Saturday, March 12, 2011

Carving and Keeping - of butterflies and hope

I feel a little nostalgic these days, looking back on a trip to Nashville, I remember the fizz and the sweetness on my tongue of my fantastic drink (photo above). I'm reading Carson McCullers' The Heart is a Lonely Hunter and I wonder if this is what has triggered the sense of nostalgia. I think, then, of the connections - the world between the pages and distant sensory memories (the fizz of cola, the cold of the ice-cream, the heat of the burning sun) - and think again of the carving and keeping of shapes, of butterflies.

I wonder if Annemiek will keep the butterflies she has carved out.

The bowl they will have created will have a purpose and a meaning, after all. But the butterflies….?

I see them on a transparent string hanging in front of a window where the sun shines in, too bright to look at. There, they have found themselves: they are literally themselves.

Shapes of butterflies in the air, glinting (I think: she’ll paint one a metallic silver, the other a metallic gold – the moon and the sun).

Glinting, glinting, glinting.

Hope, hopefully, hope.

In each turn of the head there is a turn back, a way back, an antidote. In each (form) that is taken away there is a lasting image, a memory. A memory of love. A memory of hope. After all, “Nothing is lost, when all in love lives on.” (Quote © Adele Ward, “For My Mother” from Never-Never Land (Bristol: Bluechrome Publishing, 2009)

And with spring there comes the promise of those butterflies, they are readying themselves now, waiting for the time only when it is right, waiting as timing is everything. And my story “Possessions” now ends with hope. The Ward Sister senses hope in the struggle the patient makes against an antidote to the overdose being administered. I write:

She sneaked a smile. This was good. He was fighting.

“Bless you, my child,” she said, her voice melodic with sorrow.

© Shauna Busto Gilligan except where indicated.

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