Monday, February 09, 2009

It's all so (ir) "relative"!

An ugly little insect's demise: Perhaps an irresis-
tible attraction? Or maybe simply its "time"?

This morning while making my first cup of coffee, I had a momentary distraction. As water was heating on the stove in a small pan, an annoying anorexic looking mosquito-like insect with a priapismic "beak" that could only make one hope it was a vegetarian flew past my coffee press that was sitting atop my cup awaiting its deposit of 185 degree water.

"Oh no, don't fly into my press!" my brain's excited voice screamed into my unprotected inner ear.

He didn't. But the next pass this ugly little creature made was towards the heating pan of water. Again, I pleaded, "Oh no, not my coffee water!" Miraculously, the insect obliged, making a low pass over the warming steam beginning to rise from the water's surface.

But what happened next saw a total emotional flip from concern for my coffee to angst for the bug's safety as it descended straight for the stove top's burner. I now found myself imploring the little one to "Pull up, pull up! Don't go towards the flame!" This time my pleadings, my warning, went unheeded. The insect landed just outside the stove top burner's ring.

I watched as its now rigid little body lie there, motionless. I assumed the worse, but in the next couple of seconds as I turned away and then back, I was surprised to see it was gone! That is, until I spotted a lifeless form in its final resting spot, inside the burner's ring, too close to the flame burning beneath my small pan of simmering water.

It was in that moment I felt very, very saddened, because in just those few seconds I had become connected to a "bug" -- at first annoying, then engrossing in what turned out to be its last dramatic moments. And all of this life-and-death drama had unfolded as Mrs. Dada slept peacefully in a back bedroom.

Suddenly, the photo of an Olympic swimming champion supporting the drug war just across our border where people are dying unnecessarily in large numbers as he was photographed smoking a joint that's going to cost him bundles of money in commercial sponsorships, or the admission by superstar status athlete A-Rod that he was under so much pressure "to perform heroically" he felt compelled to inject performance drugs, or John McCain's kicking of Obama's ass after he, Obama, had gone out of his way to kiss McCain's who returned the favor by trashing the president's stimulus package saying "I think this can only be described as generational theft" after the eight years of Bush economics that this nation will likely never recover from, let alone survive, seemed for the moment so very insignificant.

Insignificant because for a few seconds I had stepped outside of my "humanity" to bear witness to the greater drama unfolding around us constantly -- the drama of Nature, the family of which we are integral members in, not just observers of.


Stephen said...

I thought surely you were leading up to "the greatest mass extinction since the dinosaurs," with little Mr. Bug as metaphor for hubristic Homo sapiens who flew too close to the flame. For all the palaver over the stimulus package it all seems like some ritualistic dance of phototropism wherein we simply can't quit going through the motions of self-destructing even as we ratonalize our own demise.

Come on, Dada, tell me you love it when I get dark like that!

Dada said...

When I awoke at 4:30 this morning, I couldn't go back to sleep. That's because I'd started thinking about this blog. "What the hell was that about?" I wondered. I had to get up, to read it again, to try to understand.

That's where your excellent comment comes in, Stephen. Thank you for finishing the thought -- if that's what I was thinking, which I suspect it may have been. (Oooh, if only I were better at reading *signs* and interpreting my own metaphors?!)

Perhaps I dance on the edge of the "largest mass extinction since the dinosaurs" gymnasium floor because I don't want to scare people off. I don't want them to desert the moment as we fly lower and lower towards the flame. (Am I catching on now at all?)

There's still plenty of time to talk about our rigid lifelessness awaiting us all. Or is there? Not to those 200+ Aussies fried in a wild fire, those killed by a suicide bombers exploding belt, or those beneath the fiery breath of an F-16 or Predator drone.

Maybe it's time to stop dancing on the fringe of the gym floor, to move toward the middle and immerse in the unstoppable beat driving us all to the inevitability humanity seems so hell bent on achieving for us each, for us all.

For many in Nature, be they a bug or a man, death is a very personal, private moment. But more and more it becomes a collective activity and I wonder whether it might help (or hinder?) to know in that ultimate moment, if instead of dying alone, you are being joined by 6.7 billion others of you? (Christ! Can you imagine the queue at the pearly gates?)

Thanks for deciphering this blog for me, Stephen, although -- now 7:30 a.m. -- I doubt I can go back to bed; to sleep. (Besides, I'd hate to miss something *BIG*; to sleep through a mass extinction which I'll try less in the future to skirt around.)