Mr. Ed, Butterfly Girl and the Frog Prince

for my friend Ed...

Butterfly girlIf all good stories begin with once upon a time, then this one should too.

One morning as I was pouring my first cup of coffee, Ed walked in to my kitchen, and with that straight face that he puts on before delivering an absolutely absurd remark, says to no one in particular and anyone present, ''In my next life, I want to come back as a frog'.  I laughed.  Over the years, we have thought of Ed and that morning many times, and laughed.

The day before, Linda and Ed had landed at the airport in Rhode Island on their way to one of Ed's reunions.  We'd picked them up, done a bit of sightseeing and brought them to our home. They spent the night in somewhat dubious comfort on our hide-a-bed in the den, a room with walls lined with Central American masks collected on our many trips south.  Centered over the head of the bed, is the largest and most colorful mask, the Butterfly Girl.  She has the head of a maiden, wings and antennae of a butterfly, tail of a mermaid and the voluptuous bosom of…. she's lovely.  Clutching her bosom with arms outstretched and nestled in between, is a happy green frog.  Ed couldn't have helped but look up at her as he drifted off to sleep.

 Ed was the jokester. He made us laugh.  When I think back to all the jokes he told us, none have ever made me smile more than that morning's one liner. 

                  Butterfly girl

The butterfly girl is a truly beautiful piece. She is a fertility mask.  Part butterfly, she is a creature that lives both on the earth and in the air.  She morphs from a lowly earthbound caterpillar to the most beautiful and ethereal butterfly.  With her mermaid tail, she exists in all worlds:  earth, sea and air.

The frog too, transcends:  morphing from a tadpole, existing only in and under water, to frog, living on land and water, an air breather.  

I know there is a lesson here.  I can feel it, touch it with my mind but not quite express it in words.  Ed has left his earthly body.  He has, like the butterfly and the frog, left the old one behind to become something new, and wonderful.  

(If Ed gets his wish and comes back as a frog, I think he will be the Frog Prince.  You know how that story ends. )

 

Thanks, Ed.

1.29.19


downside up

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It has been awhile.  Though I haven't been posting here, I have been sharing some of this work on a couple Facebook groups and occasionally IG.  It is a part of a larger series that I have tentatively labeled ' Conversation in the Downside Up'.  That may change. I saw a post today of a poem that says so much of what this speaks to.  I'm copying it here. 

Blanket

Take every leaf on every tree
and put its tired green to bed,
and when the green has gone to sleep
and red and yellow lift their heads,

set them shining in the sky,
wild against the blue expanse.
Loosen them and let them fly,
stir the wind until they dance

in airy swirls. Then lay them down
under the gentle hands of rain.
Turn their colors all to brown,
decompose their withered veins,

press them drenched in sodden layers,
freeze them with your icy sighs,
bless them with your wintery prayers.
Under them the springtime lies.

Kathie Fiveash


Is it still fall?

We ended the season the way we began, enjoying an I cream sundae, outdoors, wearing our down jackets.  When the warm season is as short as it is up here, you push the boundaries.  Saturday morning was in the low 20’s, the pond went from slush to a couple inches within an hour or so.  Until today, there has been some version of icy cold precipitation in the air for the last five days.    By this afternoon, after we had finished with all of our ‘winter’s coming’ chores, checked each line on the list and washed our hands..it had melted.  

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I happen to love this time of year.  So many changes in the weather.  The greys are just beginning.  We’re still have daylight savings time.  The cold wet air feels fresh and there is a deep earthy smell.  Every evening the wood stove is lit and the house is really warm, all the way into the corners.  I’m wearing socks during the day and am barefoot at night.  Best of all.. there’s apple pie, lots and lots of apple pie.

 


Friday’s Photo

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An aside, having nothing at all to do with the photo..

An hour ago, I poured a cup of coffee and stood in front of the window gazing out at the pond. Overnight, it had begun to freeze.  The icy skin had progressed as far as the first island.  It is 21F.  Now, less than 60 minutes later, the ice has expanded to cover nearly all of the 6 acres that is my pond.  I am in awe.