Dear reader, don't roll your eyeballs. Don't give up on me yet! I can talk about things other than insects, I really can. I doubt anyone would invite me to a dinner party based on my reputation for small talk, but I do have a few tricks up my sleeve beyond bugs.
Not many, but a few.
Sometimes I'm hesitant to expound on certain topics. Why? Because I generally feel my opinion is less important than the possibility it may have of alienating others. It's not that I don't have opinions or convictions, because I do. But I also see that so does everyone else. For example, I sometimes feel like lamenting the culture of shame society imposes on aging. It annoys me, that I should apparently feel badly for having work worn hands. It disheartens me to be asked if I'm ever going to start using injections or fillers to plump out the lines in my face.
But I hesitate to get on Tollipop and sound off about it, simply because I appreciate society's condemnation of aging is something which has wormed its way into our psyche, particularly when it comes to women, and I respect we are going about it in different ways: sometimes blindly, sometimes a bit desperately, but generally doing the best we can. I'm not sure my opinions on the matter are worth unsettling anyone whose approach may be different than mine. Actually, I'm sure they're not.
Over the weekend Izzy and I took a quick trip to Salt Lake City and listened to podcasts of Fresh Air along the way. I loved something Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield (worth the click) said when Terry Gross asked whether his experiences in space had informed his opinion on the existence of God. Since I couldn't find the exact quote in the transcript, I'll paraphrase, but essentially he said while he harbored deep convictions of his own personal faith, he was hesitant to share them out of respect for the many other people throughout the world who are also nourished and strengthened by their own spiritual journeys, their various discoveries of faith.
His actual response was more eloquent and thought provoking...I recommend listening to the interview for that and other reasons.
At any rate, his mindset really resonated with me. It's not that I don't believe in sharing opinions, but I also notice how conveniently those opinions tend to reflect a certain set of experiences: my own.
I don't mean to make a bigger deal of this than it is. I certainly feel the world is made more interesting by a diverse array of outlooks, and I often come upon my own truths through listening to the experiences of others. I guess it's just something I notice--the difference between sharing opinions in a way that dignifies and includes, or in a way which makes the room seem small and the door tightly shut.
I actually did come here to talk about insects today, dear reader. I don't know how I managed to get so off topic.
I simply wanted to mention in the wake of Charles's untimely demise, I've received many kind expressions of condolence. Thank you for your comments and notes...taking time to recognize a loss, even one so small, is one of the elevating expressions of humanity.
Peter Clausen, the owner of Bugs in Cyberspace (highly recommended), decided to take it one step further. I received an email from him the other day offering to send a new praying mantis as well as an additional specimen which he guaranteed I'd find impossible to kill.
Such is the vote of confidence I inspire these days.
At any rate, he construed it as an offer but when I attempted to graciously decline, something about his response indicated a package containing a mystery bug may show up on my doorstep any day now, regardless.