Leonard Bernstein, the snail, and I

Recharged my creative batteries this afternoon watching a snail travel along the edge and then crisscross a canna leaf. I'm sure I was intending to accomplish something important when I sat down at the computer, but the snail just outside the window was hypnotizing.

A soundtrack for the snail's ballet slowly percolated to consciousness--one of the slow movements of Saint-Saens' "Carnival of the Animals." Which movement was it? Not the elephant. Not the famous swan. Of course it was the tortoises.

Leonard Bernstein explained it far better in his classic 1962 televised New York Philharmonic Young People's Concert which we watched on our little black and white t.v. Basically, the tortoises movement is the can-can song in very slo-mo.

The Philharmonic concerts on CBS were truly special and worth viewing. Somewhere along the line "a television special" stopped meaning quality cultural programming, and began to mean Geraldo in search of Jimmy Hoffa in the basement of a Dunkin' Donuts. I'd sure rather watch a snail.

© 2007 Nancy L. Ruder

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