Specimen: Record of a Collecting Journey
With no forethought or plan, I boarded an airplane convinced that I would figure out the purpose of my journey in transit between points A and B. But airline chardonnay and Halcyon wiped clean all memory of the journey as well as my first three days in Kuala Lumpur. I woke up in a Japanese garden face down on the lawn. A voice in my head said, “Groovy.” I sat up. The voice wasn’t my own. It was high-pitched, like a sped-up recording. “Dig this morning dew, Man.” I looked down and there on a tall blade of grass sat a cricket wearing a floppy purple hat and a long, colorful knit scarf. I brought my face close to it. “Was that you?” I asked. “Of course. The name is Jiminy...Jiminy Hendrix.” It rubbed its hind legs together producing a wild, electric blues-inflected chirp. “How do you do that?” I asked. Jiminy hopped up onto my knee. “I’m a cricket, Man. Insects are cool.” And it was then it hit me: “Hey, Jiminy are there other insects as cool as you?” The cricket laughed. “The world is full of the most far out creepers and crawlers. You just have to go out there and look for them Man. We’re all cool.” Well, that sealed the deal for me. I thanked Jiminy, rose to my feet, climbed over the garden wall and went in search of a notebook.
The following book is part travel journal, part specimen field notebook, and part commonbook. It was compiled over an intensive globe-spanning eight-week journey. It is a collection of insects, ideas, random facts and record of incidents. Perhaps given enough time I will reflect on what has just transpired and begin to try to fashion some sense of it. Until then I leave it to you dear reader to make of it what you will.
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