Secrets of the Butterfly – Oil on Canvas – Omay Lee 2019
In a world once abundant with insects and butterflies, their populations are rapidly declining. It is easy to forget how deeply our souls are intertwined with them. Yet our dreams can take us to places long forgotten or to the vital creatures which have lain unnoticed outside the peripheries of our focus. It the remembering (or the unforgetting) of the forgotten, which unlocks the secrets that metamorphose us into our true nature. Can we live in communion with these myriad beings?
The butterfly holds many ancient secrets. In ancient China, the poet Li Po once spoke of his friend Zhuangzi, who had a sacred dream. It goes like this:
Zhuangzi dreamed of being Butterfly,
As Butterfly once dreamed of being he.
Their souls encounter and transmogrify,
A thousand myriad beings they may be.
© Omay Lee 2019
Odes of the Mayfly [From the Ancient Book of Poems – The ShiJing]
“The delicate mayfly’s wings
Flutter like splendid robes that caress
The transience of all life; the heaviness of the heart
Should we let them enter with us?“
We share a common fate with the creatures, the insects, all that is living around us. To see the transience of all life, what common ground can we seek to maintain harmony?