In Ebook & Print
Every Living Thing Has an Atavism
August 28, 2016 by Peter Castillo - Leave a comment at the end.
Atavism - recurrence in an organism of a trait or character typical of an ancestral form and usually due to genetic recombination. (Merriam Webster Dictionary)
Recently I filmed some scenes for my follow up YouTube video. I won’t claim to be a professional cinematographer, but my writer’s mind can spot a scene that may be good enough to grab someone’s attention.
It was night, outdoors, muggy, and the scene was an open space behind a warehouse. The ground was partially paved with a dirt strip. At the far end was a green grassy hill that sat under a railway overpass that carried the city trains. Why did I choose that particular area? It’s an area that’s basically uninhabited. If it weren’t for the fence that looked out to a main road, and the occasional city train, the spot would’ve been a perfect low budget film location. Another aspect was the large spotlight that shined down on the spot. It beat having to purchase lights and a generator, not to mention the legal hassles.
The filming on that night was for a video storyboard for my main shoot. As I began to unpack my gear, a large bug of some sort flew down from the spotlight. Maybe it got too close to the light and got blinded, but it looked like it was in a tailspin as it came down to the pavement. I watched as it hit the ground then flapped its wings furiously as it tried to take flight again. Within moments, it gave up its struggle and remained calm about a foot away from me.
With my little digital camera in hand, I began to film the bug. It was a green type of cricket, but looked almost alien through my lens. Just like in the movies this bug had large bulging dark eyes which were oversized for its small head. Its neck was skinny; the body was scaly and had a bird-like bulge. It rested on its long, skinny hind legs that angled up then came down. When I moved for a better shot, its little head followed me with a cat-like curiosity. I filmed the bug walking around the area, and at one point it walked straight toward me.
When I watched the footage back at home, I marveled again at the alien-type features. That creature did not just appear on this planet; it has a direct connection with something that lived thousands or millions of years ago. I wondered if the version I filmed was a scaled up or down version of what it once was. The footage also picked up the bug’s lizard-type tongue as it flapped out of its snout. Its tiny mouth also looked as if it spoke. If only it could.
All living things have a direct connection to a likeness that lived thousands or millions of years ago. From the bugs, to the trees, to the animals, to human beings; some of our traits today could be a resurfacing of traits that once existed and still rest in our cells. We see fish that sprout tails, domesticated dogs that still curl up when they sleep, eleven-year-old prodigies who enter MIT, and alien-type flying bugs. All living things carry some type of atavism from long ago. When an atavism surfaces, it’s a wonder what was really here before modern technology.
FICTION THAT STAYS WITH YOU.
All the analysis of infinite reality which the finite human mind can conduct rests on the tacit assumption that only a finite portion of this reality constitutes the object of scientific investigation, and that only it is 'important' in the sense of being 'worthy of being known.' Max Weber