Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Stump & Grub Babies

I went back to the old stump, and carefully brushed down through the leaves and black dirt. It's still there, the grub baby that is, though it has changed since the last time I looked a couple of years ago. There are blackish splotches forming in its head. I don't know how long they take. The other one, the one before this one, was there for years. Then one day I happened to come by the stump and looked and it was gone. I don't know where they go either. I assume they are taken, but how or why I have no idea.

I was in my teens when I made the first one. They're made out of wax, in layers. You start with an embryonic form and keep dipping it in molten beeswax until the proper dimensions are reached, then just bury it in a hollow stump, one that has soft black dirt in it, and wait for them to disappear. I suppose it isn't really waiting - I don't even think about it unless I happen to go by the stump.

Since I've never seen one in the transition phase between larvae, pupaedom, and adult-hood - it's only a guess but I'm guessing they look like the one in this photograph. It looks like me because our imaginations are so limited that we have to use mirrors to tell what we look like.

This is the year of the 17 year locusts here on the hill, (that's what we call cicadas) and THEY stay under the earth for 17 years to get ready for the emergence. The emergence is a big deal when you've waited that long. I don't know if they're patient or just trapped. Maybe they don't even think about the emergence before it happens ~ that's what WE think about grub thought - see comment about mirrors above.

My point is is that it's possible to not even know that something really wonderful is about to happen to you, and that you're going to come out so changed that when you look in the mirror you're going to say "Wow - I didn't see that coming!" This sort of thing happens in the woods around here all the time.

Udanuhi = Cherokee for "springing into being from an embryonic condition"


shepherdgirl said...

I love what you say that one never knows what is coming up, and the experience that does come up is life changing, in big or small ways.

I'm so excited you have added visual cues with your writing. The grub baby - yes I see a slight resemblance- is fascinating. I thought of you this week when I heard the baby bats in the newer barn-

Kim said...

I hope you're right... Otherwise I'm gonna be one wicked bitchin' grub in another couple of years!

Dan Dutton said...

Well it could be several more, maybe 17 or so... depends on your species. (?)