A Thousand Eyes Are Not Enough To See

Blue Dasher Dragonfly

It occurs to me, that bugs cannot blink. Obviously with countless lenses in their compound eyes (as the above photograph of a male Blue Dasher illustrates), they see differently than humans. But, if they did see the same, I imagine it would be a very tiring and difficult way to see the world. It is tough enough escaping the clutches of everything from robber flies to humans to cameras without needing eyelids that don’t exist. Fanciful notions aside, it is nice to have eyelids and lens caps: to meditate, to reflect, to see nothing, so later, through  native lenses, we can see anew, until believing and seeing is a bi-way. In fact, it is better than nice, it is essential (even putting aside superficial biological reasons). To see too much or too many in an over-saturated time period, has a way of deadening that joie-de-vivre that makes bugs, people, photos and anything else worthwhile. I think in this way, the bugs with compound eyes have outdone us. In the Internet Age, where no image (and every image) is an original, where consumable media is reproduced until it means nothing, the bugs see the same thing over and over, every second of the day, and this is how they escape the deadly thieves, bug and people alike—this is how they thrive. It almost makes me wish I had thousands and thousands of eyes.

Well maybe not. I will stick with my two lenses and two lids; I’m still fond of them. They do well to help me see my tiny share of bugs, people, photos and whatever else the universe(s) have put aside for me.


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