Be a butterfly!

Speckled Wood
Speckled Wood

Not all poetry yields its meaning immediately, and why should it? Just as you can stare for hours at an abstract painting, so too, a poem can be a source of meditation. What does it actually mean? And what does it matter what it means? That is not to say that the words do not matter. But often the conscious logical mind is too earth-bound, too stuck in the trivia or fatigue of daily life to be able to get to the heart of a feeling. It is important sometimes to let the mind go with the flow, to detach from the rational Cartesian world with its arid formula of I think, therefore I am. Clearly Descartes had scant understanding of the role and the power of the unconscious mind!

Adonis Blue
Adonis Blue

Notice when we are happy, when we play, when we frolic, when we are in love, when we have experienced a sense of achievement, whenever we are overcome by any powerful emotion, it takes us out of the moment, releases us from the tyranny of time. So we might wonder why these parallel forms of existence occur. Who has never wished that a moment could go on for ever? Who has never prayed for a seemingly endless state of discomfort or pain or sorrow to pass? In which realm do we live our true, authentic, fully human life? So many poets down the ages have observed the innocence of nature, the instinctive forms of life that appear to know no suffering, and longed to live likewise, free from the yoke of mortality. I believe that that is the function of art, to lift us out of the pedestrian, to lift us up into the spirit so that for a moment we drift above ourselves as though in an out-of-body experience and allow ourselves to be carried along in a different flow, to be timeless for a time. Be a butterfly!

John Lyons


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