marrow, but I can't.  For instance, I read an interesting but somewhat distant review of three books about Katherine Anne Porter.  Now I was on the Ship of Fools with Katherine Anne and read the book with enjoyment (and have now forgotten the plot), but I can't dredge up much feeling about her.  But I plugged on!  Such a smart, thorough review.  I felt as if I'd eaten my bran and run a mile afterward, full of self-righteousness.

However, at the end of the magazine these days is the column I flip to first:  Findings.  In it, I learn all sorts of important findings of the month strung together in a way that makes it hard to move I'm laughing so much.  Here was one from this month's magazine that truly caught my attention:  "After thirty-six years of celibacy, George, the last living Pinta Island tortoise mated."

I stopped reading at that point, knowing that change can happen, even after thirty-six years.  That there isn't a reason to give up on someone or thing just because for thirty-six years, he has said, "I'd prefer not to."  

In an instant, life (quite literally) can begin--though I am confused that if he is the last living Pinta Island tortoise, with what did he mate?

In any case, George mated, and moved past something in him that said no.  This gives me hope for the various governments that oversee my life, a couple of friends, maybe a relative or two.  Maybe me.  One day, I could simply stop saying "No," and move into something extraordinary.

If George did it, we all can.


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I hadn't even thought about the question of his sex partner! Way to be thinking while reading! And to slip in a Melville reference on top of that . . . priceless!

: )

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Bartelby would have been a

Bartelby would have been a very good name for George, though I am sure when he was named, it wasn't clear that he would go on preferring not to for 36 years!

So I need to google around to see who or what George mated with.  I'm not sure I want to know!


Jessica Barksdale Inclan www.jessicabarksdaleinclan.com