EVERYTHING IS NOT LOST! SOMETHING LESS FOR AN EXTRA LIFE – STARFISHES

Posted on October 28, 2013 by Luisa Fazio

When I was a child , I loved to catch starfishes and then let them dry on a rock. Once dried, I brought them into my house. I felt that with their ‘five arms’ they would bring me luck. A quintuple luck. So, they became my amulets. Among echinoderms, starfishes are capable of autotomy: they defend themselves from any kind of danger in order to survive self-mutilation. They voluntarily eliminate one or more arms. These arms, over time, re-grow completely thanks to the regenerative power of the injured tissues. They lose a part of them but they save their own lives! Think people, starfishes teach! They ‘roll up’ their sleeves (oops, arms!) and regroup and rebuild what’s lost, without gettting demoralized. 

Today, I think of them as an example of strength, rebirth, hope, clinging to life in memory of what’s no longer necessary. “Non Omnis moriar” i.e. I will not die at all. It’s a verse of Horace’s poem included by Wislawa Szymborska (Polish poet – Nobel Prize for Literature 1996) dedicated to the particular duality of echinoderms. Bye bye past, welcome the future! It’s a new beginning!

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