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Sometimes you're the bug

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I sat on my back porch tonight watching a gypsy moth caterpillar walk and walk and walk and get nowhere at all.

Gypsy moths are a pest, but the caterpillars are—well, pretty in a sort of insect-pretty way, as the photo suggests: rich blue, white spots flanked by thin black stripes, and tan fuzz combine to produce beauty that we humans can only hope to duplicate.

Anyway, the caterpillar was walking around a metal circle at the top of an ornate candle-holder that my wife has set out on a table on the porch. The diameter of the circle is greater than the diameter of the candle, so whenever the catepillar tried to climb down from the circle, it found nothing but air and then recoiled for another lap around the circle. And another. And another. Occasionally it would poke about half of its length into the air and kind of wave around, maybe to look for another foothold: Who can say?

Anyway, I sat watching that caterpillar, and before long, I thought, "This must be a metaphor." This was God speaking to me, which may sound as if I'm a bit unhinged, but you must understand that God doesn't speak to me that frequently and never in language I understand. Usually, this is as direct as it gets: "Here's a metaphor. Now, figure it out. I'm not going to give you the answer, either."

Eventually, I held out my index finger, and the caterpillar crawled onto it. I took it over to a lilac tree at the end of the porch and tried to get the caterpillar to crawl onto a leaf, but it wouldn't and instead dropped to the ground—which got me to wondering whether God was speaking in a metaphor or maybe a simile instead.

Or maybe it was just another bug.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
anthrojesus
Jun. 1st, 2011 03:00 am (UTC)
Hmm. I'm sensing a trend.
patrick_vecchio
Jun. 1st, 2011 03:06 am (UTC)
Are not.
patrick_vecchio
Jun. 1st, 2011 12:39 pm (UTC)
But seriously, if you are sensing a trend, it's not because I'm doing anything differently other than trying to write every day. This forces me to pay more attention to what I'm encountering in the world and how I'm reacting to it.
vivitalia
Jun. 1st, 2011 11:55 am (UTC)
It took me about half this post to stop going "ew ew ew ew ew BUGS!" but once I got over myself, the beauty poked through. If this is a trend, I suspect creepy crawly desensitization in my lj future.
nodressrehersal
Jun. 3rd, 2011 02:21 am (UTC)
Ain't it just like God to speak with ambiguity...
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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