sexton beetles scavenge from corpses, then bury the leftovers

sexton beetles scurrying around corpse

See the busy little operatives from Marc Jacobs measuring Biography Bookshop for a makeover. The store is to become YET ANOTHER high-fashie outpost on west Bleecker. Really, Marc Jacobs? Really??

There’s a gorgeous children’s book called The Story Goes On, by the late poet Aileen Fisher, illustrated with ravishing paintings and collages by a young artist named Mique Moriuchi, about the cycle of life. It starts:

Here is the place

for our tale to begin:

this small patch of earth

with a seed hidden in.

That seed sprouts and is eaten by a bug, which is eaten by a frog, which is eaten by a snake, which is eaten by a hawk. The hawk is shot by a farmer, eaten by a coyote and crows, and buried by sexton beetles (which lay eggs in the corpse). The book concludes, in a circular swirl of type/paint/collage around a ball of earth:

From hither or yon…

what a procession to ponder upon

as over and over the story goes on.

Surprisingly, the book isn’t depressing; the big-picture perspective it takes is oddly reassuring. It’s one of the first books I’d buy a small child if his or her pet died. So I guess I should take a lesson from it myself: The story will go on with the gentrification of downtown New York, too. I guess it means we’ll eventually go back to quirk and affordability and a profusion of bookstores (oh wait, with the rise of the e-reader, maybe not the bookstores)…but the cycle may take a while. And it still sucks if you’re the frog getting eaten by the snake.

But hey, at least Biography’s not closing completely– just moving to cheaper digs further east!

(Thanks to Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York for the pic and link.)

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