Friday, July 17, 2009

Recently I was at the local coffee shop and a friend showed me a picture she'd taken on vacation. It was a pretty bland shot of someone standing by a car, but in the foreground, captured in the flash, it seemed, was a wonderful glowing something - something with legs and wings. I asked if it was a mosquito. It kind of looked like one, and she'd just been to Alaska, so I was ready for a "the mosquitoes were soooooo big..." story. She kind of sighed and said "some people think so" and that was the end of that. Oops. It was one of those litmus test things. How cool is Mer? Will she say "OMG, is that a Fairy?" Nope. Sorry.

Its not that I have anything against the idea of fairies - or nature spirits or communicating with the unseen world or whatever floats yer boat. But I'm not into that these days. Its the evil little buddhist in me. I don't see any need to look for magic in the world because, frankly, I find the world pretty darned magical already.

It irks me when people do things like that, try to suss out if I'm "okay" based on some willingness on my part to Believe (or not). Maybe they're just looking for connection - probably so. And I can't connect in that way. If you want to talk about how lovely is a mosquito, caught in a flash, I'm right there. Beautiful in its articulated, chitinous majesty, possessed of the glorious power of flight. That's enough magic, right there. A normal, everyday miracle.

Those miracles are overlooked, disregarded, belittled. That's a sad thing. Dirt is miraculous, even without gnomes and trolls to populate it. Its rich with smell and texture. Rainbows are marvels of chance refraction without leprechauns. Snowflakes are a wonder without Santa Clause or the Nativity. Flowers are sexy without sprites living in them, and the ocean has no need of sirens and mermaids. Life is a miracle and a mystery. No-one knows why its here. There are theories - theories of chance combinations over millennia and theories of supernatural intervention, but nobody knows, really. Why is there life or why is any one thing, bacteria, plant, person, alive right now. Lots of good reasons why things die, but none why they don't. That kind of miracle. The quiet every day kind that get ignored because they're so commonplace.

There's a great bug movie, if you like bugs and other creepy crawlies, called "Microcosmos". Its got the sexiest snails ever to hit the big screen (no shit, you should see these two go at it!) and a great final shot of an "everyday miracle" a metamorphasis from a nymph, the new adult rising out of the water in a silver halo... and then you realize its a mosquito and sort of shiver all over as it flies away with that characteristic whine. Its beautifully creepy. For the record, I'll swat the little buggers in an instant, and squish fleas and ticks, and smush spiders... but they're still more beautiful than anything I could possibly imagine.

1 comment:

~K~ said...

Life *is* magical without imagining some other creatures than ourselves (and mosquitoes and animals and birds and dogs and whatnot) populating it. Lovely. I have a gorgeous dusty miller where a fairy could live (sure!) but all that's there is a single tiny pool of rainwater. Nature's catchment. Gorgeous thing. Reminds me to go post it on my blog right now... if I can find the pic. :)