October 19, 2008

Nightfall Notion

Saturday afternoon, after a solid morning ride up and down the bluffs, I was lying on the couch staring out the window at the setting sun (pondering how I was going to get that mylar balloon down from vaulted ceiling) when I heard a large bug thump against the living room window.


Two things immediately came to mind: First, those are some clean windows if I do say so myself--I've got a second career I can always fall back on (how about it CJ3?). Second, I remembered earlier this summer one afternoon when I was working in the garage and heard a similar, though larger, thump. At first I thought it was just some weird house noise in the heat of the day, but then it came again, and again, almost in time. I looked up from what I was doing and saw a hummingbird banging against the window again and again, trying to escape the garage and fly into the blue sky it could see beyond. I guess hummingbirds, or any birds for that matter, don't understand the concept of glass. And they don't seem to learn too quickly either because he just kept banging against the window. I quickly opened the window and cupped my hand around the bird to direct him out before he injured himself. He flew off and I can only assume was fine.

As I laid on the couch, looking out the window, and at the bug that had fallen on the window sill, I noticed a wasp on a window higher up. He was just sitting there on the glass, seemingly longing for the sky beyond. I don't know how they get in, but we've had a few wasps in the house this past month, mostly dead. I think they must be escaping the cold to delay their inevitable end. As I stared at the wasp for a while, he didn't move. It occured to me that the other dead wasps I have found probably did the same thing he was doing. Sitting, defeated, on the glass, unable to escape, slowly starving to death.

As I stared back at the mylar balloon along the ceiling, I thought for sure there was some analogy here about life, existence, struggle, and truth. Are we the hummingbird? The wasp? The dead bug?

Then, true to the aversion I have for analogies (and affection for alliteration), I got up, grabbed the vacuum hose, and sucked them up.


  1. I enjoyed this post. Don't be afraid of analogies; they are like friendly dogs--not the long-haired, loud, drooling, shedding kind, but the other kind.
    This post reminded me of Virginia Woolf's essay, "Death of the Moth." You should read it if you haven't. You can find it here: http://bcs.bedfordstmartins.com/everythingsanargument4e/content/cat_020/Woolf_DeathoftheMoth.pdf

  2. Thanks for the reference. Much more interesting than my blurb. I still don't like analogies. They're like mindless toy dogs in the purse of an heiress.

  3. decoration and excess without advancing truth.

  4. I liked your analogy about the shallowness of analogies; it was deep, and contained a lot of truth.

  5. funny comments
    I've never had a strong opinion of analogies or alliteration. Though I am probably more guilty of using analogy rather than alliteration.
    I was thinking that
    clean windows = 20/20 vision + job well done
    clean windows = distorted perception + game over
    Depends on what creature you are.