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Monday, April 21, 2008

A Sight to Behold

Behold the Box Jellyfish drifting in a coral sea...a fearsome phantasm, a most incongruous improbability. She is beyond comprehension...a cloud of dream and death.

Her nickname is the “Sea Wasp” (although wasps, I’m sure, sullenly pout in envy of her talents). She’s considered the most venomous of sea creatures for, should she embrace you with her 60-some tentacles, you will surely die. Step aside, Medusa! This translucent-blue siren can render a seafaring stranger to dust, not simply stone.

But it’s her eyes that mesmerize. It’s always about the eyes, no? This creature of fluid and tentacles and venom, this diaphanous dream, has twenty-four.

She circles the square with eyes on four sides. Eight are mere slits, eight are pitted mysteries. Eight more are sophisticated wonders: orbs with lens, retina, iris and cornea, expressed in miniaturized perfection...except...except...she's woefully near-sighted!

And even more confounding...this beauty has no brain. Where do her perceptions go? Where are her memories? Her visions? Her dreams?

As you can see, I’m still in “not understanding” mode. But I know this:

She sees more than I can ever see. She knows more of life and death, of sunlight and sea, than I can ever know.

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* * *


Blogger Cheesy said...

Jellyfish are captivating…scary but intriguing...

Mon Apr 21, 11:06:00 PM  
Blogger anna said...

And they only live for about a year. Fascinating stuff.

Tue Apr 22, 08:45:00 AM  
Anonymous the winged-stem passionflower said...

I've heard the carybdea alata has indeed 4 parallel brain clusters. Knowing so, would you dare to swim through the open sea?...if you immediately were to become aware of the presence of such a "fearsome" creature, would you wish "her" to leave you alone and not terrorize you any longer? Or if you were intrigued enough to venture out, would you rather find "her" in plain sight right before you, like the finding of the passiflora alata?

Which of these scenarios would you choose? Would you stay safe on land, far, far away? Would you swim by the shore and wish her away if she happened to find you? Or would you venture out into the open sea hoping to find her yourself?

Tue Apr 22, 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger candlelightglow said...

ah... i like anna's response much, much better...

they do only live for about a year...

...which means you needn't worry-- the water is safe for crossing!...

Tue Apr 22, 04:50:00 PM  
Blogger rebecca said...

ethereal and alien-ish! so beautiful and deadly. i enjoyed this post. nice photo.

Thu Apr 24, 01:25:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

I suppose if I were insanely wealthy (I'm not) and inclined to indulge in indulgence (which I'm also not), I'd create a giant seaquarium as a master bedroom wall stretching from floor to ceiling. It would be populated by corals, anemones, octopods and jellyfish (OK, OK, and a herd of sea horses, too). I can't imagine a more fanciful vision to lull me to sleep...(better than a thousand lava lamps!)

As it turns out, Ms. Passionflower, Sinead Lohan sang my answer in the preceding post.

Creatures as sublime as the Box Jellyfish should live to be at least 100, no?

Hello, Rebecca! I'm delighted you enjoyed my musings...

Thu Apr 24, 05:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Selma said...

A terrifying yet intriguing creature. I am sure she knows more about the world in its entirety than we do.

Fri Apr 25, 06:45:00 AM  
Blogger shadowlands6822 said...


Beautiful depiction of a beautiful creature...but I cannot be lured into the ocean because I greatly fear these creatures and sharks...

Fri Apr 25, 05:52:00 PM  
Blogger Smiler said...

I've seen all kinds of strange creatures I don't even know the names of while diving in the ocean, but no jellyfish. Those I've only seen as a bather when they would swarm an entire beach - thankfully it wasn't this deadly variety, but they've always seemed like alien creatures to me. One of them did sting me and it caused the strangest skin reaction. I was much younger then and almost certain I was the victim of an alien invasion of sorts. I'm here to tell the story so... guess I'm fine.

Btw: I responded to your comment on my blog.

Sat Apr 26, 01:35:00 PM  
Blogger the psycho therapist said...

Good evening, Jonas. How ya doin'? Listen, don't mind me right now, I'm a tad "off". Been lounging and watching movies all day so I'm in a somewhat time-bending state. A coupla thangs related to recent posts, if I may...

1. You cannot be a solipsist because I've had dibs on this stance for years and there simply cannot be two of us here. Okay, perhaps the operative word is "simply". :)

2. Also, like you, I have never seen one episode of American Idol and do not intend to change this in the future. Truly, there cannot be *two* living bipeds not participating in this mass media event.

3. I really like this:
She sees more than I can ever see. She knows more of life and death, of sunlight and sea, than I can ever know.
Just beautiful. Are these your words?

4. I am still grappling with the image associated with your recent comment on Deb's, Hoping For Grace. I wish I wasn't but I am. (lol)

5. It is a wonderful thing to be balanced in our masculine and feminine "energies". You demonstrate this quality very well. I applaud and appreciate your willingness to be real.

6. Hearts *are* connected and not so uncommon in their tendencies. There are many ways to let go, or knee and kiss the ground, as Rumi would say.

7. My mother refuses to go to aquariums because jellyfish and octupus scare the bejesus out of her. (Must be a past-life thing.) I, on the other hand, have no strong feelings one way or another but do find them interesting and hauntingly beautiful.

8. I've never had an aquarium but have been around when a few busted and saw the aftermath. I always felt bad for the creatures gasping for life (and the tank's owners as they ran around screaming and trying to remedy a bad situation).

Oh, I think that's more than enough narcissistic rambling for one comment. Not that it matters since no one's really here anyway.

(hee hee hee)

Sun Apr 27, 08:23:00 PM  

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