lost time

the scarab remembering its wings


Quite by accident, looking for a recent photo on my phone, I hit the wrong thing and found myself back in September 2019, and this snapshot from Palma de Mallorca’s cathedral museum cried out for re-editing. I opened it in Snapseed, feeling that there might be a haiku in it. There was.

Of course I’m thinking of Proust, but also of ancient Egyptian symbolism about scarab beetles, and the way Japanese use the word 蟲 mushi, commonly translated as bug or insect, to also indicate a kind of second soul, “closer to the depths of one’s being.” All this was brought to mind not only by the photo but also by a real encounter I had the other week with a large black beetle, which was moving too quickly for me to photograph, and chose to escape not by flying but by tunneling into the earth.

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