Praying mantises put all their eggs in one basket — prayerfully, I suppose. I find three mantis egg cases within 20 feet of each other and begin to worry: what if this is representative of the field as a whole? There could be thousands and thousands of mantises hatching this spring! What will they eat? But then I remember they’re creatures of dogmatic devotion to the temple of the body. Some will make the ultimate sacrifice, and this is their strength as a nation of predators: they have each other.
Hope takes many forms, some of them perilous — especially for those in suspended animation. Grave robbers are everywhere. But I’ve always thought that the fact that so many tombs in ancient Egypt were found to be empty suggests that at least a few of the occupants shed their wrappings and completed their metamophoses as planned. Imagine those human imagos standing in the thresholds of doors that didn’t exist until they opened them, stretching feelers out into the night of a new millenium, waiting for their wings to expand like the lungs of a newborn taking its first taste of air.