June 23, 2010

Bioluminescence


You want to see magic? Forget Chris Angel, forget Houdini, forget even Josef Kavalier's amazing adventures in Kavalier and Clay. 

Instead, come to my neighborhood on a sultry June evening—thunder brewing and bubbling in the distance—and walk with me along trails through the heady scents of honeysuckle and lavender and clover, through the dark woods rustling with rabbits and sleepy toads, down to where the air cools, a stream emerges, and a long thick marsh is lit up, friends, LIT UP by not only the moon, not only the stars, but by thousands and thousands and thousands of fireflies.

It was the night sky reversed. The sky tipped over. The stars become these small bits of illuminated bodies that I could follow with the palm of my hand, scoop up with my other, bring to my eyes, and ever-so-gently hold, marvel at. Release. They flew away with so much nonchalance. What is it to be so at ease with what touches us, with what our movements reveal? 

I cannot stop seeing this scene. As the thunder rolled through last night, I thought about these small spirits of a Minnesota June and imagined them as beacons, showing the rain the clearest path home. 


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