Worms and trees

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b4/Lobster_Claw_on_Stac_Pollaidh.jpgTerry crushed the slug against the flagstone, repeatedly scraping his foot over it to ensure it was quite dead.

This was an act of kindness. The slug had been stood on already, and parts of its insides were oozing out. It could still have some life in it, and he did not like to think of it dying slowly. If he sees worms on the path, he will pick them up and put them in the nearest soil: this is more difficult than you might think, as they can be slippery. His wife disapproves. She walks on ahead, as if she is not with him. It might be suffering, as the sun affects its skin, and it might dry out. What do you think?

Well, a worm could be eaten, though a bird used to looking for worm sign in earth might not notice a worm on the street; the worm is not designed for snaking, but for burrowing, so might have difficulty getting back to earth, and it does not know where to go. I do not think it suffers particularly, and I do not think it matters much, but then it is little effort to help it back onto the mud, so I might, depending on mood.

Why? What does “sentience” mean?
-You’re not going to get all Socratic on me, are you?

He does not get all Socratic, but listens, so I can clarify my own view. Sentience requires nervous tissue. All living creatures respond to stimuli, but flowers open and turn towards the sun because of heat causing reactions in capillaries, evolved randomly to do that. No, a tree is not sentient, even if it has the potential to parent other, even better fitting trees.

It is not sentience which matters to me, I suppose, so much as respect, and my own view of myself. I do not harm or damage or waste things without purpose. So even a rock, or a mountain- I would not damage it pointlessly, though I would be happy to walk up it, which causes erosion- I would be happy to use it. Mmm. Thank you. I had not formulated my response before, and it is good to get the chance. So- what do you think? Would you rescue a worm from a paved road, and why?

Oddly enough I had been thinking in Meeting of my own unity with Creation, including worms moles and amœbae in the earth, grass in the wind and in cows’ stomachs, standard issue Mystic stuff. I did not mention this to Terry.

I had been posting daily, with 571 posts since August 2011, and I have just stopped. As I said, I had quite a bad cold, but having explored myself and my world with words in this way I suddenly stopped being moved to write: Outside the M25 is a recitation I wrote in Autumn 2011, and delivered a few times- once to tumultuous applause, once to head-scratching (what was that? Is she finished?) and I just posted it because I had nothing else written. I was thinking on posting about blogging- it has been really good, I feel such gratitude especially for comments because responses have made it worthwhile and brought it to life for me, etc, but I am no longer moved, at least not to post daily, then I thought I might as well post about that conversation, because I had enjoyed it. I probably will post again, but I have no idea when: possibly tomorrow.