Drunk with a stillness that resuscitated itself with every turn of the wind, the night imposed an eerie atmosphere into the components concealed under its gigantic blanket. Here and there, the green fields, pregnant with corn and rice plants and seedlings, resonated a belated exuberance for having met the recondite creatures whose enigma and incandescence had eluded them forever.
Intermittently, the fireflies moved among the plantations, and my eyes could distinguish them as they moved.
As if under an aphrodisiac, the fireflies worked their magic with the light that the Creator had so skillfully architected into them.
The lights are on.
The next instant they are turned off.
Again, the lights regurgitate themselves over the fireflies’ tiny exoskeletons chaotically.
Attempting to bring order from chaos, the flies turn them off again. Trying their best not to give themselves up to my eyes.
The cognitive processes inside a firefly’s brain occur faster than those inside the human brain. And you don’t need to be a PhD-holding scientist to be able to discern the aforementioned fact. The frequency at which fireflies are able to turn their lights on and off is a direct observable evidence that nerve impulses travel at a much more rapid rate inside their bodies. In a way, they are actually more advanced than the average human species.
In a way. Yes. That’s the correct phrase.
“But why do you digress, eh? Fireflies aren’t your specialty,” the Pessimist that lived symbiotically inside me, told me that my time was precious.
“Why do you care?” I snap back at the Pessimist, “You have made me what you wanted me to become.”
There is a strange stillness in the air.
As the autumn wind blows past me—–raging a war against my subtle nostrils and ruffling my already messed up hair——I revere the evanescent illumination of the fireflies with a piety and religiosity unprecedented in my life. Affronted with a desire and a need to be my own self for a few minutes in my mechanically secluded lifestyle, I had rushed into these open fields tonight. I do not know what it was that had accrued me towards these fields at 12 o’clock midnight for an arduous two-hour drive from my comfortable apartment equipped with all the urban necessities. And neither do I have any idea what it was that I was going to take back with me through this visit.
“Here is an antecedent to your feelings,” the Pessimist began, “The fireflies will fail to bring you any food.”
Yet I stare at them continuously. Discounting the omniscient Pessimist, I find something in those lights. I see them as they are, in their natural surroundings. Where they truly belong. I use my prescience to discern their likes and dislikes, their needs and wastes. Discontinuous, discreet particles of matter enter into my vision. For a while, inside my mind, they cast a beautiful castle of thought and splendor, of wealth and wisdom, of sense and sensibility. But keeping in line with their discreet nature, the particles leave immediately leaving everything behind a blur.
Despite my bluntness in poetry and philosophy, there was something in those regular periods of light and dark that fascinated me. That told me that no, everything was not lost as yet.
Being a man of pragmatism, and one who believes in worldliness and flesh and blood, I do my best to win against these fireflies. I hedge my bets against them and try to barricade them from entering my thought process. I strive hard to shun them away. I make myself reason and weigh the facts at my disposal. The poison must not enter into my life. It might just destroy my prosperous, urbane existence forever, and so I must win this war against these wicked creatures.
I had forgone a lot already. And tonight I must not lose any more to these enchanting beings.
I decide to strike back at the Pessimist inside me.
“All hope is not lost as yet, you idiot!”
Yes, there is hope. There is still hope amidst my dream-less life. There is hope for a better truth; for a more illuminated fly; for a firefly that remains alight for a longer period of time; for a firefly that proudly upholds its shimmering rays on its suggestive breasts.
There is hope for a better enlightenment; for a better light to be reached.
Yet there is a strange stillness in the air. And on this particular occasion the stillness is making me numb with an exodus for peace and tranquility; for hope and dreams; for simplicity and serenity.
Like me, the moonlit night had also begun to reciprocate its infatuation for the winged beasts. The flies, however, did not countenance at either of their suitors. They had a more important task at hand, and all those courtship rituals could wait.
But for me, there is still hope for a better survival, towards an existence unmarred by desire, towards a lust that was yet to be consummated, and towards a piety without any shred of sycophancy.
Still, it must be said, that there is a strange stillness in the air.
“You bloody fools, how dare you wage a war against me? You can’t so easily destroy the castle I have built with such skill and perseverance.”
But the castle was already disheveled. And it was a matter of time before it was finally dismantled to the ground along with its pride. The dexterity of the handless fireflies was too superior. The forts had been destroyed and the ammo had already been exhausted.
It was too late to win.
Yet, hope was still there. And it definitely was the one thing the fireflies were unable to win from me.
Amidst the stillness of the night, under the moonlit sky’s green eyes, with the corn plants hitting puberty as my witnesses, I confessed my defeat to the winged creatures. I swore defeat and proclaimed my allegiance to their periodic impressions of light and dark. I pronounced my faith and responsibility towards their superiority and their immaculately beautiful existence.
I announced my abstinence from dreamlessness and betrayed the Pessimist in order to coexist with Hope symbiotically.
I swore that I was conquered. Conquered by trust, by lust, by the desire for existence.
Conquered by the debauchery of the fireflies.
Conquered by all, except the darkness and the stillness that stopped escorting me from that instant onwards.
And instead I was supplanted with hope, dreams and aspirations for a worthier life. Everything was superseded with a belief in a Moderator, and my timorousness in the face of superior beauty was truly evident to me.
- Photos of fireflies by Tsuneaki Hiramatsu (lostateminor.com)
- Beauty of Fireflies by Tsuneyaki Hiramatsu (oddstuffmagazine.com)
- Memories of firefly (vardhanpatankar.wordpress.com)
- Firefly (briancoatney.com)