Friday, October 14, 2011

grasshopper clinging

grasshopper clinging
to the green wall of a shop --
no blade of grass in sight

I have a particularly keen eye for small anomalies, like four-leaf clovers and typos in sentences, so I immediately notice a grasshopper clinging to the green paint near the foot of the wall at the entrance to Natural Selections. Seems an appropriate place to hang out if you've hopped into town. Grasshoppers prefer grass, leaves and crops such as corn and soybeans, but maybe this grasshopper would be willing to try some of the natural fiber clothes in the shop, such as cotton, hemp or bamboo. In Aesop's famous fable, the grasshopper plays all summer while the ant works hard to build a shelter and store food for the winter, so the grasshopper ends up starving to death. Of course, the female has already laid eggs in the soil, which will lie dormant until the following summer, so the death of the adult grasshopper is not the end of the story. But the fable has given rise to a number of associations besides improvidence, including unfaithfulness (hopping from one partner to another), being scatterbrained (hopping quickly from one subject to another), or naivete (having a lot to learn). Among certain yogis who practice yogic flying, hopping is the beginning stage, followed by hovering and then flying in space. Now that's a blade of grass to chew on!

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