Monday, July 24, 2017
The Butterfly Effect
He who holds to himself a joy does the winged life destroy.
He who kisses the joy as it flies, lives in eternity’s sunrise.
A butterfly just landed on me and stayed for ages to tell me something about how we are all one life…or at least wait for several things to occur to me.
First this verse from the poet Blake, to remind me not to become attached to the people I love.
Secondly, there was time to notice that the butterfly arrived of its own accord and stayed for ages. It didn’t find that I was not a flower and realize its mistake.
As far as I know, a butterfly has only a day or two to play with and it chose to spend nearly an hour of it with me. And even before it landed it hung around and even after it flew off, it stayed close.
At one point, I started to worry that it was not getting what it needed and I brought it carefully over to a flowering shrub but it didn’t take any notice.
It stayed focused on poking around its probiscus on my finger. It was busy exploring and finding everything it needed and could wish for in my energy, on my skin. I realized that I hadn’t even dared hope before that I could be enough for someone. Thank you beautiful butterfly I thought!
I remembered that butterflies are symbolic of transformation. I focused on the fact that I should give my transformation some time, not be in such a hurry. My current changes involve accepting every moment both intimate and polarized of my entire life. Accepting every action, every thought, every motivation, every fear, illusion, effort, luck and perceived hurt completely. I am hoping to significantly improve my actual perception of myself and the world around me. This is bound to take some time and it has already taken quite a lot of drink one night and quite a lot of other treats another.
This fear of being hurt came up again with the butterfly. I knew they don’t sting or bite but it was so intent and busy with its study of me that I kept thinking that it would be bound to hurt eventually.
I also had the idea of shaking it off so that I could ‘get on with my day’ and then I realized that this WAS my day, it was OUR day. I had been singled out as special guest in a butterfly’s short life and so I just stood there stock still to honour the occasion.
As the lactic acid built up in my arm and raised finger, I noticed the paralysis as I tried not to blow it, put it off, scare it off, put it at ease, be a resting place, be an ever-fixed mark and a real appreciator of the connection and understanding.
It stuck around so long, happily balanced even in gusts, with two legs on either side of my finger, that I had time to think about relaxing. First I sat down on the slates and then I rested my arm on my leg, then my hand and after a few more minutes, I allowed my actual finger to rest and relax.
This sounds unprecedented and actually it is. I am never relaxed with others around or with too much attention or with people relying on me. I remain in over-drive and availability until I have fulfilled my imagined and real obligations. So I learnt why I was looking forward to him setting off again. I am genuinely ‘beside myself’ in my attempts to join in and make myself useful. And then as a last bit of self-abuse I move swiftly on to blaming myself for the departure or any other possible failure.
So these are a handful of dynamics to be aware of as I move from being (at best) to being with. If I can really change the filters through which I look, the whole of life will get a whole lot more relaxing.
That was one very happy and free butterfly and a tiny fly spent some time on my other arm too. I nearly flicked him off and then thought why love one and not the other?
I am reminded of a heron and a magpie who flew into Harmony Hall’s garden last week. They were definitely together and landed in the top of a tree by the stream for a break before going on down the valley.
So many mysteries to solve in such a fleeting life.
Because of your love I have lost my sobriety
I am intoxicated by the madness of love
In this fog, I have become a stranger to myself
I am so drunk I have lost the way to my house
In the garden I see only your face
From the trees and blossoms I inhale only your fragrance
Drunk with the ecstasy of love,
I can no longer tell the difference between drunkard and drink, lover and beloved