The adult luna moth does not have a mouth, it cannot eat or make sounds. It has only a few days to find a mate and lay eggs and it communicates by scent.
In Barbara Kingsolver’s novel Prodigal Summer there is a passage in which a city-born woman has fallen in love with, and married, a farmer from rural Virginia. The couple finds it difficult to communicate from across the gap of their dissimilar upbringings. In the passage they have quarreled and she is watching him from the house as he cuts flowers down in the field. She has smelled the flowers before she sees him in the field and she knows that he is bringing them to her as an apology because he does not have the words to speak an apology. She equates this to the luna moth which has no mouth but sends signals to other moths by pheromone scents. He sends a signal with the flowers that she can receive even across the gulf that separates them.
Sometimes communication, even with those most dear to us, seems like an insurmountable impossibility. It can feel as though one has no words, or even a mouth with which to make the words.
At its best, our work can be our moth pheromones when the gulf of communication is too great. Our work tells the viewer what we might not have the words to say.