In defense of the butterfly effect: Resurfacing

So many important things happened this week.

Sometimes my mind feels like a swimming pool, with its shallow end for handstands, its deep end a spooky blue; the place is entertaining and full of the good stuff but mostly just a space for floating. It’s rare for me to have clarity of place and purpose, that ability to swim straight through, where I can experience something on the surface and then dive to the deep in the same place to mark its significance. When this happens, the water around is not simply a cushy space to exist within or a reminder that I need more exercise, but a stimulus to be directed and meaningful thought and action. I’ll leave this watery image behind; what’s really important cannot be neatly packed into a 20-by-40 concrete pit.  I wonder if I’m the only one who, when pushing through to a space of real awareness shouts “Oh Goodie!” and enjoys the ride, instead of really paying attention or writing down exactly what has transpired within so it can be revisited later. 

I found myself thumbing through my journal this morning to see if it would help me map out my clarity and how to get back. You won’t be surprised to find that I left barely a crumby trace, a few bullet points to jog my memory. Maybe these kinds of things can’t really be explained retroactively. But I thought I’d share some bits anyhow — so much life is composed of half-remembrances, and if you’re not going to do anything with them because they’re not yet perfect and presentable, you’ll never do anything with them at all. 

“Tiny moon apparently a waxing crescent with 11 percent visibility. Yet somehow it is still the whole moon.”

Philosophy prof must be one of the most aware people out there. Would be cool to see his brain activity as he lectures. Funny, just realized it probably looks a lot like my own as I write about what interests me.” 

“Yesterday we had to take one of our problems and express it physically. I acted out not knowing which problem to work on first, got very silly and loose about it. Today felt like real transformation – think of metaphor of building a wall. Mess up two bricks, and it seems the whole wall is ruined, so you work to destroy it or hide those errors. Seen another way there is a solid, well-built wall. Is laughing at your problem really making it disappear if you still look at yourself as full of mistakes?” 

Here I am again, days later, swimming in something else already, my mind inundated with the fogginess of earlier this morning. Seems everywhere I go there are traces of gold that I chase after all day. At times, I just sit there and look at my disjointed notes as time ticks on, and content myself to just be confused for a while. Occasionally these golden bits unite in a sweep and a flourish as the butterfly lands where it is supposed to. I wonder, was it aiming for that flower or just flying along?


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