10.05.2010

DRAGONFLY AGONISTES


The dragonfly did not live to see another day, after all. He had been in death throes, awakened perhaps only by the dry warmth of my house. He fluttered his wings a few more times, but that movement was agonal...and then he settled himself into the longest sleep of all. He joins the butterfly on the small nest, in the bottom of one of Frances Palmer's new bowls, and I will honor them, from time to time, by gazing at them with wonder.

23 comments:

Christa said...

Just beautiful. Thank you.

lostpastremembered said...

I don't know why people who are squeamish about insects in general find butterflies, ladybugs and dragonflies utterly captivating. I know I do. I once had 2 dragonflies land on me as I was fording a creek. I was enchanted and stopped to admire them close up on my outstretched arms. No wonder Lalique used them as models for jewelry...but even he could not capture the delicacy of those wings as you did yesterday in your photo. They are a miracle. Today's photo is no less brilliant. What bowls your friend makes! Thanks for a slow moment of appreciation in my morning.

holly aka golly said...

Exquisite specimens. I love how you have placed them in a nest. It seems they are still frolicking in spirit.

karensandburg said...

The bowl and the delicate creatures inside -- simply beautiful. And that bowl! Have you considered selling your photos?

queen_cupcake said...

so beautiful.

david terry said...

Dear Ms. Browning, et al.....


Well, I'm sorry to hear that Mister Dragonfly has set out on what will no doubt be an eternal, uninterrupted series of slow-as-it-gets moments.

As a perspective-restoring tonic on this sad morning, though?..., I'd suggest everyone's watching the opening scenes of the movie "Impromptu", in which the 7 year old Amantine Aurore Lucile Dupin (later Baroness Dudevant and, even later/more infamously, the irrepressible "George Sand") performs her morning ritual. Circa 1810.

In the movie (and as recounted in one or another of Sand's 300-or so-volume memoir.) the little girl, having escaped her governesses ad Mama, goes running through the woods around the family chateau....finally throwing herself to the ground in front of a massive oak tree. She then affects an over-done supplicant's posture (apparently, she didn't do things by half-measures even at age 7) and, reaching into a bag she's brought with her, murmurs "Hear me, oh sublime Corombe! Thou who are man and god in one, hear me....I free this little bird in thy name!" (and she releases what looks to be a very bedraggled & irritated sparrow she's previously managed to catch).

Moving on...she intones "Come to me, oh Sublime Being! I want to know the meaning of life and I want to find perfect perfect, perfect LOVE!.. I free this lizard in Thy Name!...". When she pulls out the lizard, though, it just kind of flops to the ground, and her expression is exactly what you'd expect of a willful, frustrated, way-too-intelligent, pissed-off 7 year old girl (if you've ever known one, you'll know the expression). She pokes at the lizard with a stick and mutters "OH...now don't be DEAD...Oh, BALLS!! you're dead...."

It's a very, very funny scene, followed by the passage from the memoirs in which Sand declares "My little ritual in the woods didn't always go so well, but I never was discouraged, and I never gave up looking for an answer...."

And, in fact, she never did....although, as you'll know, she eventually graduated from collecting stray birds/lizards/insects to saving tubercular Polish pianists.

I think we recall exactly how long Chopin lasted once she'd "rescued" him.

Someone else will have to tease the moral out of that autobiographical anecdote, but your posting made me fondly recall that scene from one of my favorite movies.

Advisedly as ever,

David Terry
www.davidterryart.com

Spoony said...

I just thought last night as I was cleaning and rearranging my studio that my life is an ever changing still life of objects that are meaningful, beautiful, or fill me with wonder. I am constantly collecting, arranging and displaying things and for me this is the closest I can come to writing a poem. Beautiful, like poetry!

quintessence said...

So bittersweet - but beautiful. You have somehow immortalized them into this lovely still life. And the bowl itself is beautiful as well.

Carol Bass @ A Bird in Hand said...

So peacefully beautiful.

jeunesse said...

Love your posts...

Anonymous said...

Dragonflies are so incredibly lovely.

I once got to watch a swarm of them hunting insects in the air and mating. It was incredible.

Leslie Brunetta said...

Dear Dominique,
I think "he" was "she," a female Plathemis lydia:
http://bugguide.net/node/view/603
Your photo is lovely.
Leslie

Jess said...

So beautiful. I love your nest, butterfly and dragonfly. Thank you for sharing.

cd said...

how very very beautiful!!!!!........
i used to buy the magazine only for your columns.....
i soo missed your writings for years, and was so delighted when i discovered the article in the new york times in may....i loved your book (all your books)and have suggested it and this site to many many women..........i am grateful for all that you write........grateful to this dragonfly ...and grateful
you continue to share your "wonder" with us...........

Lines of Beauty said...

Deep in the sun-searched growths the dragon-fly
Hangs like a blue thread loosened from the sky
So this wing'd hour is dropt to us from above.
Oh! clasp we to our hearts, for deathless dower,
This close-companioned inarticulate hour
When twofold silence was the song of love.

(Dante Gabriel Rossetti)

Dominique, I am reading and loving Slow Love. Can totally relate, and can't put it down. Don't want it to end!

c said...

cycle of life, which includes death, is forever amazing.

sad to read dragonfly (mr or ms) is part of a still-life bowl ... however lovely said bowl is.

Väva! Veve! said...

Oh! The beauty! Mother Nature really does do a great job! And man continues to mimic her in art and architecture and calls HIMSELF genius!

Thank you for this moment of awe and appreciation!

wolf said...

Such gorgeous fotos and such soulful, perceptive observations!

helen tilston said...

The trillogy is thought provoking and stunning. A fitting memorial.
Helen Tilston

Emom said...

Lovely in it's simplicity.....thank you for sharing it....smiles.

Alcira Molina-Ali said...

Agony and ecstasy in this stunning post where memento mori and natural history collide and sleep in poetry.

Bon weekend, Alcira

thenerochronicles.blogspot.com

Kate from Party Resources said...

I loved your book and am so happy to have found your blog!

Cheers,
Kate

Anonymous said...

My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!