the eyes of the dragonfly


dragonfly summer

I remember a summer day before the war, when I met, rare in any land, who completely deserve the name, so disparaged these days, of a “person of note.” I had caught a large dragonfly, malachite, turquoise, gauze and mother of pearl, and I showed it to him. This eminent man gave it a look, and predictable comment: “very pretty.”

Then he started to pay attention, pointed to part of the creature: the eyes, the enormous eyes, those two iridescent globes, unfathomable, those jewels where reflections played, reflections of water and azure, all the colors of the universe.

“What is that?”
“That? Those are just its eyes…”
He leaned over, gazed passionately: “its eyes? Are you sure? Do you mean that all dragonflies have eyes like that? It seems to me I would have seen them before, wouldn’t I? Its eyes?”

He took the creature, touched it lightly with his hand, and when he gave it back to me, murmured to himself: “Look at that. Things like that exist, and we don’t even know. We have to tell people about it, we have to let people know about these eyes…”

The fervor, the wonder of the discovery appeared on his face, so new and so gentle, and communicative, that I truly had the impression that he was the one who had just invented, to bequeath them to the world, the eyes of the dragonfly.


(recently came across this in Orion Magazine, an excerpt adapted from Shipwrecked on a Traffic Island and Other Previously Untranslated Gems, available in November 2014)

21 thoughts on “the eyes of the dragonfly

  1. The pictures are stunning (of course) and Colette’s words truly speak to me. What a lovely lovely post!! Thank you! It is 7pm here right now. A sunny day with a cool breeze on my neck. Ideal to read your post. All my senses are dancing…

  2. How wonderful. I sometimes think it’s what we photographers do… show others what we see with our eyes. Wonders that they’ve never noticed before.

  3. What a wonderful text to go with your breathtaking captures of that dragonfly. Yes, the eyes are quite amazing and yet I am always attracted to those delicate wings shining all colours of the rainbow.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.