“She breathed a quick prayer that life might be long. It was only yesterday she had thought with a shudder that life might be long.” –Kate Chopin
I live, but I cannot fly.
I am a butterfly; caught in a net for another to admire my beauty. For another to use me for their own purposes. To handle me with such care that I shall not break, but shall not taste freedom, either.
I see the world through a glass jar; images distorted into pictures only suited for me. Images that were taken from me, and smeared. Images that no longer look like the world I had once dreamt of.
I chew the same food, and breathe the same air, but not the same as you do. My portions are limited; the sickly sweet oxygen coming through the poked holes is taken for granted by you, but I cannot get enough of it. I depend on the resources you spoil.
You think we are mere insects; that we do not have a equal standing in the world. You think we are breakable, and crackable, and fit only for one purpose. You crush us under your boot.
Of course, we butterflies are not fragile, as you so expertly assume. You can bend our wings, and never may you hear them snap. You can throw us to the ground, but watch as we fly to the sky with flaps of joy and rebellion.
But there are times when we get caught in your jars and in your nets, and we forget what freedom tastes like. That is the worst of all. A butterfly that cannot fly is not a butterfly at all, is it? Of course, this may be what you had hoped for, and maybe it was not. Nevertheless, our beauty is diminished by your gardener’s hands; by your clear glass and plastic flowers.
Freedom, once you have it – once you have held it in your fingertips like a newborn child – is ineffable. It feels as if a weight had been cracked off your chest like a jack hammer to concrete. Like a glass jar hitting a tiled floor. The air is a balm to my yearning lungs, and the images candy to my censored eyes.
But then you crush me, by returning with your jar – the one with the poked holes on the top. You rob me of my freedom, and crash me to the ground.
I cannot fly, so I cannot live.
Photo (Google): http://s3.favim.com/orig/140919/black-and-white-butterfly-cute-girl-Favim.com-2082363.jpg