Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Flax of Reverie


1848. The Industrial Revolution spewed darkness across English skies. An era ended; great wheels turned. Blankets of choking soot swept the lichen-covered trees that sheltered Biston betularia, the peppered moth, during daylight hours. Then, as its world began to change, so too did the moth. Its dappled markings made betularia easy prey against industry's coal-black tide and so, over time, the peppered moth virtually disappeared while its darkened, camouflaged form flourished. A subtle triumph of simplicity over complexity, or was it the other way around?

We long for the simplicity of childhood: a world of night and day, black and white, light and dark. Some never emerge from this world of innocence and ignorance; others retreat back into it, a shelter from the complication and the pain. The rest of us move on, but what we have lost remains with us forever as shadow.

With one eye reflecting the dark of the underground and the other the colours of day, Mothlite bears this loss downstream: beneath crooked trees where wild eyes watch unseen; across open fields where we frolic beneath the stars and smoke curls from metal mouths; through thirsty gullies where stones chatter and falcons cry, before, finally, releasing us into the enormity of the ocean.