Friday, January 1, 2016

Caterpillar Soup

Should old acquaintance be forgot?

It's a legitimate question, but not one I feel like delving into today.

I had a quite enjoyable New Year's Eve at my place with my sister and her husband. Sadly, two other would-be guests were sick and couldn't make it so it was just the three of us, which actually ended up being one of the more pleasant visits of the holiday season, or recent memory. Good food, good drink, good entertainment, good conversation, good ping pong, hot tub (complete with a roll in the snow), music and even some dancing, all made for a nice little "celebration". (The ham and bourbon didn't hurt, either. And the decorations were very nice.)

One of the entertaining moments of the evening began with this amusing and delightful performance. I invite you to watch it and not smile:

Now don't you feel just a little bit happier?  

Okay, if that didn't work, try this instead:


What if--not unlike Rumi and his beloved, perhaps--you were to hear every love song as one inspired by you, written by you, and performed by you, for you?  For one thing, you would probably start listening to better music. For another, you might consider that there's not a lot separating your electrons from anyone or anything else's. Very little, actually. It's not outside the realm of possibility that we humans and/or scientists will one day discover that it is, in fact, love that shapes matter into coherent form. I mean who's to say that oxygen doesn't love hydrogen (even if H is clearly putting more into making it work)? It's 2016, and things are falling apart in this world, and any rocket scientist could tell you that we do not have it all figured out!

I'm not a dummy. I just act like one, which is almost--but not quite--the same as being one...

So anyway, here were are, on the first day of the so-called New Year. My "to-do" list is long and winding, but also mostly comprised for the next few days of things I actually want to do, like make my first batch of cheese, brew up some birch beer, set up my wireless receiver, do some paperwork, go skiing, eat ham, start a weaving project, hang out, do some reading even, and then maybe change the whole world, embark on a new path of existence, and realize all my potential as a living human being. But...before all that, I'm gonna drink some more coffee and get my skis cleaned up, and do nothing more important, necessary, or life-changing, for the rest of the day. If you know what I mean.

When did we get stuck with this idea of making the "most" of every day? It sounds kind of like a sales pitch to me. How about letting things be, and paying attention them, with respect, and acting accordingly?

Speaking of which...I learned something amazing from my guests last night, while we were (for some reason I can't recall) looking at pictures of the most beautiful moths in the world. Basically--and I still can't believe I didn't know this--caterpillars literally turn into goo before they turn into moths, or butterflies:
First, the caterpillar digests itself, releasing enzymes to dissolve all of its tissues. If you were to cut open a cocoon or chrysalis at just the right time, caterpillar soup would ooze out. But the contents of the pupa are not entirely an amorphous mess. Certain highly organized groups of cells known as imaginal discs survive the digestive process. Before hatching, when a caterpillar is still developing inside its egg, it grows an imaginal disc for each of the adult body parts it will need as a mature butterfly or moth—discs for its eyes, for its wings, its legs and so on....Once a caterpillar has disintegrated all of its tissues except for the imaginal discs, those discs use the protein-rich soup all around them to fuel the rapid cell division required to form the wings, antennae, legs, eyes, genitals and all the other features of an adult butterfly or moth....Depending on the species, certain caterpillar muscles and sections of the nervous system are largely preserved in the adult butterfly. One study even suggests that moths remember what they learned in later stages of their lives as caterpillars.
- source: Scientific American, How Does a Caterpillar Turn into a Butterfly
Imaginal discs................. I will leave you with that, dear reader, and end my rambling New Year's missive here. It's a beautiful, sunny, snowy day, and if I don't get out there and love it, I don't know who will.


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