The Lesson of the Moth (a re-post from my 2006 LiveJournal)

Jun. 26th, 2006 at 8:23 AM

Flowering Moth

I was at a party and wanted to escape the noisy conversation for a few minutes, so I went to the balcony to see if the swimming pool water was still blue, still shimmering with summer moonlight. It was.

I turned to face the other direction, to face the party. My first impulse is to close myself off a little at these social gatherings, so in an effort to relinquish (at least partially)an unnecessary habit, I decide that the very least I could do is face the people I came here to interact with.

I notice on the window a very large moth. It doesn’t flutter wildly as moths sometimes do but, sits serenely.  A pair of party goers are having a quiet conversation on the balcony and I say to them, “Look at this big moth!”  They come over to look and agree that it is indeed a very big moth. Word of the moth begins to spread and soon half of the party has moved to the balcony to observe the natural wonder. There is some question as to what type of moth it is, but no one is sure.

What I know is that my quiet haven has been invaded because I felt compelled to share my discovery with someone else. I know that because of me, people’s lives were effected. I changed things. That’s a bit remarkable.

The party goers eventually drifted back inside and  said their goodbyes and headed homeward. The moth remained, and as I took one last look, I wondered if there was some reason that I should see an unusually large moth on a particular night at a particular place. You see, I’m always looking for some sign that proves to me that I belong here and that I’m not some cosmic accident or by-product of something more significant. So I look to a moth for guidance.

I tell myself this: I’m a choreographer, a writer, a performer and I point things out to people. I illuminate what I can see so that others can see it too. I show them my moths and just as the party goers got up and moved to the balcony to gaze at what I had found, my audiences might shift their focus to something new and more beautiful than what they were previously seeing.

And maybe that’s significant.