i am the moth
luorescent: story behind the song - by Jon Foreman
“You have shown me a strange image, and they are strange prisoners.” - Plato’s Republic
I was watching the slow demise of a moth outside of a gas station window. He was struggling in vain, in a futile attempt to reach the dusty fluorescent glow beyond the window pane.
I looked back down at my cell phone and marveled at this strange light that often holds me captive. The moth and me: both of us transfixed, consumed by a hopeless pursuit, a glow that can never be acquired. How many lights that I have chased seem to shine so bright until I see them for what they truly are? How many hours have I wasted running after phantoms that could never offer me meaning or truth?
On a cloudy night, the artificial light shines brighter than the stars. And what dark days are these- Looking for light, Looking for meaning, Looking for purpose... Like a flower bending towards the sun, we are inclined to all end up chasing the brightest thing we can see. A ghost, a myth, a fear, a fancy...
I looked back to the moth and wondered, which endeavor was more absurd? A moth, spellbound by the artificial glow of a gas station fluorescent light? Or me: looking for love, meaning, purpose, acceptance somewhere within and beyond the LED screen of my iPhone. Both of us chasing ghosts on a summer’s night.
We don’t need the shadows on the wall of Plato’s cave anymore, our postmodern prisons are much more entertaining.
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