"From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines, going where I list, my own master total and absolute, Listening to others, considering well what they say, Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me."
Walt Whitman (1819-92)
"When I look back now over my life and call to mind what I might have had simply for taking and did not take, my heart is like to break."
Akhenaton (d. c.1354 BC)
And now, the current weather, from some random person we pulled off the street:
Monday, May 17, 2004
chrys-a-lis Function: noun
Etymology: Latin chrysallid-, chrysallis gold-colored pupa of butterflies, from Greek, from chrysos gold, of Semitic origin; akin to Hebrew hArus gold
1 : a pupa of a butterfly; broadly : an insect pupa
2 : a protecting covering : a sheltered state or stage of being or growth [a budding writer could not emerge from his chrysalis too soon -- William Du Bois]
3 : What someone can come out of when they try, and succeed
Tonight, I saw a butterfly. No, not the insect kind, the human kind.
Did I ever mention that I have been in Weight Watchers? I don't think I did. Long story short, some meds I went on about a year ago ended up bringing about forty lbs with them. Weight Watchers and I are trying to persuade them to leave.
So, once a week, a bunch of us get together and listen to a motivational half hour that keeps us on track for the next seven days. That "bunch of us" usually consists of a room full of women in all stages of diminishing chubbyness, and maybe me and one other guy.
Oh, and then there are the butterflies. That's what you become when you hang in there long enough and are perseverant enough and tenacious enough to reach the goal you might not have even been able to see when you joined.
The butterflies are neat to watch.
They invariably seem to flirt with their goal for a bit before they really hit it, then they almost can't believe it. And even afterwards, it might take weeks before they are comfortable with their new look. It is like they are slowly dragging themselves from the chrysalis that imprisoned them, and although now a full fledged butterfly, they have to kind of air out their wings and stretch them a bit.
For a while, they are a butterfly with a caterpillar's mind still living inside. But soon, you can see the butterflyness slowly take over.
Maybe this week they are holding themselves more confidently.
Maybe they have a new hairstyle.
Maybe they are wearing new clothes.
It's like they suddenly just spread their wings and right there they sit in all their spangled majesty, beckoning for you to join them. And believe you me, it will make you feel good just to be near it and to watch it.
So what if I am a fat caterpillar now! I can see the butterfly, and I know where I can go if only I want to hard enough and am tenacious enough.
I can be the butterfly.
A chinese philosopher once had a dream that he was a butterfly. From that day on, he was never quite certain that he was not a butterfly, dreaming that he was a man.