Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Love is everything. Some butterflies told me so.

Hey, so it's been a while. (Exact match for that phrase on this blog = like, a jillion.)

This weekend, I volunteered at the Best Buddies International leadership conference. It was great, and you should click that link to learn more about the terrific organization and the inspiring kids who commit so much time and energy to it.

On the way to Bloomington, a butterfly who looked remarkably like the one in the picture at right (credit: Nancy Myrland) dive-bombed my car and landed smack in the front grill. This doesn't typically happen in the city, but I figured since I was more or less in the country, it wasn't much of anything to be interested in.

So I proceeded to my destination, put in a couple hours of volunteer time, and as I was walking back to my car, I noticed something I'd never noticed before (or maybe it hadn't been there before). In the front driveway of Briscoe Quad, the dorm where I lived and worked for many, many years, there was a small flower garden. And in that garden, there were dozens of butterflies flitting from flower to flower, doing whatever it is that butterflies do with flowers -- I don't know...eat them, drink them, tell them dirty jokes, who can say?

This kind of put me on Yellow Alert because (a) lots of butterflies, man! and (b) I'd never seen that garden before, but it was a place where I'd spent metric crap-tonnes of time. But I went on with my day and visited with my friend Julie and her fiancé Matt, my hosts for the weekend. (By the way, their home is lovely; if you're ever in Bloomington for the weekend, call them. I'm sure they could arrange accommodations at very reasonable rates.)

Matt and Julie and I went to see the new Angelina Jolie thriller "Salt" (which, meh -- 2½ stars, I guess) and as we walked into the theater, there was another butterfly. This one was dead on the sidewalk just outside the theater entrance.

And then there were butterflies in the movie itself, when the main character flashes back to getting married in some sort of butterfly garden thing because her husband is an expert in spiders. Or something? (Again: "Salt" = meh.)

After those four butterfly interventions, I decided to tweet about it, because that is apparently what we do these days. A Twitter FIHMIPY, Stephen James, suggested that the butterflies were telling me to see his wife's art show on the First Friday of August. I'm going, and you should go, too, because her work is beautiful. The pic to the left there, which I've just realized I haven't asked permission to use, is one of her oil paintings.

So maybe I was putting too much thought into this and I just happened to see a lot of butterflies in Bloomington. But I couldn't help thinking there was probably a message to be gained, that the Universe was trying to tell me something. I assumed it was something about this being a time of change for me -- you know, like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon and whatever. (Because "Scott is a delicate, precious snowflake in transition" is a message that the Universe would spend time sending. Actually, haha, that may be part of the message, but the rest of the message came today.)

For, you see, today, I was driving to work with my iPod on shuffle, as I do, and a song popped up that I hadn't heard in a while. It was East Village Opera Company's "Butterfly Duet" -- BUTTERFLY, got that? -- which is based on the Love Duet from Puccini's Madama Butterfly. (You've seen me reference EVOC before here; they're known for their contemporary take on classic opera songs.) At the end of EVOC's "Butterfly Duet," after the climax of the Puccini version, they added their own part in which they repeat, over and over, the message that I think I'm supposed to take from this weekend.

Take a listen and get some culture -- three minutes of quality music won't hurt you. If you're reading this on The Facebook, you'll need to click here to listen: http://sssemester.blogspot.com

"Love is everything."

I know it sounds pretty woo-woo, but I think that's the lesson that I was supposed to take from the butterflies I met over the weekend and from the Butterfly Duet on my iPod.

Now I just have to figure out what, exactly, that means for me right now. Is that a nudge from the Universe encouraging me to spend more time with family and friends who love me just as I am and want what's best for me? Is it a glance from God saying that loving is more important than achieving -- and more important than being right? A kick-to-the-head from Karma indicating I need to realign myself with what's important? All of the above, and more?

It certainly has helped me to put some things into perspective and helped me realize that it's not about me and it's not about you. It's about us.

Love is everything. Love is every thing.

1 comment:

Stephen James said...

Low-res usage with citation granted. :-)

Thanks for the mention! See you Friday.