Friday, June 25, 2010


The other middle of the night I was coming downstairs fresh from dreams in the total dark like I sometimes do for a change of pace at that 3 o'clock in the morning of the soul that F. Scott Fitzgerald spoke of, only without the hangover, when my seeking eyes at the heart of the dark were caught by a gleam of light, in a sensation somewhat like having a small but bright idea.

How attracted was my gaze by that bright but tiny glow, that only point of absolute undarkness! I stood mystified a moment at the bottom of the stairs, studying the phenomenon of such a single dot of brightness in all that deep dark, wondering how there could be a reflection in the window when there were no lights on in the room; there were no stars for the clouds, there were no streetlights around here. Moreover it was a greenish reflection; even moreover, the light seemed to be moving!

There in that countryside mid-night dark and silence it was eerie, mysterious, suitably rural for the genesis of myth - the finest mythology originates in the countryside - I suddenly realized that yes, it is that time of year: it must be a firefly! Trapped in the house! I had to set it free, let it go outside!

I went over to the tiny light and saw that the firefly, shadowed by his own light, was walking up and down the lower part of the window, texting for any interested female that might be in the vicinity, but I couldn't tell whether he was inside or outside the glass, since he was turning himself on and off as he moved up and down.

Then as if to answer my question in the simplest way possible, when I tried to get some close perspective on the matter my forehead struck the glass with a suitable but unexpected bong in the night, like the forgetting of a small bright idea, the shock of which caused the firefly to lose his footing and fall to the deck-- outside, where he lay still turning on and off. I remember being that age. Problem solved, question answered.

And I just had a small, bright idea, about a myth...

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