What leads a colony of ants to land in a clump on the surface of a swimming pool? How did they get there? Are they crawling on something, some carcass or object? Or is the island entirely made of ants? Does this happen all the time? Do most of the ants feel like this is just business as usual, going about their daily anty routines on an island made of ants? Do a few of them know that something has gone horribly wrong? Have they tried to explain it to the others? It all seems very metaphorical to me, of course, partly because I’m not an ant. A small city or a suburb floating in a blue sea. Los Angeles, perhaps. Human civilization. Planet Earth.
I showed the strange little island of ants to my friend Craig, who said, “We’ve chased something we wanted so far that we can’t get back.”
The next morning I returned to see if I could scoop the ant island off of the water and throw it into the woods or something, but the island was gone. The surface of the water was dotted with individual ants, floating in space.
(Watch it on Youtube for more details of antennae and legs in the sunshine.)