Something is happening to me.
These past few months I’ve been spinning a silk skein around myself; enveloping myself within a cocoon.
Inside it, change is afoot.
Just what change, it is impossible to fathom at this stage, not even for me, swathed as I am in my self-imposed shroud, sinking into a kind of deep slumber; a hibernation, of sorts.
It should be obvious by now that I’m hurting. And that I write to process… and to feel better.
I haven’t quite felt like this in a while. I remember the feeling from when I was a child. Then, feeling and being hurt was a kind of norm – and those moments of stillness, of quiet, of safety, were rare reprieves from the endless onslaught of disappointment and loneliness.
At the time, some 30-odd years ago, I spun a cocoon around myself too.
Though as a matter of fact, I’ve since realised these past few months that I haven’t actually stopped spinning this (metaphorical) cocoon of mine.
I’ve since realised that, from whence I was a child of 6 or 7, I’ve endeavoured to spin something soft and comforting around myself, as I navigated an exterior world in which there was no comfort to be had, no solace, no “it’s alright, my love”; no “ don’t worry, I’m here.”
There was only a never-ending fear of the unknown; an “oh no, what have I done this time”; “I’m sorry I’m not perfect”; “I’m sorry I do not live up to your expectations”; “let me do something to please you, to earn your forgiveness”.
So I spun and I spun and I spun, and I became an expert at spinning; and this cocoon I spun was top-of-the-line, firm, fast, protective. It defended the defenseless caterpillar inside, as it struggled to take form, struggled to be something other than itself; struggled for some 30-odd years to figure out just what it could be, it would be.
Some 30-odd years of spinning later, I think I’m just about ready to step out of this cocoon.
Because I don’t know what to expect; because I don’t know what sort of butterfly I will be.
All I know is that I will be the colourful sort; the sort that brings joy and wonder. Because that’s what I’ve always wanted to do: to bring joy, and warmth, and wonder, to the world around me.
I’ve always loved flowers and butterflies.
And these few months I’ve taken to expressing this love with abandon, festooning myself with these symbols of life, love and rejuvenation. Splashing myself with colour as though everyday was the Hindu festival of Holi.
But then – so I think – why not?
Why not have every day be an exuberant burst of colour? Particularly when it makes me, and everyone around me, happy.
Inside my dusk-pale cocoon I toss and turn, writhe and wriggle, restless, eager to emerge, to gain form, to BECOME. My almost-formed eyes can already sense, if not see, the light beyond the pale. And it strikes me that the light is beautiful. I know it is.
Through the occasional diaphanous parts of the cocoon I betray glimpses of what I am, what lies beneath: glimpses of Flora and Lepidoptera; glimpses of Metamorphosis.
Change is not without pain. And pain has its own colour – it is an iridescent sort of shade, sitting between turquoise and emerald.
When I emerge, this green-gold iridescence shall line the edges of my wings, streak them with luminescence, so that they are striking, and entirely unique, entirely my own.
And these wings will take me up and up, far above and beyond the empty husk of my once-cocoon, now shrivelled and dull of pallor without the once-caterpillar in it.
Yes, my wings shall take me high up, and higher even, and higher again, in pursuit of the sublime.
But for now, I wait…
For that right moment…
Though even as I wait, life outside goes on.
The show must go on.
[We actually have a new exhibition opening this week, LOL.]
And I have to go on smiling.