Turtle and Butterfly Tease . . . Part I


Last Monday I went on a journey that connected me with turtles and butterflies. Then I had some difficult days, which I did not blog about.

During the difficult days, the image of turtles and butterflies kept calling out. “Escape the pain and confusion and bring us to life!” the said, in voices that whispered with the breeze and swished like the water.

Not knowing exactly what I wanted to do, I wandered over to the local Wal-Mart (the only place nearby that I knew I could find some limited supplies) an browsed. I ended up buying four canvas panels and some oil pastels. Granted, if I knew better, I would recognize that oil pastels don’t work that well on canvas, but I was just going with the flow.

I have designed something that together forms a whole image, while each panel serves as its own separate individual image.  I will share two of them with you now, as they are the most complete. When I finish the other two, I will share the whole. They are not perfect, but sometimes you simply need to express yourself in a different way.  The Moon Lady was my first (and probably the best), now comes Turtle Wings.

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Believing in Butterflies

Butterflies and Hurricanes 2

Butterflies and Hurricanes 2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last night I went to a dance concert by the Stephens College Dance Company. Whenever I attend dance concerts one of two things happen. I either 1) leave scratching my head saying they moved well but I don’t get it; or, 2) get swept away in the imagery, the movement, and wish that I could become a dancer and share life in that magical way.

The performance last night swept me away in every way possible.

One of the pieces they did was called “Butterflies and Hurricanes” and was “Dedicated to the children who survived the Joplin tornado.” A choreographer’s note explained:

“After the Joplin, Mo. tornado in 2011, several children recounted stories of their experiences. Many reported seeing giant butterflies that held them to the ground, and kept them safe and calm. Incredibly, these stories were gathered separately, but seemed to include the same details. Could there be magical butterflies out there, or do they just live in the imagination of children? You decide.”

The power of this idea, this image, spoke to me on many levels. It wasn’t just the amazingly beautiful dance with twirling umbrellas, the lights that brought back memories of the  darkening sky of that day in 2011 (the storm that hit Joplin went over us in Independence, KS), or the elegance of the dancer on point wrapped with blue fabric that extended out to form her wings to incredible effect.  All of those were powerful, but the story behind it begged for more attention.

I did a little research and found this article called “The butterfly people of Joplin” which goes into details of the events on that day, events that lead to a belief in angels for many people.

Do I think the butterflies were angels? Perhaps. I do know that somehow butterflies, for me at least, reflect the connection between the seen and the unseen, the real and the magical,  what we know because we can see it and what we know just because we know.

Once, long ago, I sat on one of the energy vortexes found in Sedona, AZ and asked for a sign, for some guidance, for some clue that I was making good choices in my life. A butterfly landed near me and I thought, perhaps, that it was a spirit guide. I know I have a picture of that moment, but not on this computer.

Photo by Steve Kramer. Bell Rock, one of the most powerful vortexes (not the one I sat on)

Since then, I have been drawn to butterflies. Whenever I have the opportunity I go to butterfly houses and spend time watching those magical creatures . I’m always trying to capture their beauty on my camera, but somehow they manage to elude me.

Perhaps their message for me comes from the moment.

I remember as a child seeing the most beautiful butterfly I had ever seen. It was black with tiny dots of color along the edges of its wings, like someone had drawn on it with pastel dots of paint. My guess (now that I can research it) is that it was a swallowtail, although I swear it had more variety of colors on its wings.

Whatever it was, I still remember feeling honored to see it that day long ago.

When we were still in Kansas, I led a play reading of The Bones of Butterflies  by Marcia Cebulska, which I wrote about here. Marcia, who is a talented playwright and magnificent woman, went on to work on a special project this past year called The Greensburg Project, which looked at the story of the”survival and journey home” for the town of Greensburg, KS after a devastating tornado destroyed the town. I could not help but think about Marcia and her play “Rooted: The Greensburg Odyssey” last night.  For more about the project, visit this site. I was unable to see it, but I so wish I had.

I know this post seems to be wandering all over the place, almost like the flight of butterflies, random and elusive.

But somehow I feel like magic is building around me, if I simply could understand the call of the butterflies, and the message they are trying to send.

I believe in butterflies. Do you?

Butterflies in the Head

The other day I read a post at Broadside expressing frustration at the number of posts out there where we complain about having writer’s block.  I am guilty of it myself on numerous occasions.

This is not one of those posts. I do not have writer’s block, as I proved to myself yesterday by writing a post about books, a Hub about multi-tasking, and a guest post for The Idiot Speaketh. Today, I’ve already written two rather long-winded e-mails (sorry A.Hab). 😛

No, I currently have a disease that is the complete opposite of writer’s block, which I am calling Butterflies in the Head.

Each butterfly represents an idea, a thought, a word, an image, a story. If I focus too long on one, however, it flits away and another one moves into view. I cannot capture their fleeting beauty.

So today I thought that I might share some butterflies, with the hope that, by putting them on the page I might clarify my focus and find the most magical one of all. Please bear with me as my mind flies with the butterflies, and then comment below on the topic you would like to see me pursue more deeply.

  • Unless you live in a cave with no access to the internet (which means you wouldn’t be blogging) you heard about the passing of Steve Jobs, and most likely have seen the quote I’ve posted below that speaks volumes to my current life journey. I wonder, however, what my intuition is saying, as sometimes it is muffled by the sound of butterfly wings.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” ~ Steve Jobs

  • This morning, as I was writing my Morning Pages, Sarah bounced into my bed with her “journal” and asked me to read what she wrote about her dreams. Recently she has really embraced reading and writing, and that excites me.  In Bird by Bird Anne Lamott suggests that writer’s should write a book as a gift. Perhaps I need to start a project as a gift to my daughter.
  • Of course, a long time ago I had intended to turn this blog into a book as a gift for Sarah. Should I do that? The concept of that sounds overwhelming.
  • Am I selling my soul trying to write for gain on HubPages? Or am I wasting my time?
  • How do I create the career I want?
  • Even though I am all for freedom of speech, there is a line that can be crossed when someone starts spouting vitriol and libel. We all know what I am referring to. Yet, WordPress will not ban this person from this site.  Why do we allow haters and those with the loudest voices to continue to control society in the name of freedom?
  • I think I need to revisit The Story Teller and The Moon Calls to expand them somehow.
  • Puppets, Nathan wants a show with puppets!

Okay, that’s enough. My butterfly list can go on forever. Yet I still can’t seem to focus. Perhaps I will be able to as I let this post sink in. Thanks for being patient with my babbling butterflies.

I will now leave you with this lovely song I found by an artist called Blossomhead. Enjoy:


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