Tuesday, September 14, 2010

humanity behind glass

The concern I brought up about six weeks ago is now half way through and so far, it seems like a miracle is genuine. I am very, very grateful. I am holding onto faith as much as I can, and look forward to being able to have faith realized.

I have found much enjoyment (and annoyance) from our classroom terrarium. The salamander seems to be just decoration. All he does is lay there under the moss. It is fun to watch him eat, but that’s about it. And, his frog face is pretty adorable. I’ve decided he is a mythical creature. Face of frog, body of lizard, tail of snake. Pretty cool. In theory. Apparently, mythical creatures are really dull and boring. (Says the man who went to bed at 9:30 and had to struggle to wake up—damned allergies.)
The coolest part of the terrarium, besides how pretty it is (humble, humble), is the crickets. I’ve always loved crickets, and never understood how people could be freaked out by them. Well, I’m starting to. I will sit and watch them and completely loose track of time. Before I know it, twenty minutes has gone by and I’m sitting watching bugs. They really are alienish; yet have such human characteristics at times.
You dump a bunch of them in this new (gorgeous) environment, complete with waterfalls, different levels connected with natural bridges of stone and moss, a stream and a pond filled with fish. The crickets immediately do one of two things. About half them start out on their trek and explore their world, seemingly relishing their newly found faux freedom. The other half gather and begin cleaning one another and conversing. Yes, crickets converse. It is really cool to watch. You’d be a fool to not recognize their conversations. (It is rather fun to have an ongoing dialogue in my mind, but I won’t swear that I’m accurately interpreting their meaning. I’m not yet the cricket whisperer. That’s right boys. Who wants to be the first to get naked with the cricket whisperer? Expect a flyer coupon in the mail shortly.) It’s fascinating to take in their interactions. In both of these actions, they really do seem like these gross little people. Each with their roles—both possibly vital for the community they plan on having.
Enter Salamander. Here is where their seemingly intelligence ends. They will be in a little group. Discussing cricket politics and sexual revolution. Salamander will creep beside them and devour one of their peers. I swear to you—I swear—they look over at him, at the empty space where their comrade stood, and continue their conversation, or at times, relocate to the top of Salamander’s head as he finishes swallowing. I can’t help but think how stupid and shallow they are at that moment. But, how human as well. As we see our friends give up their lives to alcohol and drugs and [fill in your own blank], look over, mourn momentarily, and then snort another line.
I really think if I spend enough time watching the terrarium world, I may stumble upon some hidden human reality.

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