I was a caterpillar who talked of butterflies. I could see them, winding through air streams and lighting buttercups to dance with their winged hellos. I watched them, forever lilting while I stretched and arched along the ground, ungrounded.
I was a caterpillar who dreamed of butterflies. The dip and draw of yellow dusted flowers, drunk on summer afternoons and the power of fluttering. I kept their company, underneath their dizzy days—did they remember being me? What it felt like to dream of flighted things and the tops of trees, while stopping at walls and rocks, turning back to find another way to inch ahead.
I was a caterpillar who lost the fuzz and fumble of life in dirt, who swung suspended in air filled with the possibility of wings. I am becoming something, quietness dissolving the gravity that held me from becoming what I always was. In the dark and dimness I am seeing for the first time clearly, the legs that held me earth bound lengthening to filaments of flight.
The way toward light and freedom also includes shadows and loss. To move past the ways of looping thoughts and weighted worries means losing the parts who believed that I could feel like I was flying, while staying earthbound. I was never going to reach the open sky by learning to crawl higher, I had to stop wanting to crawl.
Someday I will be a butterfly who forever remembers being a caterpillar. The two of us spinning into a twisted, lifted, lighted miracle.
New moons are dark. No light found to guide a path or direct the way, no reflection from windows to see where the barns are, the dusted storage of past hopes and hurts kept alive and still. No wind shuttling clouds to the side of a giant lit circle of possibilities. No, the new moon is dark.
Something new has no light, not quite yet. What you bring to the darkness is yours alone, heavy and cool in a palm weighted by old dreams ready to slip under the surface of who you have been. The new moon lets you do this unseen, unwatched, the blackness a gift of private reconstruction on your own quiet stage.
How many ways we try to light this path that needs darkness in order to begin. How many lamps, lights, torches and companions we reach for when there is no agreement that can happen in this night. It isn’t meant to always share, some things can be left alone.
All day I have reached for my phone, and set it down, wanted to explain, or try, to anyone who might understand, and then, finally I understood. What I am going to bring to this night is mine, and there is no ‘me too’ that will change the uneasiness, no commiseration or trying to talk it out that will change the unknowing of it.
Sometimes others want to know what you are thinking, feeling, seeing when you talk, write or explain a day in the life of you. This new moon uncovers within you a knowing that some things are meant to be held, unexplained, all your own. Some things can belong to only you. Take them out tonight to this new moon and dance with them—alone, free and silent in your shaded unseen circle. All yours. All new. Let them begin.
The last note of the song I sing you will be love.
Never mind the other notes, the high and sharp ones, the instruments tuning their swelling chaos, the flat tones lost in the rush to be complete, finished. Never mind the dropped sheets of well crafted verses of all the ways I wished it would have ended.
I know you won’t be coming in on the chorus, to sing a soul filled harmony on the bridge we left our locks on. I know this, and yet…
It doesn’t seem to matter now that the strings missed their cue, and the horns stood silent when the point was made, leaving the stage frighted lyrics alone in that echoing hall. It matters what is still there, singing.
You won’t ever hear this song.
And still—I hope in all the thrumming of the universal orchestra there will be this one last low note, achingly sweet and longer than most, and one day, maybe faraway and distant, you turn your head a certain way and listen.
Maybe then, in that far off then, you will know, the last, most important note of the song I have sung for you was love. And maybe then you will know it was for you.
It’s difficult to stop when you’ve never stopped, hard to slow the thinking down in a brain that jumps ahead, weaving in the traffic of collective thoughts in any room; finding the way over and under the subtext of a shrugged shoulder, an inflection in a voice that blames and then denies equally, the sore toothed words complete before they are taken back. The target already hit, the beginning of the holding of conflict is also the middle and end, once held the grip seems relentless. There is no thrown word that can be taken back, I caught them well before you reared your hand.
If I let them go, I wonder if those words would fall at the end of the cord they are tethered to, lying in a pattern on a wooden floor showing where the tossed phrase went out of bounds, the point scored, a quiet technical foul. Would I step over them, the doors clicking behind me on the noise of the game ringing in ears so tired of hands held over them.
I’d like to think I would. I have spent years outside other peoples gathered houses, standing in the cul-de-sac to best see the moving between rooms, the leaving, the coming back; turning in those circular drives to get a clearer view. Now, when the days are getting a few minutes longer, the light is melting to show a wintered road to my own yellow lit window.
It’s hard to stop when I’m just trying to do other things, instead of fewer things, saying different words instead of fewer sentences, watching different fevered screens instead of the off white paper of a book I own or borrow. The trick it seems is not to find varied ways to cope, but live with less need to recover.
Creating a life from the morning forward holds unfamiliar choices that do not need a reason. It’s enough to just be doing it differently. When you have lived so far away from yourself, this is a radical relocation. To not live in the middle of so many someone else’s neighborhoods, but to live a day that begins and ends in your own small lovely home.