Wednesday, August 13, 2014


The lacewing is a beneficial insect that eats aphids. I particularly love the lacewings' diaphanous green fairy wings.

The larvae of the lacewing pile the sucked dry aphid carcasses on to their backs to disguise themselves from being prey to larger insects. What if we piled on to ourselves our flakes of dead skin, our fingernail parings, and the remains of our dinners?

Lacewing larva, covered with aphid carcasses
These things, which we once called "mine," are no longer mine. My fingernails: cut and gone. My hair becomes stray hairs on the pillow or in the sink and are no longer mine. The food we eat is, 24 hours later, flushed down the toilet. It was "me" a minute ago, and now it is not.

We could carry all this detritus around with us. Or we could realize that our entire body, as stable as it seems, is constantly in motion--breath, blood, digestion. Although we can feel the motion in the breath and in our pulse, we still feel fairly stable. Meanwhile, everything is changing.

I love the lacewing, which, having gone through its metamorphosis, appears to be light as air.

No comments:

Post a Comment