What is this story trying to tell me?!
Finding this story feels really….freaky. Unsettling really. I wish I could explain. Can’t. I have made promises. So somehow the story crossed my hiking path tonight…..like a wolly bear from the past. Only this time I just looked. I did not touch. Even so… it still stings in the memory and in the connection to other characters. I wish to wash off the burning, second degree stinging blisters with cool, cleansing water. “Water seems to make it better,” said Catniss Everdeen in the popular, recent release of Catching Fire. I have to agree. I saw this rather dull sequel among strangers. In a swelling packed theater was forced to split up from family. This enabled me to “not speak at all, to not narrate one single time.” I was impressed with my self control really. This often the exception.
Sometimes good intentions go bad, and worse. The tragic butterfly story sums up my condition pretty well. Just this morning, I was singing my own version of Psalms, praising God and not complaining. Speaking in church and doing pretty well, I thought. Not an easy thing to do for me, considering I don’t even like going to the church of my childhood anymore, unless I can play the role of two-year-old. Dislike going to my sad, guilt ridden church, in the absence of my son, and especially after finding greater joy in finding Jesus in Nature, in burning bushes of red, yellow, and orange autumn leaves that turn brown and are burried under cold snow. Found hidden treasure and joy in live Evangelical band music, and in opting for kinder online audio Pastors. Feeling caged and tethered though to the status quo, and expectations and going through the motions of same old mental structures. BUT, in response to an invitation, in oweing it to my son, in good sporting a report to parishoners, I did share a few thoughts, and updates of my Italian son. This felt good for awhile…until my eyes were opened.
Then tonight, my family informed me of an unknown stupidity, of yet another of my transgressions. Wow! It seems that in my “not listening well” I totally blew off the intended last speaker, the dad that I admired most in his remarks. Wow! I “cut” him out of his special missionary son remarks and I did not even know it. He salvaged a few minutes luckily. The whole random, strange, improv act on his part was not that at all. Rather it was a desperate, final recovery mission, in finding time and making brief remarks before the song and prayer. Everyone could see my mistake. Everyone but me. No one said a word until just now.
Until fifteen minutes ago this had not happened. Now I know it did. And it felt magnified to 100 X. Another stripe to my fragile heart. I cried Dragon tears. Then my daughter was relentless in teasing me about it. Like a sick gif…..she delivered….again and again in teasing…..giffing me the hardest time, and enjoying this way too much. Until today I didn’t even know what a gif was. I thought I must have hurt my seventeen year old plenty, for her to deliver these repeated laughing lashes when I felt most vulnerable. Unfair I think. I would not do the same to her in her being down. I would not deliver the smack down.
Okay…so from this haunting cocoon story I think I am supposed to learn to endure the struggle and to not expect or accept help, because in doing difficult things…in strugging for and by myself I will be all the stronger? A physical and spiritual rendering is required for growth and celebration. Otherwise I will never fly? Hmmm. Sounds the martyr or the victim part. Is this a good metaphor for me? Yes, and No. This is pathetic and lonely. I don’t embrace this well. But this is my reality. I am very much alone except for the times I invite Jesus in. Except for when He runs with me on the Rockport beach, or abides the far reaches of my mind and heart. Leaving footprints in the sand.
I would rather like to think of a more Wizard of Oz scenario. This one allows for companionship at least. Human and creature compassion. Jimmer & Boozer. Or how about pages from Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, a Chinese chapter book fable. I could find my fortune in a happy ending like Dragon and Minli. Dragon is flightless for the longest time. Also blind in the beginning. Still, he gains sight fairly quickly, and flight in the end. Soars. I want to soar…..but I would settle for swimming or running if not strong wings…..at least for now. Besides I know that even tiny wolley bears can run very quickly. If they can do it, then I can too. As soon as my ankle heals I will do just that! I will run with my pack for miles with a smile.
Miracles of this magnitude will require a long journey I think. I am only half way through the award winning book in my read aloud to fourth graders. I do love to see the hero’s story play out though. I pray and wrestle with God about many things. This one thing is small compared to other weightier matters. I resolve to call this jilted dad, or to talk with him at church. I will appologize. Explain what happened. Surely he had to have figured this out in the happening of it. I was clueless. How could I have been so oblivious to this thing? So zoned out in nervous anticipations. Lazer scoping to myself and to my son. Sad reality. This blindness. i really thought I was listening well. In my mind and heart I was whispering, “i am here for you” to the person at the podium. I was trying.
Somehow by the end of my journey I will become quite practiced in appologizing. This something could have been better prevented in better listening I know. I wonder about ADD. I ever question narcissism. Perhaps I will somehow learn the skill of better listening. Maybe. This way I could cut my losses. Some cutting is not the best course. I knew a student once who was a cutter. I swam beside her. We did not cut her from the swim team. We were a great help and a comfort.
Some cutting very necessary. As in the case of grafting and growng trees and roses. Expulsions. I think of the parable of the vineyard. I need to cut out distraction. I need to practice Focus more and more I think. But even more, I need to cut negativity. I must remember how to smile. Perhaps in time I may even be able to laugh at this one. Maybe like the waxing mishap. Not for awhile. I’d settle for some lanolin for now.
TRAGIC BUTTERFLY STORY
A man found a cocoon of a butterfly, and he brought it home. One day, a small opening appeared in the cocoon.
The man sat and watched the cocoon for several hours as the butterfly struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making progress. It appeared as if the butterfly had gotten as far as it could, and it could go no farther.
The man decided to help the butterfly in its struggle. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon…
and the butterfly emerged easily.
As the butterfly emerged, the man was surprised. It had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. He continued to watch the butterfly expecting that, at any moment, the wings would dry out, enlarge, and expand to support the swollen body. He knew that in time the body would contract, and the butterfly would be able to fly…
but neither happened!
In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings.
What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle were required for the butterfly to be able to fly.
The butterfly must push its way through the tiny opening to force the fluid from its body and wings. Only by struggling through the opening can the butterfly’s wings be ready for flight once it emerges from the cocoon.
Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If our Higher Power allowed us to go through life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been… and we could never fly!
Unknown author ( I know someone who might have written this.)