Saturday, January 1, 2022

Still We Must Dream: Butterflies as Persistent and Prophetic Poets for a New Year

**Original piece above created from ripped portions of various periodicals overlaid with stanzas from Mahmoud Darwish’s poem, "The Dreamers Pass from One Sky to Another."**

Art is therapy. So is poetry.

Then there are butterflies.
“The butterfly is what the poem doesn't say.
Her very lightness breaks words,
as dreams break dreamers.” 
Mahmoud Darwish.
If the last two years have taught us anything, it is to dismiss romanticized expectations and let go of lofty resolutions. Just be. Just love. Just aim to live another day and seek the common good.

Still, we must dream.
"From one sky to another the dreamers pass-
the butterfly's attendants carry mirrors of water.
We could be what we should be.
From one sky to another the dreamers pass.
The butterfly spins her garment on a needle of light, to decorate her comedy.
The butterfly is born of herself and dances in the flame of her tragedy."
In the midst of perpetual trauma and never-ending grief and loss, we must not relinquish our imaginations. Keep spinning resilient garments of hope even on the thinnest needles of light that decorate our comedy. And just maybe, like the butterfly, we can dance out of the flames of our tragedy.

May 2022 bring healing to pain, joy where sadness has lingered long enough, compassion to the silently suffering, and truth telling able to set each other free.

And when stuck, create something. Borrow the poetic words, colorful images, and stubborn resilience of prophetic artists past and present who have fluttered freely out of their stories and into our own, like dreamers who pass from one sky to another.

** Complete poem found in Unfortunately, It Was Paradise, by Mahmoud Darwish.