My Butterfly Effect

December 8, 2017

There is a meme floating around, ya ya I know, how many times have I started one of these things by saying “there is a meme floating around”, or “something happened”, usually 2 things but in this case it is an amalgamation of memes and memories, both recent and long past. Of storage lockers, sleeping under a bridge, staying in cathouses and wanting to run.

Part of it is the repetition.

I am back at the ocean.

A yearly healing ritual.

5 years ago marked my first selfish Christmas since my son was born. The rush of power that came with gently saying ‘no, we are doing this because it’s what I want’ was…all.

I want.

Words I had never dared utter, unless it was (historically speaking) something colossally bad for me.

At some point in my life I had been told or convinced myself I didn’t deserve to be happy.

Probably both of those things.

The meme said

2016: caterpillar
2017: cocoon
2018: butterfly

I told you that sometimes I read something and it just tastes like truth.

And this does. Maybe it’s just hope, but hope tastes different, like gritted teeth, salty tears and coppery like a little bit of blood from biting my tongue. This is sweet like honey.

This will be my 5th year for all intents and purposes, single. And if not single exactly, then this newer version of me.

The meme skipped 2 phases of metamorphosis. Egg and larvae.

The beginning.

For all intents and purposes…birth.
And 5 years ago, right around now, I was born. This me anyways.

Now, I would imagine, that in some point of an egg’s development that there is a certain amount of awareness inside the microcosm of shell. Not right away, but there has to be some compulsion to break the protective casing, that there is more than this, floating in safety and warm…some primordial urge to get out. That at some point what is comfortable and familiar becomes constrictive and itchy, like how snakes must feel when they shed skin.

And out I got. Recognizing there was something outside of myself, bigger than me and I wanted to be in it.

The larval stage consists of mostly eating, and then eating some more and eating more more more nom nom nom eat eat eat. Same as a caterpillar really, but small and vulnerable and still…becoming something. But a narrow minded life purpose, just consuming. The ego of a small child wherein they can’t really see the outside world beyond how it pertains to them, but with every bump and scrape and game of peek-a-boo things become more concrete and the self slowly dissolves the bigger they get.

And I did that. I ate and ate and ate. Some of it was poison and had to be spit out, but most of them were really really good food.

And I got bigger. Better at avoiding the things I shouldn’t eat, more self-aware and wary of predators and I settled into this life of munching discriminately now, moving with more fluidity, grace even, I was no longer green but had  my own patterns and colors, I felt much more myself.

But then the itch and urge returned, the same one I had when encapsulated, that there must be more.

I felt the need to attach myself to something safe and just wait, like something was coming and I had to be still.

I tucked myself into a relationship. Let’s call it a cocoon shall we? Artistic license perhaps, or the truth.

Now, when a caterpillar picks the branch or leaf it attaches itself to, the presumption is made that this is a tree and thereby stable. But sometimes it ain’t. Sometimes a lumberjack comes along with an axe and not even notice all the life in the tree and just start chopping away, bit by bit, hack by hack till the tree can’t stand and bam! No more home for a myriad of creatures and the chrysalis will be lucky to not be squished.

My tree fell down, it sucked, stupid lumberjack … I didn’t die though.

So that was good.

Not that I would have noticed. I was in goo phase. Chaos looking in, but I was numb to it. Just floating, liquefied, unencumbered. Remembering my time as a caterpillar but finding those memories fading and fleeting and ineffectual. It was nice. Everything on autopilot.

But the itch returned. That voice whispering ‘there is more than this’.

The urge to fly away. But in my gooey form I couldn’t grasp how. I was shown, my chrysalis becoming more transparent, had visits from the others urging to me emerge.

And slowly I found myself hardening, becoming something solid. Even though I didn’t want to be. I liked being tucked in wherever I was, comfortably numb.
I had a house fire when I was 9 months pregnant, I didn’t want to get out of bed then either. Seriously I tried rolling over and going back to sleep. I didn’t want to be on the sidewalk without pants on, belly protruding, covered in soot because I went back for the cats. The cats made it. We all did but I was launched out of my comfy house into a new life and I see it happening again.




Maybe this time I will be wearing pants when my house becomes uninhabitable.

I still don’t sleep naked, I can’t.

Except next to a few good men.

Speaking of, the universe is sliding me love notes in the form of people (unknown)

And my shell is cracking like stained glass, letting the light in, I see them peeking at me through the cracks.

I do want out. I want to stretch my wings.

Something is whispering ‘find the others’. Gets louder every day.

But first I have to emerge. Find my place in the sun.

I am still fragile I know this.

Stay safe long enough to unfurl and finish becoming whatever this is.

Not long now and I will be as solid and strong as gossamer wings can be.





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  • Robert Wertzler December 8, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    I know well that troublesome lumberjack, instigator of change, bouncer out of ruts large and small. You’ve just given all of your writing I’ve seen so far more depth, more perspective, more context. And, with that multiple connection try to sort themselves out. What colors will they be, those wings you are growing? I feel impatient to know, but have to contain that, respecting the organic self-creating. “There’s a crack, a crack that runs through everything. That’s how the light gets in.” [Leonard Cohen] “And wander in my word, Dream about the pictures that I play of changes” [Phil Ochs]

    BTW: Enjoy Florida. Here in Western North Carolina its snowing – 6 inches or more since last night.

  • Anonymous December 9, 2017 at 8:11 am

    First thing I read this morning and likely the best thing I’ll read all day….or year.

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