Friday, April 16, 2010

Beauty at the ultimate gave me chest pain.

Once in a while I read something that just makes me clutch my chest and hold my breath. No, I'm not having a panic attack or killing off bits of my myocardium. Not yet at least. I'm getting all tangent-y, darn. Weekend is coming, thank goodness.

Anyway, my son has a crazy encyclopedic knowledge of the natural world, and being a total geek-girl, I listen with interest to what he has to say.

The other day, we were reading together about the Luna Moth. Some of you may know it as the brand logo for a certain sleep medicine. It's a pretty recognizable looking creature.

Anyway, after it goes through a startling metamorphosis, it lives a brief life. Just one week. And the thing that made me stop breathing?

It emerges from the cocoon with no mouth. It cannot eat, and so a death clock starts ticking as soon as it begins this second life. After a week of trying to pass on its genes (the price of immortality?), it dies, whether or not it was successful, and all that beauty is gone.

I'm not going to get all philosophical on you about how life is short, yada yada yada. I got very inwardly philosophical for at least two minutes. But what I didn't expect was how it made me think about urban fantasy and sci-fi plots galore, among other literary possibilities.

I thought I'd pass on whatever experience you may have from reading this, be it inspiration, or reflection. And apologies if I cause any panic attacks or episodes of angina.

Have a great weekend everyone!


~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

Fascinating! I had no idea the Luna Moth's life expectancy was so short -- or why. Your post has made me both reflective and inspired...

It sounds like our sons would get along great! Mine has a sponge-memory for science facts, too.

Have a great weekend!

Bee said...

That is so sad. It made me stop breathing too :(

JustineDell said...

Wow, nature nevers ceases to amaze me. Nature also normally makes me sad...because of things like this. Makes me more thankful for the 29 years I've been alive (and with a mouth).

Thanks for sharing.


Jaydee Morgan said...

I never knew this - and it's a little sad to think about. Although sad, I love learning interesting facts like this.

Happy weekend!

Bethany Wiggins said...

Absolutely lovely! Thanks for sharing! BTW, there's an award for you over on my blog. Happy weekend!

Mayowa said...

There is no getting around some nostalgic self examination after reading this.

My take away: Live more urgently, more passionately. Pass on whatever beauty we possess before the end comes. Live now.

Thanks for the post

Kirsten Lesko said...

I love the idea of applying this to science fiction. I'm not a sci-fi writer & have always wondered how some of the ideas are born. Very cool

Elana Johnson said...

Wow, I had no idea. Thanks for sharing.

And just so you know, there's no way the luna moth could ever publish a book. Nothing happens in 7 days. Ha ha ha!

Lydia Kang said...

Elana, there's a good reason why I'm happy I'm not a moth.

roxy said...

What a fascinating post. I've lived to middle age without ever knowing anything about this remarkable creature. The analogies that could be made about it are endless. Thank you for sharing this with me, Lydia. I'll think about it a lot, I can tell. Hopefully, though, I won't have the angina.

Solvang Sherrie said...

Wow, that's so sad! But it's very cool that your son holds all these facts in his head. Some day he'll be able to very well on Jeopardy!

KarenG said...

Hi! Visiting from Jayne's blog, and loved this post. I have a son like this too, oh I love kids and their curiousity about the world!


Janna Qualman said...

Beautiful! And you're right, it gives a moment of pause.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Amanda Borenstadt said...

Hmm, kinda makes me want to pin its tiny wings to a board and hang it on my wall.

just kidding ;)

Jemi Fraser said...


Anonymous said...

How interesting! I didn't know that!

The finite nature of beauty often makes it so much more special. And tragic. Thanks for sharing!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I always learn the most fascinating things at your blog. The Luna Moth is so beautiful, and its metamorphosis is rhater heart-breaking.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

What was that Harlan Ellison Sci_Fi short story? Oh, yes. I HAVE NO MOUTH AND I MUST SCREAM.

Sad about the Luna Moth. Yet, aren't each of us a Luna Moth in one respect. We all have an expiration date. The clock is ticking even now. Live in the moment.

What did Robert Frost write?

Only where love and need are one,
And the work is play for mortal stakes,
Is the deed ever really done.

There is no round-trip ticket across the Rubicon, is there?

Have a healing weekend, Roland

Short Poems said...

I never knew this, but the Luna Moth is really beautiful :)
You have nice place here!

Marinela x x

Deb Salisbury said...

How sad, and how beautiful!

That Harlan Ellison story gave me nightmares for months. Very appropriate, here.

Lisa and Laura said...

Wow...I have never heard of anything like that! I need to read more science books...the possibilities are endless.

Zoe C. Courtman said...

Oh, wow. I had one on the side of my house a few weeks ago. Knowing it's already dead - and that it could never have eaten, nor survived - is such a poignant, sad thing. Huh.

Alexis said...

My sister and I are sitting here with hanging jaws. (!) Hmmmmm. I think I feel an inspiration coming on!