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The Path of a Butterfly

photo by Jennifer Bloom

The Path of a Butterfly

(from Within My Illusions)

“There are no straight lines in nature,” he said,

one hand pressed against

the stained oak cabinet, his hip leaning

on the polished granite counter.

“There are no flat surfaces; no right angles.”

How could I not have noticed?

Now I look for them everywhere.

I look for lines in the way grass grows.

I search for angles in trees,

a smooth face of rock on which to rest.

But each blade of grass curves

a little differently; each limb emerges

in a peculiar way; the ground pokes

at my seat.

I see the path of a storm

twist and turn up the jagged coastline,

boundaries blur between colors of a rainbow.

even my body is all curves,

expanding and contracting

with each breath as I sit,

pen in hand, searching

for the linear narrative

of this journey.

But life does not unfold in a straight line.

It spirals like the path of a butterfly.

It putters along quietly then opens wide,

explodes in torrents,

floods of action and emotion,

leaving puddles and pools in its wake.

I am standing at the edge of the story.

In the reflection, I make meaning

from angles not right

or wrong, but different;

each lens offering its own perspective.

The story changes every time I tell it.

Words can only approximate

a narrative that spirals,

weaving echoes from the past

as our tales twine together,

as we decide which will be the next step:

The one fueled by fear or the one guided

by courage and compassion.

We are standing together

at the edge of this story.

I will pass you my pen.

Together, we will write the next chapter.


The video above was excerpted from Orlando Villarraga and my album launch performance last year with our friend and special guest, Dr. Dan Siegel. A few weeks ago, I received this message in response to the full 1.5 hour video of that performance:

I watched your LA performance the other night. It's really one of the more powerful, thought provoking, soul stirring performances I've seen on screen or in person for that matter. It's very special and singular.

One thing that made the event so special for us was that, while the poem "The Path of the Butterfly" was the finale of the performance, it wasn't the end of the show. Instead, we brought the audience into the conversation by inviting them to consider one action they could each take to cultivate more connection in their day-to-day lives. We passed around bookmarks and pens so people could write down their intentions. Then, we asked everyone to get up (if they were able), move around the room, and exchange their bookmarks three times with people throughout the room as a symbol of spreading the seeds of their intentions. The room was abuzz with their interactions. I'd love for you to watch the full video or this 40-minute edit of the poetry and music from the event!

This week, I send my best wishes for all the twists and turns life may be taking you on these days. And for all of us, may we remember that courage and compassion are strengthened by connection and community.

With love,


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