Metamorphosis – Life or Collective Death?

Posted: September 2, 2013 in Metamorphosis, Stumbling...
Tags: , , , ,

Nearly 100 years ago, Henri Fabre studied and wrote about the habits of caterpillars. He noted that these caterpillars have a unique way of finding their way. While making a long trek in search of food, they spread a silk-like glue along the path.

He saw individual caterpillars lowering their heads. One caterpillar would eject silken threads from its lower lip. The caterpillar behind would eject glue from its lower lip, thus attaching the silk threads to the path they would need to follow on the return trip. The one behind would also lay some silken threads of its own.

No matter how circuitous or difficult the road, the processionaries always find their way along it.

Ann Marie and I live life in that way. No matter how difficult the road, we always find our way. The word is our silken threads. As we eject word from our lips, we make a path. for others to follow. Hummm… does that make us as unique as a caterpillar?

Fabre, it seems, was a bit of a mischief-maker as well. In one experiment, he cut the silken thread to see if he could interrupt the procession. Not surprisingly, the first caterpillar to find the disrupted line would pause. Others would join in and, it seemed, debate whether to go in search of the silken threads that had been laid or return home with the mission unaccomplished.

Finally, he noted that one fearless leader almost always emerged. This bold creature would cross the patch of road with no silk and would stretch its own thread in order to reconnect the broken pieces. The procession could then continue.

It is so important as I have said a hundred times, who I hang around with makes a big difference in my life. I need and want bold creatures who will face the obstacles when there seems to be nothing to follow. AND… And the purpose is to reconnect the broken pieces, not grandstand.

And in one more experiment, Fabre arranged the caterpillars in a circle. He then placed leaves and other nutrients in the center of the circle, eager to learn if any of the caterpillars would “break rank,” leaving the circle to reach the food. None did. Instead, they went round and round until their collective death.

Sound like anyone you know? It certainly describes some of the people I know. They are following the wrong crowd, going round and round dying a collective death.

Mary Angelou is not stuck following the collective death in a circle. She says, “I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life.” I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

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