Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Of Butterflies and Cockroaches

My husband and I recently treated ourselves to a night at Zach Theatre for Mary Zimmerman's "Metamorphosis," a production that wrings an interesting twist from Ovid's classic tales of transformation.

Upon booking our seats, we were warned of the splash zone, an indicator that this wouldn't be your average night out on the planks. In the center of the theater, the Whisenhunt Stage cradled a luminescent aqua swimming hole. Overhead, perfectly choreographed aerialists in long spans of white silk climbed, soared, and spun with mesmerizing grace and strength.

Though we sat one row above the splash zone, we still got sloshed a bit from the diving actors. They did not follow the adage: Say it, don't spray it.

When I hear the word metamorphosis, images switch from flittering butterflies to Kafka's dark tale of Gregor Samsa transforming into a giant cockroach. A monarch butterfly takes around five weeks to complete its four life stages. An American cockroach can live up to two years.

Either way of going through "the change," you end up with six legs.

Dorothea Brande wrote, "Old habits are strong and jealous." We struggle more with change than do the butterflies, resistant in our habits and habitats. It takes just one quick, brave poke through with our antennae for us to launch ourselves and soar to new perspectives.

Are you ready to burst from your chrysalis? What's the tastiest "host plant" that nurtures your transformation? Where will you let the wind take you this fall?

On their way to becoming butterflies, our caterpillars spent their summer vacation mowing down our host plants of dill, fennel, and parsley. Our salads have been lackluster, but its been our most glorious butterfly season ever. Besides, my seeds for next year's herbes fines are ready for their encore.