Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Sunday, October 06, 2013

October 6: In Celebration of Butterflies . . .

I've been wanting to start a series of posts on creativity this month, but have been distracted by writing that daily poem for OctPoWriMo.

But today's OctPoWriMo prompt -- Tell me what gives you butterflies -- was the perfect segue to Sandy Brown Jensen's inspirational video-poem: Can You Catch Butterflies.  (Her poem appears below for your reading pleasure.)

Today I chased butterflies,
in search of beauty
Today I climbed a mountain
because the day was fair
and I was free.
Today I chased butterflies,
took pictures,
and climbed a mountain
all at the same time.
Can you catch butterflies?

My response:

In celebration of butterflies

I'm always delighted when
a solitary butterfly passes by.
I could be walking in the woods
or along the watershed when
a fragile, bright dot of color appears.
Butterflies remind me
of that fleeting inner voice
that leads to poetry or painting,
something ephemeral
that hovers
on the edge of understanding.

I have seen butterflies sleeping,
wing to wing,
then lift to the sky in some mysterious migration.
I only know they leave us,
and I come to understand
that in some great cycle least expected,
these butterflies will return.

Thank you, Sandy, for giving me 'butterflies.' You have challenged me to write and hold me to high standards. Inside I may doubt; you do not. You are an inspirational writing teacher and friend. Your creativity constantly amazes me, and your latest venture -- to explore the connections between visual and written arts -- intrigues me.

Today's prompt from OctPoWritMo was truly "tell me more about what gives you butterflies." But the prompt goes on to ask, "What makes you nervous?" I think what makes me nervous more than facing down a group of strangers who have come to hear me read is this: That I do not finish what I've begun to write. Creativity seems awfully close to those migrating butterflies -- a gift that I try to honor with commitment and discipline.

Read more of what others have written for OctPoWriMo here.

Visit Sandy Brown Jensen's website here. And I will return with a future post on creativity with Sandy -- and her sister, Cheryl Renee Long, artists both.