August 22, 2014

I found a metaphor in the garden by the front steps.

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The shed skin of a cicada:
In China, the phrase "to shed off the golden cicada skin"(金蝉脱壳, pinyin: jīnchán tuōqiào) is the poetic name of the tactic of using deception to escape danger, specifically of using decoys (leaving the old shell) to fool enemies. It became one of the 36 classic Chinese strategems....  In the Chinese classic novel Journey to the West (16th century), the protagonist Priest of Tang...
I know. You want to make a joke like: Give us this day our daily orange-flavored beverage.

...  was named the Golden Cicada; in this context the multiple shedding of shell of the cicada symbolizes the many stages of transformation required of a person before all illusions have been broken and one reaches enlightenment. This is also referred to in Japanese mythical ninja lore, as the technique of utsusemi (i.e., literally cicada), where ninjas would trick opponents into attacking a decoy....

In the Japanese novel The Tale of Genji...
Genji text:
The lady with the scarf... who had been for some time fondly supposing that Genji had given up thinking about her, appeared startled and embarrassed when she saw him; but, as a matter of course, the usual courtesies were paid. The younger lady, however (who was free from all such thoughts), was rather pleased at his appearance. It happened that, when the eyes of the younger were turned in another direction, Genji ventured to touch slightly the shoulder of his favorite, who, startled at the action rose suddenly and left the room, on pretence of seeking something she required, dropping her scarf in her haste, as a cicada casts off its tender wingy shell, and leaving her friend to converse with the Prince.
Ah! That reminds me of another insects-in-the-garden photograph:

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22 comments:

rhhardin said...

James Bond use the pillows under the bed covers trick a couple of times.

Anonymous said...

Cicada Man says:

I am covered in scabs, some of my own creation. The strength needed to resist the urge to scratch is intense. I then shed my scabbed skin like a snake and I am fresh and pink and naked. My former scabbed shell is not unlike pork rinds. I am compelled to wash my new self in the river. Please do not touch me.

Anonymous said...

Cicada Man says:

I am fresh and pink and naked and clean from the river. I wander the woods; hikers occasionally catch a glimpse of me before I disappear into the verdant growth. Some think I am Bigfoot-like creature; some think I am a ghost. The pine needles cut my legs. Please do not touch me.

Anonymous said...

Cicada Man says:

I am fresh and pink and naked and clean from the river: I am Adam and the Forest is my Garden. I do not know what I did last night; there is blood everywhere. Please do not touch me.

Anonymous said...

Cicada Man says:

I am Cicada Man: I want to remove the skin from others and see the New that waits underneath. From inside their shed skin I will see their dreams: I will make the skin fit. Please do not touch me.

Roger Smith said...

Give us this day our daily orange-flavored beverage. if. Copy all of meades comment history, go back in time and cut his internet

Anonymous said...

Cicada Man says:

It was my Old Skin that committed such horrible acts; I have left that behind. I am New:
I am fresh and pink and naked and clean from the river. Still: the thoughts.

averagejoe said...

That looks just like the tardigrades the Ruskies found on the International Space Station.


Lauderdale Vet said...

That picture reminded me of a photo I saw in an article this morning about Microbial life found living on the exterior of the International Space Station.

Anonymous said...

Cicada Man says:

I am fresh and pink and naked and clean from the river: it is as if I have been baptized and born again. This time will be different. I can ignore the thoughts I can ignore the thoughts I can ignore the thoughts. Please don't touch me.

St. George said...

Susurrous

A word that must have been invented to describe the sounds of cicadas....a great murmurous whispery rustling.

Anonymous said...

Cicada Man says:

I will shed my skin until I expose my wings: that is how angels are made. Please don't touch me.

Michael said...

Well, whenever I think of Japanese insects I think of slavery and reparations and think we should spend some time ruminating on that urgent topic.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

I found more poop.

This has the poop of beta written all over it.

Original Mike said...

I find these all over the backyard as I garden.

I think they're a metaphor for our country.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

The skins are dead right? I thought we weren't supposed to used dead metaphors.

Fernandinande said...

averagejoe said...
That looks just like the tardigrades the Ruskies found on the International Space Station.


Lauderdale Vet said...
That picture reminded me of a photo I saw in an article this morning about Microbial life found living on the exterior of the International Space Station.


I realize that Lauderdale worded his statement properly, but even that terrible independent.co.uk article didn't claim that they found tardigrades in/on the space station; they used that picture because tardigrades look more interesting than plankton, "with Nasa[sic] refusing to confirm the story". A picture of a baby giraffe or panda would probably have more appeal to their readers, and be only slightly more misleading.

"In 2007, a group of European researchers ... exposing a sample of dehydrated tardigrades* to the vacuum and solar radiation of outer space for 10 full days. When the specimens were returned to earth and rehydrated, 68 percent of those that were shielded from the radiation survived, and even a handful of those with no radiation protection came back to life[sic] and produced viable offspring."
*it doesn't work if they're not dried out first.

traditionalguy said...

The human body also masks a spirit inside it that we call call life until it leaves the body which is then called dead, or Egyptians called mummies.

The popular Zombie tales are about cicada like shells. All they lack are some nice color coordinated clothes...but no shorts.



Tyrone Slothrop said...

the shell of a cicada
it sang itself
utterly away
--Basho

Will Cate said...

I was fascinated by this phenomenon when I was a child. I'd find the shells clinging to tree branches in my back yard, and would collect them. I'd line them up on my bedroom windowsill like a little insect army. We just called them locusts, in northeast Arkansas. I couldn't have told you back then what a cicada was.

ganderson said...

On, from the northwest corner
Of a brand new crescent moon
Crickets and cicadas sing
A rare and different tune
Terrapin station


ken in sc said...

They were called locusts throughout the south.