Advertisement

Daily Joys and Simple Pleasures

Daily Joys and Simple Pleasures

My Case for the Dragonfly

Over the coming few days I’m going to make a case for the dragonfly as a model for modern behavior.

I am utterly taken with all the lessons the dragonfly holds for me and I hope you will find some inspiration in them.

Throughout centuries and across cultures, the dragonfly has been used as a metaphorical model for adaptibility and change.  Interestingly enough – the dragonfly itself, over the history that can be cobbled together about it – has changed very little.  It is an insect that adapts perfectly to its surroundings and circumstances and has done so over eons.  I look at the dragonfly and see pre-history fluttering before my wonder-filled eyes.

Advertisement

I draw the lesson from that for my own life and borrow from American wisdom to articulate it:  “If it ain’t broke – don’t fix it.”   I’ve had occasion to re-invent myself and my personal operating systems on many occasions.  The model of the butterfly reminds me not to change for simply the sake of change.  It prompts me to retain the systems that work and reinvent the ones that don’t.

Here’s another magnificent instruction from the dragonfly.  Consider first the ordinary housefly.  It buzzes around your head and home with seeming zippity speed and ease.  To stay aloft that housefly has to flap it’s wings upwards of a thousand times a minute.  That’s a lot of flapping, friends.

Advertisement

The dragonfly?   With a much larger body span and more weight – flaps its lovely, iridescent wings a mere 30 times in a minute.  A picture of efficiency, poise and ease.  With the proverbial clock ever ticking on various requirements in the course of a day – it’s tempting to behave like the housefly.  Rapid wing movement LOOKS like success and APPEARS very busy.  Exhausting is what I say. With 30 flaps a minute the dragonfly models the grace of a master ballerina.  The master makes the dance appear effortless and the dragonfly makes it  look so easy to stay aloft.  And, perhaps, because the insect is operating in accord with its structure and nature, it is easy.

There’s another lesson:  when in cadence with our core talents, skills and abilities…things become more natural, full of ease.

Advertisement

I know the butterfly gets lots of attention.  This week I’m giving my whole attention to a lesser known icon – the dragonfly.

 

Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling. – Margaret Lee Runbeck, 1944 –

Learning too soon our limitations, we never learn our powers.  – Mignon McLaughlin, 1963 –

I think learning what you can not do is more  important than knowing what you can do. – Lucile Ball, 1954 –

There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm. – Willa Cather , 1915 –

People change and forget to tell each other.  – Lillian Hellman, 1960 –

The tragedy of life is that people do not change. – Agatha Christie, 1948 –

Advertisement

Share with Your Washington State Friends!

I will be in the historic barn with other working artists demonstrating a wide variety of art techniques.

 

Share the opportunity for a fun day with your friends in Washington State!  It’s lovely on Whidbey Island this time of year!

 

Advertisement

A Blessing for you on Monday

before you:  promise.

behind you: presence.

beneath you: integrity.

around you: source.

within you: joy.

may what you see be what you wish.  may what you know serve you well.  may what you sing bring kindness to others. may all you give bring mercy in a circle back to you. and may you be confident in the hand that will always be extended between you and your friend.

like the trees: may you stand/ firm/ ever reaching.  in the wind: ever bending. in the rich and healthy sail may you be ever rooted in your own knowing of the source of all things.

Advertisement

Hail, Atlantis!

I can date my life by where I was in various Shuttle launches.  The wonder with which they were greeted in my childhood has chilled somewhat for the generation that has seen so many technological advances.  I hear many people wonder about the importance of the Space Program when there are so many financial needs right here on earth.  I believe that space exploration is a wonderful teacher.  Many of our most significant innovations have evolved out of the space program.  You might not know…those ubiquitous sticky notes that are used everywhere…are the result of a space program experiment.  In many ways, the “space program” reaches into our every day, ordinary space.  Even our cellular technology owes a vote of thanks to the Space Effort.

Advertisement

Atlantis has launched.  And it called to mind COLUMBIA and how it fell from the sky in 2003.  I am going to share a piece from LEAN FORWARD INTO YOUR LIFE, from the Curiosity Takes Courage chapter.

I remember when the spacecraft fell from the sky to Texas.

I weep that we Americans seem to be defined more by what we have colelctively lost than by what we hold as a whole.  How is it we can call ourselves champions?  On this day I weep for our American star which fell from the Texas sky.  (They say everything is bigger there, I wonder if their grief is larger than mine?)  I remember another loss of this sort from my childhood.  I remember feeling the fear of throwing lives into the sky and wondering if they could possibly find their way home.  How these decades of progress have jaded my wonderment and my sense of risk.

Advertisement

Perhpas my loss imapirs my vision.  There is a spark of hopefulness in this tragedy.  It is the true spirit of a champion which allows us to continue to explore, after such collective loss we still wish to be pathfinders  We still long to answer questions and blaze a new way of seeing.  We still reach nonpartisan hands across borders and invite, “Let us be bigger together than we are alone.”

We are victors in this:  that tomorrow we will reach again for the stars and be sobered by this loss. In that reach for a higher excellence we will ask bigger questions and work, like champions, for the discovery of the answer.

All good wishes and prayers travel with this shuttle as it carries out its mission.  And good on all of us for the having the courage to continue to explore and discover.

Previous Posts

The Creative Conspiracy on Whidbey Island, WA
...

posted 3:38:54pm May. 11, 2015 | read full post »

Creative Retreat with Mary Anne Radmacher and friends
...

posted 3:37:27pm May. 11, 2015 | read full post »

THE WHOLE-HEARTED LIFE by Susyn Reeve
Rarely do I share book reviews here, and yet this book prompted me to do so. If you are in need of a curriculum for a young person or a jumpstart at retirement, this book is that.  If you are looking for fresh ideas to lift your creative ...

posted 12:31:12pm Apr. 16, 2015 | read full post »

WHEN DO YOU LEAVE?
from LEAN FORWARD INTO YOUR LIFE (2007 Conari Press, Mary Anne Radmacher, author)  “Know When To Leave” It was time for me to leave. What I was leaving was so delicious in its appearance. The opportunity to be a part-time hero is ...

posted 2:38:44pm Apr. 09, 2015 | read full post »

Editing: It's Not Just For Writing
"Editing. It's Not Just For Writing." I've spent much of my writing time since I was 28 trying to get rid of words. Editing down. Paring down. Getting to the core. I woke up this morning clear on the matter: that is what I am doing with the ...

posted 11:44:53am Mar. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.