Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Monarchs in Our Coal Mine

THE MONARCH:  Hanna Yata © 2013

The Monarch strikes me as an entrancing fantasy of stunning, evocative, erotic beauty and, at the same time, an apocalyptic nightmare of our planet’s last gasp, a final brilliant flash of orgasmic pyrotechnics as all life on earth – each species exquisite and irreplaceable – fades into extinction never to be seen again – all because of human greed and stupidity.

But I didn’t appreciate the utter appropriateness of her title until reading a New York Times news analysis this morning entitled “The year the Monarch Didn’t Appear:”

On the first of November, when Mexicans celebrate a holiday called the Day of the Dead, some also celebrate the millions of monarch butterflies that, without fail, fly to the mountainous fir forests of central Mexico on that day. They are believed to be souls of the dead, returned.
This year, for or the first time in memory, the monarch butterflies didn’t come, at least not on the Day of the Dead. They began to straggle in a week later than usual, in record-low numbers... Some experts fear that the spectacular migration could be near collapse.

Yannah is tapped into a deeper reality. Her title is perfect: metaphorically and mythologically, the magical monarch is the canary in our coal mine.
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