Namo amitabha Buddhaya, y'all.
This here's a religious establishment. Act respectable.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Saga of the Speckled Moth.

Playing in the background: some serious rock en espanol from the gardeners working on the house across the way. My floors are vibrating.
Meters swum today: 1900. Whoo-HOO!

Meditation: I does it. What is meditation, you ask? Well, it's sitting around, doing nothing, looking at the floor and thinking as little as possible. (Thanks, Mel.) Seriously, there are books on the subject. Check 'em out at your local library. Stop by ours and Joan will give you a hand. What do I think meditation is? Twenty minutes a day when everyone has to leave you the hell alone. (Except cats in search of warm laps.)

I tend to meditate right after I get up in the morning. With luck, my brain isn't awake enough to make a lot of noise. I also do it on the way to bed, so if I miss a session someplace I don't miss a whole day. And for the most part everyone does leave me alone, but a couple days ago, I was peacefully counting breaths when Joan suddenly called from the shower, "JEN!!! A fellow being needs your help!!!" (Yep. Three exclamation points. It's pretty soundproof, is our bathroom.)

Grumbling, I got up and made my way to the bathroom. See above re: everybody leaving you the hell alone. What, oh what, could be happening in there? Could a cat have gotten into a predicament? Could there be a spider hanging out in the shower? Doubt that; scream wasn't loud enough. Maybe she just couldn't reach her frick'n towel. Possibilities abounded...

Anyway: I got there and Joan says, "There's a speckled moth in here, and I'm afraid if I start splashing around he'll drown." I got closer and sure enough, a white speckled moth was hanging around on the white speckled tile in our white speckled bathroom. Pretty sharp guy, finding the one place in the house that was safe from marauding cats. His wings were wet. He was flapping em but he wasn't going anywhere.

I fetched a glass from the kitchen, trapped the moth under it and coaxed it up onto the glassy surface so I could put a piece of paper between himself and the wall. As he crawled around he left a little trail of white scales--I think they have scales--from his wings. So I took the glass outside, and after a while he crawled to the edge of the glass, fluttered his wings a few times and took off. When last I saw him, he was hanging around near the porch light.

Over the next few days I found and similarly dispatched either the same moth three more times, or three of its friends, hanging around on the ceiling or the bathroom tile or, in one instance, the front of the oven door (!). While I was at it, I caught a few long black wingy ant-looking things and sent them outside, too. In the same time frame, however, I spotted, and stomped hell out of, a cockroach in the kitchen.

Okay, the questions are obvious. What did the speckled moth have that the li'l cockroach did not? Why would I go to a lot of trouble to save one form of life and stomp on another form of life the same day? I guess speckled moths are kind of cute, whereas cockroaches are ugly and creepy. Plus, they spread disease. Plus, they're a sign that you're a lousy housekeeper (I wouldn't say Martha Stewart lives here, but the house is pretty clean, actually.) Plus, and perhaps here's the point, they scare me.

Pay attention, there's a lesson here. Things that scare us need stomping on. Things that are kind of cute, and happen to be in trouble and have wet wings and so on, just need a hand getting back to their natural environments. Might this not apply also to humans? Humans that are kind of cute--disabled youngsters, little African babies, hard-luck white kids from inner city schools, honest bright hardworking Asian immigrants--get our support and so on. Humans that scare us, like homeless people, little African insurgents, hard-luck black kids from inner city schools, and honest bright hardworking immigrants who speak Spanish as their first language--get stomped on. Yet, we are all made of the same stuff, from the hard-luck black kids to the Asian immigrants to the speckled moths. To stomp on one of us is, in effect, to stomp on ourselves. Sooner or later our feet get sore.

I wish cockroaches wouldn't come out where I can see them. Then I'd never stomp on them. Maybe a border fence would keep them out. My south Texas friends tell me that wouldn't work, though. They would just fly right over. They're gonna keep coming as long as I have something they want, so I might as well learn to live with them.

Besides, I'd miss the sunshine.


C.I. said...

Ahem. I'll have you know that, a) I didn't know Jen was meditating at the time, and b) if I couldn't reach my frickin' towel, I'd've gotten out of the shower, padded my soggy butt over to where it was hanging, and reached it for my damn self.

Try to do a Buddhisty thing like keep an innocent moth from drowning, and what do I get? Aspersions cast uponst me. Harrumph!

Jen Ster said...

Awwww, sweet pea, you did the right thing--moths deserve to live.
Incidentally I checked all over the windshield and thereabouts and could not find Mr. 8-legger. I think he has left the building.