For Small Creatures Such as We: Rituals for Finding Meaning in Our Unlikely World by Sasha Sagan 2019
About the Author
Sasha Sagan holds a degree in Dramatic Literature from NYU. She has worked as a television producer, filmmaker, editor, and speaker in New York, Boston and London, and her writing has appeared in New York Magazine, O. the Oprah Magazine, Literary Hub, Mashable.com, The Violet Book, and elsewhere. For Small Creatures Such as We is her first book.
About the Book
For Small Creatures Such as We is part memoir, part guidebook, and part social history, a luminous celebration of Earth’s marvels that require no faith in order to be believed.
Sasha Sagan was raised by secular parents, the astronomer Carl Sagan and the writer and producer Ann Druyan. They taught her that the natural world and vast cosmos are full of profound beauty, that science reveals truths more wondrous than any myth or fable.
When Sagan herself became a mother, she began her own hunt for the natural phenomena behind our most treasured occasions–from births to deaths, holidays to weddings, anniversaries, and more–growing these roots into a new set of rituals for her young daughter that honor the joy and significance of each experience without relying on religious framework.
As Sagan shares these rituals, For Small Creatures Such as We becomes a moving tribute to a father, a newborn daughter, a marriage, and the natural world–a celebration of life itself, and the power of our families and beliefs to bring us together.
“A charming book, ringing with the joy of existence.” — Richard Dawkins
“This lyrical exploration of how we can find beauty in the natural world comes from the daughter of Carl Sagan . . . A wonderful gift for your favorite reader.” –Good Housekeeping
Summary of Introduction
When I was little and my dad was alive he would take me to see the dioramas at the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan.
He told me that he’d like nothing better in the whole wide world than to see his parents again, but he had no evidence to prove he would.
The more I thought about what I might be able to impart to her, the more I realized this framework might be useful to anyone who does not fit neatly into one system of belief or another, or into any at all.
But eventually he came to understand that even though I don’t subscribe to the supernatural elements, I am still a Jew.
I know that in some alternate universe, maybe out there in the multiverse, there is a world where my grandfather never gets up the courage to admit his nonbelief and goes along with his parents’ traditions.
My view is that all over the world and across time, these are all a form of art, an elaborate performance or a secret poem, all vital in their ability to help us face the nature of time and change, life and death, and everything else we cannot control.
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