Saturday, November 19, 2011

Butterfly Colors

The night when the box came I'd buried your name. Irritated with the intrusive sounds of the courtyard gate welcoming the scattered leaves and the doorbell ringing loudly, I dropped it on the floor underneath the edge of the breakfast bar. I cursed the postman for acting like a mischievous teenage lover, running away before I could see who was there. I said I wasn't going to look until the next morning. I had a scene to write, twenty pages to script by an impending deadline that kept screaming "miss me and you'll lose what you thought you wanted."

But I couldn't take the anticipation of not knowing. Patience has never been my virtue. So I stopped writing and I tore the tape off one of the edges. I skimmed over the letters and the paperwork, tossing the quarterly magazine full of contest and publishing opportunities to the side. The outside covers of the books were purple, lavender. How fitting, I thought. I didn't open the one bearing your name. I just stared for a moment and smiled. How amazing that the universe seems to keep showing me signs of "full speed ahead" whenever I'm ready to pack up my bags and turn around.

I remembered you from last time. How could I not. You didn't look like the others with your pristine image and the black dress with embroidered butterflies in blue and green. You spoke of the Appalachian mountains and delivered your image of the world with a smile and a confidence that I recognized. You came from that world I'd decided to leave. The world I no longer needed a map for. And now I was stuck in this one without a compass or a lighthouse to guide me. I thought perhaps you might understand and offer some insight about this journey from one side of the universe to the other. I thought maybe I would switch genres for a semester so I could get the chance to feel at home. The universe must have heard me loud and clear.

What strikes me is that I don't have to do anything but keep walking. There must be something going on here. Something that is making everything fall into place like a stack of dominoes seemingly out of control. I can't give up. I can't stop. I have to see this through. I have to remain strong, but not so strong that I stop myself from feeling. I have to stop saying "I can't" and say "I can."

Humans are like butterflies that can't see their colors before they emerge from their cocoons. But once they fly, the entire world notices every single shade.

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