A Note About Turtles


Seriously, what are the odds?

It happened sometime shortly after I graduated from college. I began to see turtles wherever I went: on jewelry, on signs, as bumper stickers on cars, as objets d’art in shops, as photographs, as drawings, as tattoos. At the time I wasn’t really looking for them: I didn’t go searching for turtle symbols or images, but I happened to see them too often for it to seem like a coincidence. So I began calling the turtle my “totem” and every time that I saw one I would think of it as the same kind of lucky omen as finding a penny or seeing a shooting star. It was a small, cosmic reassurance that I was along the right track.

The trend of seeing turtles everywhere cooled off for the past few years. Maybe I stopped looking for them. Maybe I was just too focused on other things to notice them. Maybe there were just fewer turtles around. Who knows? Then, in the past few days, the turtle sighting trend resurfaced with a vengeance. A pet turtle meeting its demise on a television show. A turtle on a science program. A turtle figurine received as a belated Christmas gift. A poster for a lost pet turtle taped to a tree in a neighborhood where I went walking with my sister. Et cetera.

The reassurance is certainly welcome. 2013 happened to be a pretty good year for me, although it wasn’t good to many of my friends, and now that it’s over I can’t help but worry that the lucky streak is over and that things will be more difficult and frustrating than before. Life is quiet now, but will be very busy very soon and the waiting is the hardest part. I try to remind myself that this is a welcome time for leisure: for reading books and going for runs and eating rich food and making grand plans. The time goes past so quickly when it’s behind you and so slowly when it’s ahead.


~ by Gwydhar Gebien on January 4, 2014.

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