Cocoon

Cocoon: (v) to protect and surround.

I sometimes giggle when I read an article, and I can immediately tell that the writer has taken ten minutes to look up the subject on Wikipedia and throw in some smart words, so it appears to be a “learned” piece, laced with technological terms.

Today I refrained from doing that.

I think the most interesting thing about each and every one of us is our experience mingled with our ignorance. As long as we know we’re ignorant on certain subjects, it has a certain amount of charm to it.

For instance, I have seen a caterpillar. I have beheld a butterfly. And I know that the stage in between is referred to as a cocoon.

I have had a cocoon pointed out to me, but it was needful because it was so non-descript that I would never have noticed it. After all, there might be a danger in having a bright purple cocoon, lest someone think it’s a beautiful rock, and takes it home, eliminating the possibility for a butterfly.

Whether you believe in God or Nature, you must admit that one of these two, or both of them, are pretty damn smart.

I certainly think it would behoove the human race, instead of sewing wings onto caterpillars, to take some time to cocoon our efforts, our motivations, our desires, our wishes, and our insecurities, so that we can mature into butterflies, instead of pretending we can soar.

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Chrysalis

Chrysalis: (n) a preparatory or transitional state.

The main reason I don’t want to come out of my cocoon is that I don’t think I’ll end up being a pretty butterfly.

Wouldn’t that be horrible–to spend your life cramped into a tiny space, gouging your ego and leaving you feeling inadequate, only to burst
forth from your chrysalis and be either ugly or a gooey, incomplete mess?

I’ve wondered throughout my life if it’s more important to know what to do, how to do it, or when to do it. You see, there are many things I believe I’m prepared for, and then, even the hint of opportunity can surprise me, leaving me clumsy.

That’s why sometimes I giggle when our culture encourages us in the buffoonery of expressing verbal confidence, when we actually have no idea if we can pull something off or not.

Is it wrong to want a couple more days, weeks or months in the chrysalis before sticking a wing out and find out if we can fly?

Or is it just part of the process–that we get dumped out of our cocoon, and whatever we are is what we are?

Maybe we should have asked for a guarantee before entering our chrysalis: “This metamorphosis guarantees you one beautiful butterfly body…”

But in the world of nature, there are very few guarantees–just possibilities–usually afforded at the most inopportune time.

 

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Chromatic

Chromatic: (adj) a musical scale including all existing pitches

I have sung for decades.

This doesn’t mean I’m a good singer–and I’m not trying to be humble. Singing is similar to chasing a butterfly–because you may be able to
see what you want to capture, but it can quickly flit away.

Sometimes your voice is not in good shape. Humidity can affect it–and stubbornly insisting you are on pitch is the best way to be out of tune.

So one of the best exercises for singing is practicing the chromatic scales up and down. Moving your voice only a half-step teaches you precision–and exposes those occasions when you might find yourself rubbing up against the correct tone but not actually owning it.

Now, if you’ve never sung, this may not mean anything to you. If you’re a singer, some of this may not mean anything to you.

But the reason I continue to sing is because it’s a wonderfully humbling chamber for the human ego, because there are three obvious realizations:

1. You’re at the mercy of your voice

2. There is no excuse for bad tone or bad pitch

3. There is always someone who will sing better than you.

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Butterfly

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Butterfly: (n) an insect with two pairs of large wings

Moths hate butterflies.

I’m sure they do.

I’ve never actually had a conversation with a moth about the subject but having watched them fly around lights and flames, I realize they feel trapped.

Not only are they attracted to shiny objects, often leaving them vulnerable, but they are also stuck with gray or brown wings.

Then here comes the butterfly.

Butterflies don’t fly. They don’t gather around glowing places.

Butterflies flit. They dart.

And most obviously, they have color in their wings. It sets them apart. It makes them look like they give a damn instead of grabbing the first t-shirt out of the drawer. They spend a little time shopping. They are conscious of their appearance.

They seem to be aware that the world needs some beauty.

Yes, I guess if I were a moth I would constantly be criticizing the butterfly.

“Stop flitting! And who’s to say your golden, orange and black-with-hints-of-purple hues are any better than my grayscale?”

 

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