Sunday, November 25, 2007

Six legs to heaven

I have learned today that the ancient Eygptians believed that the souls of the deceased could take the form of a grasshopper, and hence such insects have been found -- long dried-up, of course -- in their tombs.

It was because no other animal, not even a bird, seemed to possess such an amazing ability to transcend space, to go in an instant from crouching upon the earth to riding the sky. Grasshoppers also have a relationship to dawn and dusk, the only time when their eggs will hatch, and can still produce their song even when their sound organs have been destroyed, according to the author who enlightened me on this subject.

Perhaps in that mysterious connection of mythology, the same concept was known in ancient Greece, and lies behind the myth of Tethonis, a mortal granted immortality but not youthfulness, who ultimately vanished except for his voice.

On this cold November night, I am thinking back to a summer morning when I chased a grasshopper through a tall meadow in the middle of the woods, trying to take its picture. It vaulted a thousand times its height to the safety of some pine boughs, then into the air again just as I got the camera close.

Perhaps it was the soul of a celebrity and saw me as the paparazzi that had hounded it in its human phase.


Janice Thomson said...

LOL Loved that last line.
I was always fascinated by grasshoppers when a child - nowadays in this wet rain forest not many are found. However to my surprise a cricket and a grasshopper shared the same plant for a good many weeks this fall. I was wondering if the grasshopper had answered the cricket's mating call...

Nadiyya said...

Hahaha... All of us are one you know... You, Marilyn Monroe and the grasshopper.

eastcoastdweller said...

Yes, we all sprang, grasshopper-like, from that point of all matter that became the Big Bang.