I've always loved dragonflies. They are colorful, fantastical creatures. Years ago when I took my one-and-only mosaic class, I of course chose an overly complicated design for my project:
Well, little did I know until this evening, but I've learned that dragonflies are brutal creatures. One Web site mentioned that the males and females live separately so the females can preserve their energy for foraging, which sounded intriguing and reasonable at first. But bottom line: the males rape the females. They even have barbs on their penises to scrape out the semen that previous maters might have left behind. Who knew they were such brutal, fiercely jealous creatures? They are the overly possessive, combative wife batterers and rapists of the insect world! I'm still fascinated by their beauty and grace, but now I know more.
Let this be a lesson to all of us: never be wowed purely by a creature's looks!
Prayer in Thanks for the Little Flying Dinosaurs We Call Dragonflies
Because they are unbelievably cool, that's why, and we casually glance at them when they whiz past, and rarely if ever sit down in a daze and contemplate the fact that they are astonishing miracles, the saber-toothed tigers of the insect world,
and they are the most amazing aeronautical engineers and fighter pilots, and they come in all colors, and sometimes on a hot day there are dozens of them in the air all at once, stitching patterns and conducting maneuvers that I would have given a thousand bucks for in the old days when I was a young supple athlete; to move like that, changing directions in a split second; wow!
But then my mind suddenly is filled with dragonflies in basketball shorts and soccer jerseys, so we had better close up shop with this prayer, and yet again, for what must be the millionth time in fifty years, thank the Engineer for absolutely first-rate design and construction.
What an artist, what craft, what imaginative leaps!
And so: amen.
Here's more information on why I chose this focus for the A to Z, and you can read all my 2015 A to Z posts here. I hope you enjoy the celebrations of the miracle and muddle of the ordinary!
You can buy the book at Brian's favorite local bookstore, Broadway Books, at Powell's Books, or on Amazon. Brian's work is used with permission of Ave Maria Press.