The Artwork of Michael Divine




The Scent of Butterflies

September 28th, 2008

After we had returned, we found a chrysalis attached to the fennel. The little cocoon tapered to the end in sequential rings and was tethered with one strand of webbing as it it were a cliff side climber. Violet cut the branch and brought it inside, perching it on the altar in the living room.

This morning I found the butterfly perched on the edge of a painting next to where it’s cocoon had been. It was stunning. I called VIolet and we stepped closer, marveling at it’s sudden emergence and intense beauty. It spread it’s wings as if to show us the full beauty of it’s six inch span of yellow eye shapes and velveteen blue spots.

I left Violet, staring starry-eyed up at this little creature that had appeared in out lives, and wandered into the studio. Moments later, I heard a sudden “NO!” and I ran out to find Violet violently shaking the halogen lamp as the butterfly, who had flown into it’s blazing hot light, turned to smoke and ash. He fell upon the floor, twitching. Violet struggled with a swirl of heart wrenching emotions, and, as I held her, we watched him, his burned wings singed to ash, struggle to hang on to his life. Violet took him outside and I left her to be with him. The scent of the butterfly in the lamp and in the room, like burnt hair, hung heavy like the fog outside that crept slowly down the street.

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