insects in the floodlights
The image of insects milling around a lamp is a familiar one. Our gaze is drawn for a moment from the main arena to smaller ones, the floodlights, which the insects find far more interesting and which have their undivided attention. How different the world must appear to them drawn irresistibly to the light. I am pleased to be reminded of this simple fact, that the world must appear differently according to what draws our attention. Here also I’m reminded of the presence of ‘other worlds’ or worlds within worlds that we can become aware of with a simple shift of focus, pausing in this case perhaps to wonder how life might be for these moths or flying ants. They are caught up in their halo of light and some of us are caught up watching the game, perhaps also in an aura light (that of a television) or increasingly these days around some other lit screen. There is a great sense of play here – with the insects in the floodlights being beamed worldwide. Unbeknown to them, their images are beamed through the airways and via satellite around the world, seen for a moment in China, Mexico or the US and experienced by millions; how connected the world is in so many ways. I’m reminded here of gatherings of seagulls attending games of football or cricket, the ever-wary seagulls keeping an eye to the ball – some of us watching them and some of them watching us.
First published: Windfall: Australian Haiku, issue 5, 2017
Selection & comments by Simon Hanson