When you look at a butterfly
Her delicate wings fluttering with bright colours
Do you forget that miracle doesn't just mean lucky
When you are transfixed by her dancing colours
Awestruck by each finely spun line
Do you forget that exquisite doesn't mean nice
When you quiver and shine at what's possible
When you admire the beauty you can see
Do you forget the brutality of its design
When you see her brave the buffeting winds
An impossible scrap of hope and joy in the world
Do you only see her now
Do you forget what it took for her to get here
Every part of her broke apart from every other part
A living soup
That reformed itself
She conquered her own fragility
Escaped the prison her former self built
After that her new life began
Where life means challenge, struggle, growth
Where growth means pain
Oh! they say, A miracle!
Joy! they think,
Wonderment, awe and luck
They forget the other parts
The under parts
The night before the brilliant morning
The nightmare before waking
The shadow before and behind the bright splash
The parts that hurt
That break you
Feel it seep into you
It becomes you.
You become it, entirely
Lose yourself, completely
Come apart, totally
When those gossamer wings tremble in sunlight
Or a mother's arms gently cocoon
A brand new soul
Remember what it cost them to be here
Miracle doesn't mean free
Everything has a price
Bought for the goodness in your bones
For the privilege of reduction
The fall to your knees
It doesn't come cheap
It comes with a challenge to your very Self
It doesn't just make you go beyond what you think your limits are
It makes you.
But first it breaks you
Breaks your heart
Breaks you apart
Knits you back together
Whether you want it to or not
She comes apart to bring a new soul through
And knits back together as a new person herself
Just like the butterfly comes apart
And then with great effort, comes through
This isn't brokenness,
this is beautiful.
When you see perfection
In vibrant hues
Or or the pink newness of tiny wrinkled fingers
Do you see the balance
Between vulnerability and vitality?
Soft wings like gossamer kisses
A tiny fluttering
That brings a storm
Will you shut your eyes to it
The goo your beautiful butterfly is born from
The soup of blood and shit and fear and doubt
That heralds a new person
And the remaking of another
- body, mind, and soul -
that threatens to obliterate,
Will you turn away
From the gruesome shadow, the mucky underbelly?
Deny the price they paid
For those bright colours and perfect lines?
Thank you for reading! Please leave a comment to make it easy for me to reciprocate. I appreciate your thoughtful engagement.
I wrote this for James & Oneg's Summer Writing Challenge Extravaganza and I was tagged by Oneg.
I want to give a special shout out to Kayleigh Fraser for this one as well. I've had this idea germinating in my brain since our recent conversation.
Transformation - true transformation - comes at a cost. It is impossible to achieve without that cost. Thavien discusses this in the context of your fictional character's growth, and how it is necessary for them to have their ass handed to them. This is very astute advice IMO!
More from me:
I explore similar themes in this bit of fiction.
Here is something a bit more lighthearted - Have You Got a Minute?
Some non-fiction - E-Readers vs "Real" Books
A recipe, if you'd like something a bit different - Eggs Benedict
And some reviews - Critiques That Didn't Squeak
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
Compelling and original writing
Creative use of language & vocab
Easy to read and follow
Well-structured & engaging content
Original narrative & well developed characters
Heartfelt and relatable
The story invoked strong personal emotions
Zero grammar & spelling mistakes