Book Notes: A Psalm for the Wild-Built

A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers
Read Nov 23, 2021 - Nov 25, 2021

A Psalm for the Wild-Built opens with the epigraph “For anybody who could use a break” and it delivers on that promise. It is a sweet respite from our daily doom and grind.

The book is a novella, quickly readable in a few hours. The main characters are a non-binary monk and the wild-built sentient robot they meet in their travels. The robot is perhaps the wisest of the pair, but they are both equally gentle, human and lovable.

I look forward to the next installments of the series.

Book Highlights

Vast civilizations lay within the mosaic of dirt: hymenopteran labyrinths, rodential panic rooms, life-giving airways sculpted by the traffic of worms, hopeful spiders’ hunting cabins, crash pads for nomadic beetles, trees shyly locking toes with one another. It was here that you’d find the resourcefulness of rot, the wholeness of fungi.

But a Factory Age building, a metal building – that was of no benefit to anything beyond the small creatures that enjoyed some temporary shelter in its remains. It would corrode until it collapsed. That was the most it would achieve. Its only legacy was to persist where it did not belong.

You keep asking why your work is not enough, and I don’t know how to answer that, because it is enough to exist in the world and marvel at it. You don’t need to justify that, or earn it. You are allowed to just live.

You and I —- we’re just atoms that arranged themselves the right way, and we can understand that about ourselves. Is that not amazing?

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