Saturday, April 24, 2021

U is for Unequal, Unique you #AtoZChallenge

 Dear Readers,

Welcome to the fourth week of the #Blogging from A to Z  April Challenge 2021. My theme this year is based on the Japanese concept of Ichigo Ichie which means--"What we are experiencing right now will never happen again. And therefore, we must value each moment like a beautiful treasure."

I've put together a collage of such moments which can be seen as chance occurrences, coincidences, pre-destined or random (depending on who you ask) for this month's challenge. 

I hope you'll enjoy being here.

Thank you.

Arti
*****
Another Zen Lesson for an Ichigo Ichie Life listed in the The Book of Ichigo Ichie is:

Be your own friend: Rather than comparing yourself to others and worrying about what other people think, assume that you are unique in the world.

As the celloist Pau (Pablo) Casals said in a poem written for children: 
You are a miracle, and there has never been--
nor will there ever be--anyone like you.

It was the first time I'd seen her in my garden. She had enticed me with her rainbow wings in gardens, ponds and fields of my childhood. But, to see her perched on a hibiscus bud: still and contemplating, one day in May last year transported me back to the days when I was convinced I belonged to another planet.

When life raises roadblocks, the mind looks for escapes to cope with the day to day.

I was in grade six. My mother was going through a particularly dark and unsettling period. There was no peace at home. 

At some point in our lives, I reckon, we've all wondered if we were adopted by our families. I'm no exception. Except, my fertile imagination turned me into a long lost princess from another planet who was dropped (by accident) in Dehradun as a baby. My Earth parents found me and raised me. For a few years, I was convinced that I was waiting for the day when my people would find me and zoom me away to my real home.

On days when things were particularly bad at home, I'd day dream about a UFO landing in our school hockey field, where poinsettia trees bloomed red at Christmas, and whisk me away.

Strangely, I always had long flowing hair in those Sci-fi  day dream sequences.

Then, in the middle of the school year, we watched Escape to Witch Mountain, a Walt Disney film, and I was convinced I was another one of the orphan kids who had to find an escape from this cruel world. (The film is about two children from another world who must reach the mountain where their spaceship will hover for a while to take them back to their home planet.)

Her wings, that day in May, took me back to the hockey field, back to the scene when a UFO lands and a disembodied voice booms over my aghast class-mates and says: "We are so sorry Princess, it took us so long!"
According to Wikipediadragonfly is an insect belonging to the order Odanata, infraorder Aniospetra (from Greek anisos "unequal" and pteron, "wing") because the hindwing is broader than the forewing.

She sat still. She posed. Like a ballerina, she held her poses while I adjusted my camera settings.

"Mere ghar aayee ek nanhi pari..." ( A tittle fairy has come home) I hummed lines of a Hindi song after I had finished clicking and she continued to sit on the unopened, red hibiscus bud.

While looking for information on dragonflies, I came across https://animalsake.com. Their page on 'what do dragonflies symbolise' fascinated me. The following findings are from this website.
"In Native American legends, the dragonfly is a symbol of resurrection, and renewal after hardship." 
"In the Japanese culture, the dragonfly was honoured as a symbol of joy and new light, and also strength, courage, and good luck. "
"...if you observe a dragonfly, you’ll find it delightful to watch it fly in every possible direction, and also backwards. It has a very short time to live its adult life, but it seems as if it lives its life with no regrets. It inspires us to make use of every single moment we have, and live as if there’s no tomorrow!"

Do you have a dragonfly legend/memory/story to share?
Did you escape into make believe when you were growing up?
You know I'd love to hear, if you'd like to tell.

Here we are at the end of week four of the A to Z, only five more letters to go. We did it. Yay!

All of us got together this month (thanks to the efforts of the A to Z challenge organisers) to participate in our own unique and unequal ways at an unparalleled time in modern memory to create a unison of reading, writing, commenting, learning, encouraging, laughing, questioning and presenting a post every day despite all the challenges/disruptions and roadblocks in our day to days.

I think we all deserve a big Hurrah! and a pat on our backs for this. Don't you?

Wishing you all a restful, healthy and peaceful  Sunday. See you on Monday with a visual  and tasty treat:)

This year, I'm participating in #BlogchatterA2Z  powered by theblogchatter.com 

34 comments:

  1. I love your posts...I lose myself here-always. Of course we all believed we belonged somewhere else. Almost wished it at times :-). I didn`t know a dragon-fly can fly backwards too!

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    1. Wished it--sure did. xx

      And I only found out about that backward flying bit while I was researching:)

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  2. Oh, I love those pretty poses of the ballerina dragonfly. She's so lovely! Here, they say that dragonflies symbolize rains. If you see whole bunch of them flying and buzzing around, it's going to rain in a couple of days. :D

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    1. I'd love some rain in Doha. But haven't seen any dragonflies in the garden this year!

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  3. Nice pics of dragon fly. And then there is your unique take on it. As you have said every one has participated in this AtoZ challenge in one's own unique way.

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    1. I'm learning so much from your posts. The A to Z makes April unique.

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  4. We live on a lake and every year they release thousands of dragonfly nymphs. Dragonflies eat mosquitos so are great to have around the lake. All summer we have dragonflies flying around us and they often land on you and visit for a while. You captured one beautifully in your picture. Weekends In Maine

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    1. Thank you Karen.
      You must have loads of cool clicks of your winged visitors. How fab!

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  5. Hari Om
    I remember many childhood days playing out fantasies with my immediate sister - sister three came along and the dynamics changed. But we had fun. Thankfully these were just kids imaginings and not because we had any need of escapism from troubles. The more I see and hear of the world, the more grateful I am for the parents we had.

    That dragonfly is gorgeous - I have seen many, but not like this one - nor so Uniquely poised!!! YAM xx

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    1. Thank you Yamini:)
      I was lucky she visited when I was paying attention.

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  6. This ballerina is truly one of a kind! Your composition,her style & your post, they compliment each other! Take a bow for this Kodak moment! And of course another bow for this challenge blooming so very well.
    Those young unfiltered days were so easy & convenient, on my bad days I used to think I was adopted and on good days I would convince my sister that she was adopted! :-)
    I have a cute incident to share, it was our 1st year here in Doha & we ( P & me)were making some movie plans.(Those theater days)The plan was to go for late evening show and we discussing what would be the best arrangement for the kids, should we leave them & go or take them along?? Little son was running around but suddenly stopped, he looked very serious, he called his older sister and was almost in tears,"I think either we are adopted or she is our step mom. She is deciding to leave us go! What will do now?" HA HA HA We all couldn't stop laughing and spent the evening together.

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    1. This is the best Aravism story I've heard so far:)
      Thank you for sharing Vidya.

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  7. What a lovely thoughtful post. I remember so clearly feeling like I didn't belong here. I quite literally felt like there was something wrong - that I couldn't understand people, and they seemed to know things and were keeping them secret from me. How grateful I am to be an adult and embrace my (and all of our) uniqueness. Makes things a lot more fun and infinitely easier on the psyche.

    Your dragonfly photos are spectacular - what a fantastic beauty who came to visit you! I love the etymology of the word - unequal wing. I had no clue. And I love the symbolism you found in your search. One of the teachings I know about dragonflies is their connection to dreaming. Combining the beauty of their light and the power of their flight, they are said to help us recall delicate dreams and travel easily through dreamtime.

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    1. I love their connection to dreams. The way you put it: "Combining the beauty of their light and the power of their flight," makes me want to become one in a dream one day/or night.
      Thank you Deborah.

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  8. Good to read your post, because it makes not so unique one waiting for the UFO. Good to have company for my crazy thoughts LOL. In our childhood, I was so fascinated by dragon flies. There were tons of them back then, but I rarely see them now. Could be more crowded city :(. Unfortunately, children were very cruel to these insects. They would tie a thread to them and torment them or at times cut of thier heads saying they were cruel insects. I have no clue what made them feel that way, but I remember having fights with them though...Your photography is amazing Arti.

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    1. Hello fellow Alien:) Nice to meet you in this challenge. Love the connections we make in April.

      Those children sound horrid! So glad you retaliated.

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  9. Extraordinary photographs. Beautiful.
    https://iainkellywriting.com/2021/04/24/the-state-trilogy-a-z-guide-u/

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  10. Love your childhood fantasy and the beautiful pictures!
    I'm trying to think what my make believe was while growing up. Probably my idea of being a grown up myself? Grown up as in independent and cool ;-)

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  11. Your childhood thoughts and dreams have clearly had a lasting effect. Thank you for sharing them with us. As for the dragonfly, simply delightful!

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  12. I can definitely relate to that feeling of being alien. I would imagine I was all kinds of supernatural beings too, before I came to accept my own weirdness. Those are truly beautiful photographs. You can see why many cultures have legends of fairy folk. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you for visiting Anstice.
      I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

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  13. The dragonfly is bewitching with its colours. I remember my childhood when we used to chase these little creatures and sometimes catch them too. Later I read Shakespeare who said: We are to the gods what flies are to wanton boys: they kill us for their sport. I was glad I didn't kill them anytime.

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    1. Thank you for quoting Shakespeare. His words ring prophetic in the current context.
      Happy to know you were kind to dragonflies:)

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  14. I like your topic and quotes. I, too, shared about uniqueness (as you know, since you were so kind to stop by and comment!).

    The photos of the dragonfly are breathtaking!

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  15. These pictures are lovely. I have always loved the dragonfly. In fact, I adore many insects. I made myself saviour of walking sticks (Phasmotadea) at my school as a child. Students would find them behind the doors as we went out to recess and kick at them to kill them. It was so cruel that I couldn't bare it, so I posted myself there to ward off the attackers. I wasn't popular because I often lived in fantasy, and this didn't help, but I have never regretted the decision.

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    1. Thank you for visiting Jennifer and for sharing your story.
      I'm so glad you did what you did back then and that your love of insects brought you here today so I could read about your kindness and bravery.

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  16. I have always loved dragon flies since childhood and when I read your lines in this post about they posing like a Ballerina... I got transported back to my childhood when I used to look at them and exactly think the same. You will be surprised that very recently I was looking for something and I came across the symbolic meaning of a dragonfly and had stopped to read!

    A dragonfly moment... I can only remember of is when in the hot sun we were made to practice for march past... And I used to imagine some magic happening in the middle of the field and we kids escaping from the torture...!

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    1. Thank you for sharing your childhood dragonfly memories Ira. Goes to show how similar we all are:)
      Hugs. xx

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  17. Loved the stunning pics and your beautiful post... I don't know that I have any dragonfly stories to share that I can recall but I do remember my now teenager remarking when a butterfly landed on her dress that it was the same butterfly she made friends with in a book (one of the Fancy Nancy books she had read a few days back)

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    1. Thank you for visiting and for the comment:)
      I love your daughter's serendipitous encounter.

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