Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Butterfly incident

A butterfly flashed into my face
A stopwatch image of colorful contrasts
Gold as the promise of love
Black as the trap of hate
Just an instant, then away
A slight smudge on my glasses
Where has it gone
Is it still alive?


Blogger Robin said...

Another rich poem ~ thanks! Were you on your bicycle when this happened? That would be momentarily pretty dangerous.

6:37 PM  
Blogger Heron Heard said...

...but how can it still be alive?...is that really a question...is this poem about love?confuse me some more

10:52 AM  
Blogger Lane Savant said...

Thank you Robin, as a matter of fact, I was riding on my way to Maple Valley. No danger, not enough time to react, only a butterfly, much better than a bee, an eagle, or an F-14 at full speed.
Heron, the poem is about the transitory nature of life, beauty, and the opportunities that pass us on our journey. How can it be alive? What is it to be alive? You will have to supply your own answers. Do publish your thoughts.
Thank you for making me think.

4:52 PM  
Blogger Heron Heard said...

When I think of butterflies I think of transition, beauty, vulnerability, fragility - Bicycles, speed, going too fast, smashing into a tender vulnerable beautiful being? into a moment? Is this what life is? Is this what happens in life? Is this what is happening in your life? I hope you realize that I REALLY like your poem. I enjoy thinking about what metaphors mean and where they take us.

9:14 AM  
Blogger Lane Savant said...

The reality of the situation is that the butterfly flashed into my vision and was gone. I dont know if there was a collision or not or if the smudge was there before or not.
I guess this poem is kind of a restatement of "The moving finger writes and, having written, moves on" (sic) sort of thing.
Psychologically, it is a question about the people in my life, one in particular, who caught my attention for a short while and seemed to be very interesting and worthwhile and then was gone.
I often wonder if my (excessive speed) or some other fault of my own caused the rift. A "was it something I said" sort of thing. And yet we live in the same town and attend the same kind of entertainments.
Has the moving finger written, or has it just paused between sentances?
In the immortally inane words of Scarlett O'Hara, "tomorrow is another day"
I really appreciate the challenge you are presenting me.

10:14 AM  
Blogger Heron Heard said...

Ah! The “if only” syndrome. I don’t believe in “if only”s I believe in the “wasn’t meant to be”s. Often it is easier to yearn than to do what is really the challenge…sometimes the flitting-by person is just a spark to illuminate something inside ourselves…darkness, loneliness we had not acknowledged, an unfulfilled need. So the “if only”s are more “do something”s or “look inside"s. I, of course, am writing about myself here. I guess you are doing something with you bike trips and your blogging…I hear though, a fatalism in your writing like you do not think you will ever have what your truly yearn for. Is this true?
From a book by Carson McCullers:
“First of all, love is a joint experience between two persons-but the fact that it is a joint experience does not mean that it is a similar experience to the two people involved. There are the lover and the beloved, but these two come from different countries. Often the beloved is only a stimulus for all the stored-up love which has lain quiet within the lover for a long time hitherto. And somehow every lover knows this. He feels in his soul that his love is a solitary thing. He comes to know a new, strange loneliness and it is this knowledge that makes him suffer. So there is only one thing for the lover to do. He must house his love within himself as best he can; he must create for himself a whole new inward world-a world intense and strange, complete in himself. Let it be added here that this lover about whom we speak need not necessarily be a young man saving for a wedding ring-this lover can be a man, woman, child, or indeed any human creature on this earth.
Now the beloved can be of any description. The most outlandish people can be the stimulus for love. A man may be a doddering great-grandfather and still love only a strange girl he saw on the streets of Cheehaw one afternoon two decades past. The preacher may love the fallen woman. The lover may be treacherous, greasy-headed, and given to evil habits. Yes, and the lover may see this as clearly as anyone else-but that does not affect the evolution of his love one whit. A most mediocre person can be the object of a love which is wild, extravagant, and beautiful as the poison lilies of the swamp. A good man can be the stimulus for a love both violet and debased, or a jabbering madman may bring about in the soul of someone a tender and simple idyll. Therefore, the value and quality of any love is determined solely by the lover himself.

12:29 PM  
Blogger Lane Savant said...

Exactly, Heron Heard
I've just checked my archives and found another of your comments and answered it.
As Woody Allen put it "the heart wants what the heart wants". We live in society, whether we we choose to ignore it or not, so we have minds to control our actions.
Life is made out of stuff we cannot have. The butterfly is not necessarily about love, but the fleeting moments in life that make us wonder .

12:57 PM  

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