The Moth

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My wife and I were getting ready to leave the house this morning to go to work when I noticed this little one fluttering about the kitchen. Don’t let the picture fool you, this moth was tinier than the tip of my index finger. But I had to shoot it. I was late to work because I took 5 minutes to take pictures of a moth. I’m OK with that.

A moth is not a beautiful insect. It’s basically the hobo version of a butterfly. Something very close to perfect but not quite there yet. But it exists. I doubt it even knows what a butterfly is. A moth just exists in its own space. It is impossible to make a moth feel less than perfect because it does not understand language. All the moth knows, well, all the moth knew is that it was cold and dark outside and there was a warm light in the kitchen.

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I never quite grew up. I grew bigger, but I try as much as possible to maintain my child instincts. Children have an ability to sense emotion. That is something I covet. I am already a cancer, so I am halfway there. The rest is by practice. I like to believe that I pick up on people’s emotions. Sometimes it is people I know really well, like my wife, siblings. You’ve all felt this, even over the phone, where you can sense a difference in their energy. Something that says, “I don’t quite feel myself right now…” If you are like me then you work overtime to make the person feel better. It’s the nature of a cancer. Sometimes I sit in public transportation and I could swear there is something I am picking up from the person beside me, or in front of me, or behind me. Something calling to me and asking me to talk to them. Ask them if they are OK. I don’t, because that would freak them out. But I also wonder, what would happen if I did? Would they tell me? Would I find out I was right?

I don’t know.

Here is what I do know.

The world has carved us into statues of “perfection” from something that was already created perfect. The trouble with sculpture is that it takes away bits of a whole to make something acceptable. When bits of us are carved away, it hurts. We spend our lives desperately looking for the missing bits without even knowing we are doing it. I suppose that is how I can sense when someone feels “off”. Because I feel it too. It is our uniting factor, this experience we have all gone through.

But we can be like the moth. We can choose, because for us it is choice, to ignore language. To pretend not to know English. Long enough to realize we are outside and cold. We need light and warmth.

The moth is not a particularly beautiful creature. But that all depends on the photographer, doesn’t it?

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