Ernest Becker, the quintessential optimist and sometimes life of the party had a thing about worms. It’s possible that he was an avid fisherman or gardener, although there was no mention of that in his biography.
One of my favorite of his worm quotes is from a book he wrote that won the Pulitzer Prize back in 1974, The Denial of Death:
“What does it mean to be a self-conscious animal? The idea is ludicrous, if it is not monstrous. It means to know that one is food for worms. This is the terror: to have emerged from nothing, to have a name, consciousness of self, deep inner feelings, an excruciating inner yearning for life and self-expression and with all this yet to die.”
Reflecting on this has got me through many hours at the lake when the trout weren’t biting. But I think David Gerrold said the same thing in a better way: “Life is hard. Then you die. Then they throw dirt in your face. Then the worms eat you. Be grateful it happens in that order.”
Food for thought.