Thursday, July 19, 2012

5 ways of looking at a butterfly

This is the 19th post for the month of July.  To think of something different to say every day for a month is a challenge, to say the least.   This challenge is made more difficult by my 2010 pledges to post every day in August (31 posts) and then every week for many months (38 posts).  I just don't have that many unique insights.

Oh, yes, there are some themes:

But it is hard to keep writing about the same dozen or so things and keep it fresh.  I was thinking about my blog this morning and it occurred to me that my brain is stuck on boring.  (that would make a good country song, no? "My brain is stuck on boring, and my dawg died.")

Yesterday, a friend of mine told me about a biologist who decided to spend a whole year observing a square meter of land.  He was surprised by the diversity  and  abundance of living things found in such a small space.  In a plot that measures only 39 inches by 39 inches, he found a remarkable microcosm of life.

That story reminded me of a hike to the mouth of a dormant volcano in St. Kitts. The trail got stumbly and I twisted my ankle.  It wasn't a bad sprain, but I didn't want to risk further injury so I waited for Al and the kids while they continued to the terminus of the trail.   Sitting on a fallen tree, my mind raced and my body twitched with impatience.  Soon though, the forest sounds calmed my overactive brain and soothed my muscles and I noticed the sounds of the monkeys nearby.   I noticed the abundance of butterflies, of birds, and of insects within sight.  Once I calmed down enough to notice the abundance of beauty and life around me, the time passed quickly and happily.

I once took a class that required me to photograph everyday objects in multiple ways.  It's remarkable what awaits discovery in ordinary objects.  Wallace Stevens assures us that there are 13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, and I guess there are at least 13 ways of looking at most things.  And each one reveals something different.

So, I guess I don't have to come up with totally new themes every day, as long as there is some different perspective, however slight.

Here are 5 ways of looking at a butterfly.  These photographs were all taken within an area of about 100 square meters at the Taroko Gorge in Taiwan.

Today I am grateful for my many fine colleagues at work.  I am lucky to work with a team of such good people.

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