Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Prancing in the sunlight

Having just returned from a lovely lunch at Mrs. McGill's house, I dropped my purse at my colorless cubicle and made a beeline for the side door. Bursting from the grey world of boredom, I skipped across the parking lot on my daily walk. As I pranced down my daily path, a tiny yellow butterfly perched on my shoulder.

"You're back!" I cried gleefully.

"As we said we would be," the butterfly said solemnly.

"Well, I thought it might be too soon..."

"It's never too soon. Particularly after the dreary winter you just endured."

"It was quite depressing," I admitted. "After awhile, the 40 degree days and cold weather lost it's romance. It's hard to be creative when the sky is grey and misty for weeks in a row."

"Imagine living in a white cottonball for months."

I laughed. The butterfly settled on my shoulder, brushing strands of my hair as he fluttered his wings.

"At least you have maintained hope."

"Yes," I murmured. "There's always hope and there's always faith. But lately, I've been worried I'm not doing enough." The butterfly cocked his antennae at me. "You know." The butterfly's wings shimmered gently in the breeze. "I feel as if I'm not as creative as I was last year. I feel as if all this medocracy and boredom is causing my brain to rot. After all, all these MSN.com articles can't be good for me," I joked. The butterfly remained still. I pressed on. "I am proud of the work I've done lately, and I think I'll get a good response from all the agents and editors. But I just worry"--

"Your creative streak is gone?" the butterfly finished. I nodded. "Some of my ideas are great, but some of them are so out there..."

"You've always been out there," the butterfly said dryly. "Why are you so worried about trying to define who you are?"

"I guess I just feel maybe I've tapped myself out," I admitted, squinting as the sun hit my eyes. "Maybe I'm obsessing over certain subjects. Maybe that's why all my ideas seem so recycled."

"Who says you have to come up with dozens ideas a week?" the butterfly asked.

"Well, no one, but"--

"It's what you've been doing." I nodded. The butterfly delicately crawled under my hair, tickling my neck with the gentle brush of his wings.

"You are a strange creature," he mused. "You define your life with rules and rigidity, yet spend your life yearning to be free and uninhibited. You must remember to let both sides balance out. Life is not about rules, nor is it about complete adventure. Quality versus quantity, you know. Just because you don't come up with an idea every second doesn't mean you shall fail. Your ideas come from your free mind, but a free mind will perish of boredom if not engaged in thought."

"So what do I do?" I asked, holding up a finger from him to perch on. The butterfly opened and closed his wings slowly.

"Dance."

With that, he kissed my finger gently with his antennae and lifted into the gentle breeze. I heard his wings flutter quietly as he disappeared into the bright sky. Mulling over his words, I felt my lips break into a wide grin. With renewed enthusiasm, I pranced back to the building. The cubicle doesn't look entirely colorless now. But it does look much better out in the sunshine.