Expanding My Vocabulary

Wasps don’t have lungs.

And I am not sure what to make of this. I am working on a new project and learning about an insect that seems to be primarily known to exterminators.

There are over 150,000 species of wasps and a new one was discovered just last year here in Norway. She is beautiful. Iridescent blues and greens with a rust-colored abdomen. It is a kind of emerald wasp – or cuckoo wasp. They are kleptoparasitic, which is an amazing word.

When these wasps are threatened, they can curl up into a ball to protect themselves. It’s called volvation. Which is another delicious word.

Yesterday I spent the entire day surfing the net, discovering so many book artists and visual poetry artists. In these difficult days, with so much pain and so much fear, it is good to take the time to see what beauty we are also capable of finding.


It is how we cope with the realities of the world, after all.

I’m off to paint.

2 Replies to “Expanding My Vocabulary”

  1. I find this post really uplifting and life-affirming. Hope you’re painting is going well. I’m finally tidying up this tip of a study. Doing is the best way of living. And forgetting all those things which are yet undone.

  2. As you probably know, making art (mostly art about death these days) is how I cope with the world. I’m grateful that I no longer curl myself in a ball and blur the outline of myself with the pain of all others. I know where I stop and other things begin. I let them touch me, but I don’t let them in.

    And when I’m not doing that, I’m photographing insects like cuckoo wasps (they are so fast that it’s hard to get a good shot!) and leafhoppers—the tiniest things that everyone needs to see magnified the size of a surfboard.

    I keep saying I’m going to self-publish my bug book, and I guess I should give it another shot with some agents out in the world. You’ve inspired me.


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