What is it with moths, insects and flies?
Why in their minute bodies or heads, they threaten humans?
Why in their strangeness, they symbolize wrath, fun, seasons, danger or calm?
I’m fond of fireflies. When I was younger I thought they were sent by fairies from deep dark forests. I asked my grandfather (father of my Dad) when we crossed thick forests in the night, “Are there really fairies in the forest?”
And he answered, “Yes.”
I was into it. I adored his stories, even those horses with human heads. Up the sky, we looked, and it was so beautiful! Truly, the sky in blue was vast, the stars brightly smiled to us, and to all those who looked above.
I was not afraid of the forest then. I was thinking, if we didn’t find the way out, we would reverse our shirts to find the way out. My grandfather laughed. He was so brave, a real man! Like an Indian chief he can roar with command, and those who would see him would bow with respect.
There were clusters of fireflies in the forest. Their lights blinked like party lights, but they were brighter, yellow and happy. They were more than fireworks dancing. Their lights never faded and never ended in the dark. When I tried to get one firefly, my grandfather told me “You shouldn’t do that because the fairies might punish us.” So I didn’t catch them. When I came in the house and there were still some fireflies, I got one and put it in a bottle. But soon, the firefly died.
As I traced back, the issue was not the punishment from the fairies, but the right thing to do.
I can also remember another famous story on the moths. It was told by (mother of Filipino national hero Dr. Jose Rizal)) Teodora Alonso. The story shares the idea that when the moths come near the flame they will burn. So stay away from the flame.
Another story is William Golding’s (awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature) Lord of the Flies. See what boys are like in the challenge of various situations. The title shows a terrifying boar’s (beast) head with flies buzzing around. What are the effects of environment to the children?
How about Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis? In the story, the insect cannot be depicted clearly because the door is always locked. When the door opens, there is darkness. What can you say about the cinema of the blind?
The Moths by Helena Maria Viramontes comes stark with a woman’s anguish. The story gives emphasis when Abuelita (grandmother) died. It says, “Then the moths came. Small and gray ones that came from her soul and out through her mouth fluttering to light…”